Gary Neville accused Darwin Nunez of stupidity, while Jamie Carragher said his actions were hugely costly as he was shown a straight red card in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night.
Making his Anfield debut, the big-money summer signing lost his temper with the Reds 1-0 down to the Eagles in the second half.
The Uruguayan forward was tussling with Palace centre-back Joachim Andersen and flicked his head back towards the face of the defender.
The Dane was not impressed and pushed Nunez in the back, prompting the striker to turn around and land a clear headbutt into the face of the Palace man, deservedly producing a straight red card from the referee.
It was an impressive result for Patrick Vieira’s side and a second draw from two games for Jurgen Klopp’s, but Manchester United hero Gary Neville believes the idiocy of Nunez was the main story.
‘Tonight the story is Nunez,’ Neville told Sky Sports. ‘Not just the second headbutt, but the first one, then to have a go again.
‘You usually get a coming together and there’s a little one, but he’s properly gone for it.
‘There’s no history of that at Benfica, he’s not been sent off there. That’s the stupidity of tonight. He’s a young player and it’s a steep learning curve for him tonight.’
Neville added: ‘It’s a moment of madness. You’ll feel that. That’s a proper butt to the underside of the nose.’
Asked if the red card from Nunez was costly for Liverpool, Reds legend Carragher said: ‘Hugely. It’s been a terrible start for Liverpool points-wise.
‘I actually thought Liverpool were outstanding tonight in the first half before the Palace goal and how they reacted to going down to 10 men.
‘Draws are defeats now. We know the bar has been raised so far now by Manchester City and Liverpool in the last few years.
‘You’re giving yourself a tough thing to catch one of the greatest teams we’ve ever seen in the Premier League. A really poor start to the season points-wise.’
Carragher added on Nunez: ‘He’s let himself down, he’s also let his team down there. If he had been on the pitch, I’m sure Liverpool would have possibly won the game.’
Wilfried Zaha opened the scoring against the run of play in the first half, with Nunez seeing red with the Reds still a goal behind.
Luis Diaz equalised with a stunning goal shortly after, but the home side could not pinch a winner.
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