After Darwin Nunez was shown a straight red card for a headbutt during Liverpool’s draw with Crystal Palace on Monday, his manager Jurgen Klopp says: ‘It is absolutely not the reaction you want to see.’
The summer signing from Benfica had a moment of madness on his debut at Anfield, with his side 1-0 behind and pushing for an equaliser.
While tussling with Palace defender Joachim Anderson, the Uruguayan threw his head backwards towards the Dane’s face, then when the Eagles centre-back shoved him, Nunez turned around and headbutted him in the nose.
It was a clear red card, right in front of the referee and Klopp, despite noting that his forward was being provoked, did not defend his striker.
‘I saw it now back and it’s an obvious red card,’ Klopp told Sky Sports. ‘He was provoked all the time, but that’s not what you should do, not how you should behave.’
‘It is absolutely not the reaction you want to see. The challenge from the centre-back in the Premier League, they will do that to you. He is a handful himself. That’s not the reaction.’
Nunez will not be suspended for three games, which will not help Liverpool while they struggle with a number of early-season injuries, although Klopp suggested that Roberto Firmino could return for the next match against Manchester United on Monday night.
While Nunez is out, Klopp said he will be in the gym, explaining: ‘I don’t know how long he will be suspended. We will use it now for physical work, not as punishment, just to make him even stronger, that’s what we will try.’
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