Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Darwin Nunez will have plenty of time to learn from his red card for headbutting Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen in their 1-1 Premier League draw at Anfield.
The Uruguay international, who arrived in the summer for a potential club-record £85 million fee, was dismissed early in the second half for flooring the Eagles centre back after the two had tangled with each other all night.
Klopp pointed to the provocation the striker had received but accepted there were no excuses for his reaction and the three-match ban he will now serve — missing matches against Manchester United, Bournemouth and Newcastle — will give the 23-year-old the opportunity for reflection.
“Of course, I will speak with him,” said the manager. “Provocation and definitely wrong reaction, he will learn off that. Unfortunately he has now three games to do that. It is not cool for us but it is how it is.
“I came in and wanted to see the situation — in the game I could not see anything so I could know what happened: I saw Andersen on the floor and Darwin walking away.
“Then I saw it — yes it is a red card. Wrong reaction in the situation. Andersen wanted that, he got it but he (Nunez) made a mistake.”
Liverpool actually improved when they went down to 10 men and a brilliant goal from Luis Diaz, waltzing past five players before firing home from 25 yards to equaliser Wilfried Zaha’s first-half breakaway goal, salvaged a point.
But they could have done without Nunez’s enforced absence for the next couple of weeks as the injury crisis continues to grow with Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino missing against Palace and Joe Gomez on the bench as he was not fit to play a full match.
With midfielders Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, defenders Ibrahima Konate and Calvin Ramsay and forward Diogo Jota and backup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher all unavailable, the last thing Klopp needed was an unnecessary suspension to add to the list.
“The week was crazy; I have experienced a lot of weeks but that was like we had a witch in the building,” added Klopp.
“Honestly, like every day somebody else pulled out (of training) for the craziest reasons.
“Joel will be two weeks. We will see with that. Joey didn’t start because he only trained yesterday again as at the start of the week, (he had) a little issue.
“Bobby (Firmino) couldn’t make it. Hendo (Jordan Henderson) this morning, we got the information there was a little concern about something if he plays too long, so he didn’t play that long.
“That’s the situation. It was not too cool.”
Palace boss Patrick Vieira was satisfied with a draw, having had just 27 per cent possession and three shots on target.
“We could have won it. We could have lost it as well,” he said.
“Of course I’m pleased with the point but even more with the quality that we showed today. We showed sides of the game that we need to show more often.”