Liverpool went to down to 10 men after Darwin Núñez reacted poorly to provocation from Palace’s Jaochim Anderson.
While imperfect even prior to the red card, manager Jürgen Klopp was much more positive on the performance in comparison to last week’s efforts:
“Really good start to the game — exactly what we wanted. A lot of football [was] exactly the kind of football we want.
And then getting the red card, and of course it’s a red card, that’s not what he should do.
Massive game from us against the 10 men, putting in such an effort.”
Asked to reflect on how he felt post-match, Klopp was perhaps surprisingly positive, telling pundits, “The real feeling I have at the moment is that I’m proud.”
The Reds had an uphill battle before kick-off, as Liverpool’s injury list is quite lengthy.
Per Klopp, “It was like there was a witch in the building, every time you turned around someone else had an issue.”
In terms of the challenge in front of the Reds after the first home match kicked off, the adjustments Liverpool made in-game were not solely in response to Núñez’s sending off. According to Klopp, some of the passing early on was poorly suited for Palace’s defensive setup, as the Reds made it a bit too easy for the 5-4 set-up to release the pressure.
“We needed more direction to get behind the five men, and that was the importance,” said Klopp. “Before, all they needed to do was clear it.”
Once Liverpool looked to exert more control and make smarter choices, they looked more likely than the Eagles to make it two goals.
As for Núñez, the manager chose not to admonish the striker to the press:
“He knows [how much he let his teammates down] himself, and that it’s not what we want to see.
We will use [his suspension] for physical work, not as punishment, but just to make him stronger.”
A Liverpool player last received a straight red when Alisson was sent off against Brighton in 2019 after playing the ball with his hands outside of his area as a last man.