Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez has received his first red card just 57 minutes into his Premier League debut against Crystal Palace. Reds secured the signing of the 23-year-old Uruguayan from Benfica in June for a record fee of 85 million GBP. Nunez was expected to make a much-needed impact for Liverpool after the departure of Sadio Mane. However, nobody thought that impact would be on the chest of Palace’s centre-back Joachim Anderson.
Nunez was sent off after flattening Anderson with a headbutt while Liverpool was 0-1 down. It became tricky for the Reds without the main striker at the front, but the winger Luis Diaz came forward with an equalizer to draw the match. There was no sympathy for Nunez, on and off the field, as Liverpool failed to win its first 2 opening matches for the first time in more than 10 years.
The forward is now reportedly suspended for 3 games, leaving the team without a main man in the goal. Anderson called the headbutt “really stupid” as he was just doing his job, which was to annoy strikers. Football fans also took to social media to make fun of the player who was just starting to get the taste of the Premier League.
Darwin Nunez Needs to Focus on his Game
The video of Darwin Nunez hitting Anderson showed how the defender was moving close to the striker. He also applied physical pressure to frustrate Nunez and succeeded. The Reds player was annoyed by him and tried to hit him once but missed the target. Anderson warned him to refrain from such behaviour, but he went ahead and hit him again. This time he did not miss, and Anderson went crashing to the ground, resulting in a no-brainer for the referee.
The critics of the Uruguayan saw this as an opportunity to troll him for his performance since the pre-season. Nunez has yet to impress Liverpool fans, who are furious over the expensive signing, which has produced poor results. Many made fun of his tendency to miss goal-scoring opportunities and associated that with his double-attempt to hit Anderson.
Walked Right Into It
The reason why Darwin Nunez is facing so much backlash is that physical pressure is a part of the game, and players must adapt to that. In Premier League, that pressure is taken up a notch considering the level of competition. Fans think that it would be best for him to adjust to the English league as soon as he can instead of getting frustrated. Otherwise, defenders can use his temper to trap him again for a Red Card as Anderson did.
Reenacting the Infamous Exchange from the 2006 World Cup Final
Darwin Nunez also reminded the football world of the iconic moment between Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi at the 2006 World Cup Final. The Italian defender invoked the wrath of the Frenchman after passing a derogatory comment about his sister. Zidane imploded and immediately struck down Metarazzi to receive a Red Card in the final match of his career. France went on to lose the World Cup to Italy.
The biggest controversy in football was also immortalised in a statue installed at Qatar Museum. It was removed in 2013 for “glorifying violence” but came back for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.