Liverpool’s impressive start to the Premier League season continued as they went without a win after two matches which saw prized signing Darwin Nunes red carded.
The Reds could only manage a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Anfield on Monday, leading to a 2-2 draw at Fulham on the opening weekend.
And with star striker Nunes given his marching orders, Jurgen Klopp’s side now faces a complication after already four points behind Manchester City in the title race.
Why did Darwin Nunes get a red card?
Referee Paul Tierney showed Nunes a straight red card in the 57th minute after the striker brought down Palace defender Joachim Anderson with the Reds 1-0 down.
After being pushed from behind by Andersen, Nunes turned and headbutted the Danish center-half, knocking him to the ground.
There was no doubt that Tierney was right to show the Uruguayan a red card.
It completed a nightmare Anfield debut for Nunes, who struggled to make an impact on the match before leaving his side with 10 men and a goal deficit.
Fortunately for him, Liverpool equalized through Luis Diaz four minutes after his red card, but the Reds would probably have won had they played their full complement on the pitch.
“I can’t believe how he thinks he’s going to get away with it!” 😤@Carra23 & @GNev2 take a closer look at the moment of madness from Darwin News that saw the Liverpool man leave 🟥 pic.twitter.com/thQh0HwLda
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 15, 2022
What did Jurgen Klopp say about Darwin Nunez’s red card?
“Then getting a red card — now of course it’s a red card and it happened,” Klopp said after the match. “He was provoked all the time but his behavior was not.
“He knows now himself [that he’s let his teammates down] I’ll talk to him. When I talk about it a lot in public now, it doesn’t mean anything. You Watch it. This is not exactly the reaction you want to see.
“Challenges from center-half — they’ll do that to him. They want to get him. He’s a handful himself. That’s not a reaction.
“I don’t know how long he’s going to be suspended. That’s the situation. So we’re going to use him for physical work. Not as a punishment, but to make him stronger. And that’s what we’re going to try.”
How long is Darwin Nunes’ suspension?
Nunez will be banned for at least three English domestic matches for the headbutt on Anderson, an offense classed as ‘violent conduct’.
The FA may choose to impose further punishment but it is unlikely that this is the player’s first red card offense of the season.
What games will Darwin Nunes miss?
If he receives a three-game ban, Nunez will miss the blockbuster derby against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday, August 22 – with both teams looking for their first win of the Premier League season.
The Uruguayan will also miss the Premier League matches against Bournemouth (home) and Newcastle (home).
He will return for the Merseyside derby against Everton at Goodison Park on September 3.
How will Liverpool replace Darwin Nunez?
While the Reds squad is full of attacking options, it will be difficult to replace Nunez due to injury problems.
Diego Jota will not be available for the game against Manchester United due to a nagging hamstring injury in pre-season.
Roberto Firmino missed the Palace game as a ‘precaution’ as the exact nature of his injury is currently unknown.
However, with a full week between Palace and United’s matches, the Brazilian could be available.
Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz will be available to play as two of the front three attackers.