Liverpool fought back with 10 men to prevent a first Premier League defeat in front of their Anfield home crowd since 2017 when Darwin Nunes was sent off during Monday’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
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Luis Diaz’s sensational strike rescued a point for the Reds after Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring for Palace in the first half.
With just two games into the season, Liverpool are four points behind leaders Manchester City, with their new €75m (£63m, $77m) striker largely to blame.
Nunes scored in his first two games against City in the Community Shield and salvaged a point as a substitute in the 2-2 draw away to Fulham last weekend.
But the Uruguayan’s header at Joachim Andersson just before the hour mark left his side with a tough challenge in the match and a goal to make up for already in the title race.
“Now he knows it himself,” Jurgen Klopp said when asked if Nunes was letting his team-mates down.
“Of course it was a red card. He was provoked, but he shouldn’t behave like that.”
Liverpool pulled themselves out of the hole thanks in part to Diaz’s brilliant equaliser, and Klopp said he was overwhelmed with pride at how the 10 men responded after a difficult week fueled by an early-season injury crisis.
Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcantara, Diogo Hota, Joel Matip and Ibrahim Konate were ruled out, while Joe Gomez was only fit enough to come off the bench.
Nat Phillips was forced into his first Premier League appearance since the final day of the 2020/21 season at centre-back, with Klopp having no chance to renew his attack late in the game.
– “The witch in the building” –
“The real feeling I have at the moment is pride,” added Klopp. “With a week of preparation, it was unbelievable. It was like a witch in the building every time someone had a problem.”
Klopp criticized his side for the slow start that cost them two points at newly promoted Fulham on the opening weekend of the season.
This time Liverpool flew out of the trap but failed to convert their early dominance into goals.
James Milner, Nunes and Mohamed Salah were guilty of failing to find the back of the net with great chances, while Harvey Elliott’s shot was blocked by Andersen.
Palace were hardly in the opposition half for the first half hour, but Patrick Vieira’s game plan worked to perfection for the opening goal.
Eberich Eze broke free from Liverpool’s press to play a perfect ball in behind for Zaha to break the offside trap and curl past Alisson Becker into the far corner.
Liverpool still needed to equalize before half-time when Nunez missed a wonderful chance and the ball flew off the post.
His nightmare home debut ended in the 57th minute when he pounced on Anderson with a header, which will also see him miss the following games against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Newcastle.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Liverpool have refused to let go of their proud unbeaten record either side of the closed-door era of coronavirus restrictions.
Diaz led the charge with a stunning individual drive and shot into the far corner to equalize on 61 minutes.
The red card didn’t deter Palace from their plan to sit deep and counter-attack, and it almost worked.
Zaha should have won the game when he hit the post with 12 minutes remaining after Cheik Doucourt’s cross.