Jurgen Klopp has said he will speak with Darwin Nunez after the big-money striker was sent off as Liverpool drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace on Monday.
The Uruguayan had already endured a frustrating home debut after having five shots with none on target, before seeing red both figuratively and literally just before the hour as he threw his head into Joachim Andersen’s face after the Dane shoved him.
Liverpool dominated proceedings at Anfield despite playing more than a third of the game with 10 men, but were frustrated by a resolute Palace side who could have even taken all three points after Wilfried Zaha missed a late chance.
Zaha gave the visitors the lead in the first half after running onto a through ball from Eberechi Eze and placing his finish past Alisson into the far right corner.
Luis Diaz equalised for Liverpool shortly after Nunez’s dismissal, beating several players down the left side before cutting inside and smashing a shot into the same corner of the net Zaha had found earlier.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Klopp said Nunez knew he made a mistake, but added he will have to get used to the physicality of defending in the Premier League and react accordingly.
“He knows that now himself [that he made a mistake] and I will talk to him,” the Reds boss said. “It doesn’t make too much sense that I speak about it in public. It is absolutely not the reaction you want to see. Centre halves in the Premier League will do that to him, he’s a handful himself and yeah, that’s not the reaction.”
Klopp was happier with the contribution of his other South American forward, Diaz, whose goal brought Anfield to life as the hosts tried to force a winner, with Mohamed Salah and substitute Fabio Carvalho both hitting volleys narrowly wide in the closing stages.
“Luis played a super game, especially after the goal, he played like three or four players,” Klopp added. “Incredible goal and of course, we needed that, then we had from the edge [of the penalty area] two nice opportunities, one with Fabio, one with Mo, but in the end it’s a point.”
The German coach was philosophical despite the fact his team still await their first win of the season, and already sit four points behind rivals Manchester City in the Premier League table.
Klopp has a number of players missing through injury, including Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip, meaning Nat Phillips had to start in defence with Joe Gomez only fit enough for a late cameo from the bench, while Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are also currently unavailable.
“[A point is] not exactly what we wanted before the game of course but after this game and all the things that happened, we have to take it,” he said.
“Honestly, the real feeling I have in the moment is I’m proud. Everything that went against us in the week is crazy, it was like a witch was in the building. Every time somebody else had [injury] problems, and putting in such a performance, especially in the circumstances, I am really proud of that.”