Luis Diaz saves a point for Liverpool against Crystal Palace after Darwin Nunez gets sent off during the 1-1 draw
With two games played, they are currently four points behind Pep Guardiola’s champions after their return to Anfield.
It might have been worse for the hosts, who fell down to a calm Wilfried Zaha goal on the break after dominating the first half.
Nunez’s stupid headbutt on Joachim Andersen, which earned him an early bath, made their mission much more difficult.
However, a fantastic Luis Diaz solo goal in the second half rescued a point for Jurgen Klopp’s side, albeit it is not a result the manager will remember fondly.
It’s easy to call Nunez’s headbutt a moment of lunacy, but it would ignore the fact that the Uruguayan only made contact with Andersen on the second try. Nunez lost his senses inexplicably as he lunged for his opponent twice in rapid succession with referee Paul Tierney nearby on his complete Premier League debut for his new team at Anfield.
Any remorse he felt when the red card was shown will have intensified as his teammates fought for a winner late in the game despite their numerical disadvantage.
The Reds would have won if they hadn’t been a man down for so long, something their big-money summer addition should keep in mind the next time a calm head is required in a tight game.
Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 15, 2022
To assume that anything has been settled only two games into a new Premier League season is simply absurd.
But that doesn’t mean Manchester City’s four-point lead over their perennial championship rivals isn’t a major advantage at any time of year. Because they seldom make mistakes, these two clubs have consistently accumulated 90+ points on route to sharing this piece of silverware in recent years.
As a result, whether two games in or not, Liverpool have already set themselves a mountain to climb in order to catch Pep Guardiola’s players.
Nunez was largely regarded as Sadio Mane’s straight replacement following his six-month tenure at center-forward previous to his transfer from Liverpool. But, in reality, the Senegalese only moved from his preferred left flank position last season due to the excellent play of January signing Luis Diaz.
The Colombian demonstrated that he has every opportunity of extending his brilliant start for the Reds with a bravura goal that earned a share of the spoils on a depressing evening. Diaz will undoubtedly play an important part for Klopp’s team this season, no matter what happens.