ANFIELD, LIVERPOOL — Liverpool’s stuttering start to the Premier League season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace following a red card for summer signing Darwin Nunez.
The Reds had already lost ground on likely title rivals Manchester City on the opening day of the campaign, dropping two points as they played out a lively draw at newly promoted Fulham.
And their return to Anfield saw another slip-up that leaves them already four points behind Pep Guardiola’s champions with two games played.
It could, of course, have been worse for the hosts, who fell behind to a cool Wilfried Zaha finish on the break in a first half they had dominated.
Their task was then made all the harder by Nunez’s mindless headbutt on Joachim Andersen, which rightly saw him sent for an early bath.
However, a wonderful Luis Diaz solo goal salvaged a point for Jurgen Klopp’s men in the second half, not that it is a result the manager will particularly cherish.
PAL — WILFRIED ZAHA (JAMES MILNER) — 32nd min.
LIV — LUIS DIAZ (JAMES MILNER) — 61st min.
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It is tempting to describe the headbutt that led to Nunez’s red card as a moment of madness, but that would disregard the fact that the Uruguayan only made contact with Andersen at the second attempt. Making his full Premier League debut for his new club at Anfield, Nunez lost his senses in inexplicable fashion as he went for his opponent twice in quick succession with referee Paul Tierney close by.
Any regret he felt when the red card was initially brandished will only have grown as his teammates pushed for a winner late on despite their numerical disadvantage. The Reds would surely have won were they not a man down for so long, something their big-money summer signing will do well to remember that the next time a cool head is required in a tricky game.
“I cannot believe how he thinks he’s going to get away with that!” 😤@Carra23 and @GNev2 take a closer look at Darwin Núñez’s moment of madness that saw the Liverpool man sent off 🟥 pic.twitter.com/thQh0HwLda
Okay, it is simply ludicrous to suggest that anything has been decided just two games into a new Premier League season.
But that doesn’t mean that Manchester City’s four-point lead over their perennial title rivals is not a hugely significant advantage, no matter what the time of year. These are two teams who have regularly collected 90+ points en route to sharing this pieces of silverware out in recent years because they so rarely slip up.
As such, two games in or not, Liverpool have already given themselves a mountain to climb in terms of overhauling Pep Guardiola’s men.
🗣️”That’s not how he should behave”
Jürgen Klopp reacts to Liverpool’s draw with Crystal Palace and Darwin Núñez’s red card 🟥 pic.twitter.com/j4zH1Uvveq
Sadio Mane’s six-month stint at centre-forward prior to his departure from Liverpool has resulted in Nunez being widely billed as his direct replacement. But the truth is, the Senegalese only moved out of his traditional left-wing slot last term because of the fine form of January signing Luis Diaz.
One of the main bright spots for the Reds on a dispiriting evening, the Colombian showed that he has every chance of continuing his bright start with a bravura strike that secured a share of the spoils. No matter what this season holds for Klopp’s side, Diaz is certain to play a key role.
FULL-TIME: Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace – All over at Anfield and that’s another two points dropped for Liverpool, whose proposed title charge has made a poor start. How different things could have been had Darwin Nunez not picked up a needless red card.
90mins: Five minutes added on – and Palace are hanging on despite their numerical advantage.
89mins: Fabio Carvalho whistles a volley past the post as Liverpool continue to push.
78mins: Palace should be back in front but Zaha can only hit the outside of the post as he dives at a delicious ball to the back stick. So unlucky!
Three subs for the visitors now, with Chris Richards, Luka Milivojevic and Will Huges entering the fray.
Liverpool, meanwhile, bring on Fabio Carvalho for Harvey Elliott.
“That is absolutely SENSATIONAL from Diaz!” 🔥
10-man Liverpool are level and what a stunning goal that is from the Colombian! 😮 pic.twitter.com/PtOz7v6tdO
71mins: Salah’s flick finds Alexander-Arnold’s dart in behind but that’s a full-back’s finish: high, wide and into the Kop end.
63mins: Klopp reacts by looking to his bench, with Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas coming on to replace James Milner, Nat Phillips and Andy Robertson respectively.
61mins: GOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace (Diaz) – Game on? Luis Diaz goes on a mazy run in off the left before smashing a brilliant effort in at the far post, beyond Guaita’s despairing dive. The ten men of Liverpool are level!
57mins: SENT OFF! Liverpool really facing an uphill battle now. Darwin Nunez receives his marching orders for a headbutt on Joachim Andersen as the pair clash following an exchange of words. So silly from the Uruguayan, who may have cost his team a chance of getting back into this.
A moment of madness from Darwin Núñez and he’s shown a straight red card! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/YAErzuuUKq
52mins: The Anfield crowd already becoming frustrated as Liverpool toil in the early stages of the second half. Palace doing their job perfectly.
46mins: The game gets back under way at Anfield with Liverpool needing to find another gear if they are to turn this around.
45+3mins: HALF TIME: Liverpool 0-1 Crystal Palace (Zaha 32′) – Wilfried Zaha’s goal separates the sides at the break; could Liverpool’s title charge be dealt yet another early blow here?
“The finish is absolutely out of this world” 🔥@Carra23 analyses Crystal Palace’s opener at Anfield 👇 pic.twitter.com/ggocCBWFlv
45+2mins: Elliott dinks one in behind for Nunez and his scuffed finish loops over Guaita… but comes back off the post! And Van Dijk completely skews his attempted follow-up as Palace hang on to their lead.
