Sports pundit Gary Neville called Darwin Nunez’s red card a “moment of madness” while Jamie Carragher deemed the situation a “nightmare” for Liverpool.
Luis Diaz salvaged a 1-1 draw for Liverpool against Crystal Palace at Anfield despite Nunez having been sensationally sent off for a headbutt on his full debut. Wilfried Zaha’s first-half goal had given Palace the lead against the run of play and when Nunez reacted foolishly to a push from Joachim Andersen.
Neville said Nunez could have no complaints about the red card but sympathised with the Uruguay striker for “his moment of madness” having been in that situation himself as a player when he completely lost his head.
He said: “It’s a moment of madness. It’s a proper butt, Andersen will feel that.
“We don’t know why he’s done it. I’ve done two or three things like this in my career. We don’t know why we react. We have no idea. We go off and think ‘what did I just do’ – honestly. I kicked a ball at a fan at Everton and did a similar thing in a game against Steve McManaman. It’s that red mist. It comes over you.
“When you get sent off like that it’s the loneliest place in the world. You might have a kit man with you but it’s horrible. You are in that dressing room and your team-mates are out on the pitch. You’ve left them down and you feel so bad. You don’t need to say too much to a player that has been sent off as it’s awful anyway and they take responsibility. I’m sure he’d have gone around the dressing room to apologise. The rest of the lads in that dressing room will pick him up as it’s a good dressing room.”
“It’s a nightmare start for him as a player at Liverpool, it’s a nightmare for Jurgen Klopp as he is trying to integrate him into a new team. The issue wasn’t tonight, the problem is how long it will be until he is back in the team as he’ll likely only be on the bench after the suspension to get up to speed so it could be five or six weeks until we see him back in the Liverpool starting XI.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “I’ve seen it back, that’s of course a red card. He was provoked all the time but that’s not how he should behave.
“I will talk to him, it makes no sense when I talk too much about it in public. It’s not the reaction you want to see. The centre-halves in the Premier League will do that to him, he’s a handful himself.”
Liverpool midfielder James Milner:
“I didn’t see the incident [Nunez’s red card]. He is going to be disappointed in that. We have to get around him and rally. He will learn from it. The team reacted well and the ground did and got behind us. We could have nicked it but it wasn’t to be. Good teams react to disappointments and stick together. You see the readiness for the season and the fight. We have had a tough week and preparations have not been ideal. Nobody can deny we have fighting spirit.
“Sometimes you need a moment of brilliance and when you have players like Luis on the pitch, he can create something out of nothing. It was an incredible goal. Hopefully there will be many more.”