Darwin Nunez ‘tried TOO hard’ on his Liverpool home debut, NBC pundit Robbie Earle insists…
- Darwin Nunez was sent off after 57 minutes of Anfield debut when Liverpool tied 1-1
- Nunez will miss the next three games, including Manchester United’s on August 22
- Liverpool are two points, four behind leaders Manchester City
Liverpool’s slow start to the season continued on Monday with a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace, with Darwin Nunez attracting $102 million in the summer and making an Anfield debut to be soon forgotten.
That draw now means the Reds have taken just two points from two games after a 2-2 result at Fulham in the opening weekend.
Nunez’s home debut was marred by a red card after a headbutt to Palace defender Joachim Anderson.
Darwin Nunez was sent off after a headbutt from Crystal Palace defender Joachim Anderson
“It’s stupid, it’s ridiculous, there’s no excuse for it,” said NBC Sports pundit Danny Higginbotham.
Fellow analyst Robbie Earle believed Nunez’s intention throughout the night was admirable, but that he was too deep in his own mind and “trying too hard.”
“It seemed to me like he was a player who was trying too hard to show the Liverpool players how good he is,” he said after the game in the US.
Robbie Earle believes Liverpool’s new striker was sucked in by Palace’s cunning centre-back
“He’s going to be a great player, we saw that last week. If he finds his footing in this Liverpool team, he’s going to score goals, but he has to learn and understand that the Premier League is not just about physicality, it’s about provocation.
“He’s what I call old pro’ed, an old pro talked to him, prodded him and pushed him and he reacted in a way the old pro wanted him to.
“I thought today was a disappointing day for him when we all expected so much.”
The Uruguayan tried to argue his case with referee Paul Tierney, but to no avail
Nunez missed a glorious chance to equalize with his striking shot on the post on the eve of half-time.
While the Reds were numerically disadvantaged after the Uruguayan left, NBC analyst Danny Higginbotham believed the Anfield club was more dangerous after he left the field.
“The game turned upside down after that and Liverpool seemed most likely and if you go back during the match it’s like Liverpool were trying to play too hard on Nunez’s strengths,” he said.
“Suddenly he goes off the pitch, Liverpool goes back to what Liverpool were before and how we’ve seen them over the past few seasons.
Danny Higginbotham believes there is simply ‘no excuse’ for Nunez’s headbutt on Anderson
“I think that is food for thought for the future. Obviously Liverpool will now be without Nunez for a while, but the transition to get him into the team and the players who are adapted to him seems to take time. “
The Merseysiders are already adrift at the top of the Premier League, four points behind last season’s champions and runaway favorite Manchester City.
“There is a sense of frustration,” Higginbotham added at Liverpool’s start to the season.
“The most important thing for Jurgen Klopp, it is very difficult to improve their starting eleven, City has done that. I am not convinced that Liverpool did that.
Nunez had to be led away by James Milner as he struggled to contain his frustrations
The away team could have taken all three points after a number of good chances.
Despite the missed opportunity, Palace manager Patrick Viera would have been ecstatic with the result after an opening day defeat to Arsenal.
“Thanks to Palace, Patrick had a plan,” Earle said in the aftermath of the match.
Liverpool are 12th in the Premier League standings, two points ahead of the relegation zone where Everton, Manchester United and West Ham are.
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Viera set his team up superbly in the 1-1 draw away from home