Darwin Nunez had a ‘crazy moment’ when he was sent off in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace.
The Uruguay striker was shown a direct red card for a crazy headbutt on Eagles defender Joachim Andersen after a few sacks in between.
It was a major setback for Liverpool, who were trailing 1-0 at the time with Wilfried Zaha netting in the first half.
But an outstanding solo effort from Luis Diaz leveled the scores, Colombian curling ahead of Vicent Guaita after passing a number of Palace players.
Jurgen Klopp’s men wasted a number of chances at Anfield, many of which fell on Nunez, who lost his temper in the 57th minute.
On Nunez’s red card, Murphy said in a commentary for talkSPORT: “”Lost in my head, it’s a crazy moment.
“It’s a shame for him because he showed great attributes and had some great chances.”
Liverpool threw the kitchen sink at their opponents but could not find the winner, although Mohamed Salah and Fabio Carvalho came very close to scoring late in the game.
Zaha could have scored all three points for the visitors but he hit the post from six yards out.
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Klopp’s side are already trailing leaders Manchester City by four points and with the margin of error in the title race so tight, they can’t afford many more nights like this.
The arrival of Nunez from Benfica for a potential record £85million was meant to be the antidote to games like this, when teams sit deep, pack the area around their 18-yard box and looking to strike at the break.
But the Uruguayan, admittedly still used to his new team-mates after just two competitive outings, swelled his lines in just the ninth minute when he flew to the far post after Harvey Elliott, taking the place of Thiago Alcantara, injured, danced. through the defense to see his shot blocked by Andersen.
Another missed chance from Nunez ended the first half as he mis-hit a shot from roughly the same position and saw it bounce off the far post.
But he wasn’t the only one wasting chances with James Milner blazing after just 61 seconds and Mohamed Salah stabbing wide a low Trent Alexander-Arnold cross and also heading obediently into Guaita’s arms.
As Liverpool’s shot count piled up – a mere 17 in the first half – and their ball dominance was established, they fell victim to a classic counter from their opponents, who had only ‘enjoyed’ 25% ball possession.
Guaita’s hasty clearance after another attack found Eberechi Eze, who dodged Fabinho and played Zaha who had the pace to stay clear of back-tracking Virgil Van Dijk and land a shot on Alisson Becker and the inside the second post.
It was the eighth time in the last 10 matches that they conceded first.
The Liverpool goalkeeper was swiftly out to deny Zaha after breaking the defensive line again and, as the hosts ended the half strong with an Elliott header saved and Nunez hitting the woodwork, they left themselves plenty to do.
Palace captain Joel Ward, coming back to the side to anchor a resolute five-man defence, denied Nunez with body and arm, who was not considered to be in an unnatural position when he turned. slipped.
But the game ignited in the 57th minute when Nunez was dismissed after grappling Andersen, who pointed an accusing finger at his opponent before shoving the striker in the back – fostering a rush of blood from the South American .
Klopp angrily waved him off the pitch as he and his assistant Pep Lijnders quickly reorganized with Salah playing alone in the middle.
And within four minutes they were level thanks to Diaz, who cut from the left and passed five Palace players before curling a right-footed shot past Guaita.
The hosts continued to attack with 10 as they had for nearly an hour with 11 and that left them susceptible to shortcomings at the back with Alexander-Arnold essentially playing as a winger.
Zaha hit a post and Salah and substitute Fabio Carvalho fired wide shots late and, although Liverpool extended their unbeaten run to 21 league games – 78 in front of a full crowd at Anfield taking into account their lockdown issues – it was two more lost points.
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