Liverpool is sulking after two draws from their opening two encounters in the Premier League. After last week’s draw at Fulham, the Merseysiders battled to a one-all draw against Crystal Palace at their Anfield home. A goal down at halftime- courtesy of Wilfred Zaha’s angled finish- things got worse for the Reds. The £64 million arrival Darwin Nunez, irked by Joachim Andersen’s provocations, head-butted the Danish centre-back right under referee Paul Tierney’s nose. A straight red followed as Anfield seethed in anger. A typically stirring fightback, capped by Luis Diaz’s wonder strike, ensured a point after 90 helter-skelter minutes. But it did little to cool Scouser blood.
Also Read: Why Darwin Nunez’s red card is a big deal for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool
Palace defender Andersen- who expertly navigated Nunez’s threat- was sent hundreds of death threats by the Reds faithful. Taking to Instagram, the Dane shared screenshots of messages wishing ill-will and death upon him and his family.
“Got maybe 3-400 of these messages last night. I understand you support a team but have some respect and stop (acting) tough online. Hope Instagram and the Premier League do something about this,” he wrote on his Story.
Andersen was impressive throughout, not yielding space or time to Nunez. Precise on the ball, he sprung diagonals over the Pool backline to launch several counterattacks. But as Palace manager Patrick Viera changed tack, opting to play a defensive game, he expertly shielded the visiting goal, repelling Salah and Co. in a dexterous display. His qualities clearly had his Uruguayan opponent on the boil:
“The whole game I sat really close to him, I annoyed him a lot and did well against him. I think that’s why he was angry with me. He head-butted me, the first one, at a cross, and I told him he shouldn’t do that. I was angry with him. Then he did it again which is, for me, is really stupid, so it’s a clear red card,” quotes the Guardian.
Also Read: Watch: Nunez pulls a Zidane, headbutts Crystal Palace’s Joachim Andersen
Nunez faces a three-match ban, further intensifying Jurgen Klopp’s striker crisis. With mainstays Diego Jota and Roberto Firminho ruled out due to injuries, the German will have to tweak his front three for their Tuesday showdown against strugglers Manchester United. But given United’s many miseries, not least a shaky rearguard, Klopp will be confident of the firepower at his disposal.