39mins: Diaz in the book for a petulant pull on Ayew’s shirt after he had been dispossessed. Liverpool now getting frustrated having dominated such long periods of this first half but finding themselves behind.
32mins: GOAL! Liverpool 0-1 Crystal Palace (32′ Zaha) – Well, Vieira will definitely say his plan is working now!
Zaha beats the Liverpool offside trap to latch onto a pass in behind from Eze and coolly pokes the ball home from the left-hand side to send the away end into raptures. What a finish!
29mins: A brilliant chip in behind from Alexander-Arnold allows Salah to head goalward but his effort is weak and easily saved.
It’s still all Liverpool but, as long as the score stays as it is, Patrick Vieira would argue his plan is working.
22mins: Salah runs onto a low Alexander-Arnold cross and opens up his body… but it’s not enough and he sidefoots the ball past the wrong side of the post.
Liverpool in charge but Palace doing just enough to keep them at bay so far.
17mins: A first real test of surprise starter Nat Phillips as the dangerous Zaha attempts to exploit space in behind him, but it’s coolly done by the Liverpool man, who steps across to pinch the ball.
9mins: Liverpool in dominant mood here early doors and they go close as Harvey Elliott drops a shoulder and gets a shot away after latching onto a loose ball. He is, though, denied by a fine block and Palace hold on.
1min: Wilfried Zaha gets things underway for Crystal Palace.
10 minutes to kickoff: The atmosphere building nicely now at Anfield. It says a lot about the standards of recent Premier League title races that it already feels like Liverpool can’t afford a second consecutive slip-up here if they are to challenge Manchester City.
30 minutes to kickoff: With both Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip missing out due to fresh injuries tonight, Liverpool now have nine players on the sidelines.
Along with the aforementioned pair, Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Caoimhin Kelleher, Calvin Ramsay and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also out of action.
40 minutes to kickoff: So, after making a huge impact off the bench during a difficult afternoon for Liverpool at Fulham, Darwin Nunez gets the nod up front today.
The Uruguayan impressed at this stadium last season with Benfica – can he do the same in a red shirt?
1 hour to kickoff: And here’s the Crystal Palace starting line-up, which features former Red Nathaniel Clyne.
Our starting XI to take on Liverpool tonight ❤️💙#CPFC | #LIVCRY
1 hour to kickoff: A surprise start for Nat Phillips, with Joe Gomez deemed only fit enough for the bench as Joel Matip and Ibou Konate both miss out through injury.
Our line-up to face @CPFC tonight at Anfield 👊
Firmino (precaution) and Matip (muscle strain) miss out. #LIVCRY
1 hour 10 minutes to kickoff: Liverpool have won their last five meetings with Crystal Palace at Anfield in the Premier League but it is worth remembering that today’s visitors were once something of a bogey team for their hosts. Between 2015 and 2017, the Eagles won three games on the bounce at this ground in the top-flight.
1 hour 30 minutes to kickoff: Will the cover star of Liverpool’s matchday programme make it into their starting XI today?
Tonight’s matchday programme 🤩#LIVCRY pic.twitter.com/fdKkvIBgZI
1 hour 45 minutes to kickoff: Merseyside has been blessed with some fine weather today but the players will be glad to see temperatures dropping to more reasonable levels as we approach the start of the match. The perks of playing on a Monday evening after a scorching weekend of Premier League action.
2 hours to kickoff: Hello and welcome to today’s clash between Liverpool and Crystal Palace. It’s a first game of the season at Anfield for the Reds and a chance to get their first victory of 2022/23 following that entertaining draw with Fulham on matchday one.
Liverpool have been hit with further injury blows ahead of their meeting with Crystal Palace, leading to a shock start for Nat Phillips.
The Englishman comes in to replace Joel Matip, who joins fellow centre-back Ibrahima Konate on the sidelines, while Joe Gomez is only fit enough for the bench.
Roberto Firmino is also absent as a precaution, while Thiago, Caoimhin Kelleher, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calvin Ramsay and Diogo Jota are all still out.
Liverpool lineup (4-3-3): Alisson (GK) — Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Phillips, Robertson — Elliott, Fabinho, Milner — Salah, Nunez, Diaz
Liverpool subs (9): Adrian (GK), Gomez, Keita, Henderson, Tsimikas, Carvalho, Clark, Bajcetic, Van Den Berg
Patrick Vieira makes one change to his starting line-up for Monday’s trip to Liverpool, swapping a defender for an attacker as he looks to stifle the opposition at Anfield.
Odsonne Edouard is the man to miss out, Joel Ward replacing him as the Eagles go with a back five.
Crystal Palace lineup (5-4-1): Guaita (GK) — Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Ward, Mitchell — Eze, Doucoure, Schlupp, Zaha — Ayew
Crystal Palace subs (9): Johnstone (GK), Olise, Milivojevic, Hughes, Ebiowei, Richards, Plange, Edouard, Mateta
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Liverpool play host to Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, UK. It kicks off at 8 p.m. BST on Monday, August 15.
USA Network, Universo
UK: The match will be carried by Sky Sports TV and streaming platforms.
USA: The Matchweek 2 contest from Anfield will be televised by both USA Network and Universo in the USA. Both channels can be streamed on fuboTV.
Canada: Every Premier League game streams live and on demand exclusively via fuboTV.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream all Premier League matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.