Liverpool walked away from their second match of the Premier League season and first at Anfield disappointed by a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, but the biggest talking point and probably biggest disappointment for many wasn’t the final scoreline.
Instead, it was Darwin Nuñez loss of control as he ended a personally frustrating night with a red card for headbutting Palace’s Joachim Andersen. Teammate Virgil van Dijk, though, says it’s an incident the Reds’ expensive new signing will learn from.
“Obviously he was disappointed and also probably with himself,” Liverpool’s star centre half noted following the match. “It’s a learning curve but obviously we will always back him. He’s got the backing from us and he knows it should not happen again.
“He has to control himself, definitely. I think that’s a separate thing, he has to manage himself, he has to know that these things can happen, especially in the Premier League. Like I say, it will be a learning curve and hopefully it will never happen again.”
While Nuñez’ frustrations on a night of missed chances for the Reds appeared to boil over in the second half, that he had been involved in creating as much as he did before then is the silver lining that hopefully he can grasp on to now and build off of.
He recorded five shots and two clear cut chances in his time on the pitch and continues to produce attacking threat at a world class rate. Now he just needs to put the pieces together—and figure out how to stay calm when things aren’t going his way.
The same might be said of the team as a whole, though, with Liverpool creating far more in attack than their opponents in a draw for the second game in a row, but for Van Dijk the silver lining there is in their reaction to going down a goal and man.
“I think with ten men we played outstanding,” he added. “We put them under pressure, we took a lot of risk because we had to score the equaliser and were hoping to get the winner. It’s hard with ten for sure but we’re disappointed to not get the win.”