Football News

Darwin Nunez sees red with the wrong kind of record-breaking home Premier League debut

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:16, 15 August 2022

Darwin Nunez had the wrong kind of record-breaking home debut for Liverpool, getting sent off as they with Crystal Palace.

The Uruguayan forward received a straight red card 11 minutes into the second-half for headbutting Palace defender Joachim Andersen.

This made Nunez the first Liverpool player to be sent off on his home Premier League debut since Joe Cole back in 2010. Coincidentally, that red card also came during a match on August 15th (a match that also ended 1-1, this time against Arsenal).

The red card also meant that Nunez became the first Liverpool player to be sent off in a Premier League game at Anfield for nearly three years, with Alisson’s red against Brighton in November 2019 being the last time that happened to Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Nunez’s red capped off a frustrating home debut for him. The Uruguayan had a game-high 5 shots but failed to hit the target with any of them; coming closest with a mis-hit chip that bounced off the post at the end of the first-half.

This underwhelming home debut comes off the back of a tremendous start to his Liverpool career with two goals in his first two appearances against Manchester City and Fulham, albeit both of those appearances were off the bench.

That means that Nunez’s appearance against Palace was actually his first start and full debut, which didn’t really go according to plan as he fell for Andersen’s aggressive approach to defending and completely lost his cool.

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“It’s a moment of madness,” said Gary Neville after the game.

“I cannot believe how he thinks he’s gonna get away with that!” exclaimed Jamie Carragher, focusing on how quickly Nunez headbutted Andersen after drawing the referee’s attention to the pair of them.

“It’s down to us to get round him and rally, and obviously I’m sure he’ll learn from it,” said James Milner to Sky Sports after the match. And while Liverpool did rally in the game to get a point, the result still leaves them already four points behind Manchester City atop the Premier League table with a crucial clash against Manchester United coming up next.

“We have now another pre-season,” said Jurgen Klopp after the game when asked how he will deal with Darwin’s suspension. “That’s how we will use it, not as a punishment; just to make him even stronger.”