Darwin Nunez: Liverpool’s star signing branded ‘really stupid’ by Joachim Andersen for shock Anfield headbutt

·2-min read
Darwin Nunez: Liverpool’s star signing branded ‘really stupid’ by Joachim Andersen for shock Anfield headbutt

Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen branded Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez “really stupid” after the forward was sent off on his Anfield debut for a headbutt during last night’s 1-1 draw.

Nunez, a £64million summer signing from Benfica, had scored off the bench in impressive cameos against Manchester City in the Community Shield and at Craven Cottage in the Reds’ Premier League opener against Fulham, and with Roberto Firmino missing was handed his first start by Jurgen Klopp on Monday.

However, the 23-year-old’s night ended prematurely when he was shown a straight red card by referee Paul Tierney just shy of the hour mark for a ridiculous headbutt on Palace centre-back Andersen off the ball.

“The whole game I sat really close to him, I annoyed him a lot and did well against him,” Andersen said. “I think that’s why he was angry with me.

“He headbutted me, the first one, at a cross, and I told him he shouldn’t do that. I was angry with him. Then he did it again which is, for me, is really stupid, so it’s a clear red card.”

At the point of Nunez’s departure, the Eagles led 1-0 thanks to Wilfried Zaha’s superb counter-attacking goal, which had come completely against the run of play midway through the first half.

However, the red card galvanised Klopp’s side and the Anfield crowd, and just four minutes later Luis Diaz scored a sensational equaliser to earn a share of the points.

“It was a good point,” Anderson told Viaplay. “It’s so difficult to come to Anfield and play against this team. I’m still a little bit disappointed because it’s 1-0 and we are a man up and then they score a goal like that. Brilliant from Diaz but, to be honest, we need to close him down. He was four against one, he drew four guys so we need to close that down.

Darwin Nunez was sent off on his home Liverpool debut for headbutting Joachim Andersen (Reuters)
Darwin Nunez was sent off on his home Liverpool debut for headbutting Joachim Andersen (Reuters)

“For the rest, I think we defended like warriors. We don’t concede many chances, we fight in the box, we squeeze, we fight with everything we know.

“We wanted to play a little bit more on the ball. Especially after the red card, we didn’t do well enough on the ball, but you know how well Liverpool press, it’s so difficult. I know it’s so easy to see from the outside but on the pitch it’s not easy.”