Jurgen Klopp said Darwin Nunez was ‘provoked’ into a red card headbutt against Crystal Palace.
The Uruguayan had scored one and assisted another in his Premier League debut last week against Fulham, and manager Klopp had warned before kick off that he may be judged prematurely.
However he made the opposite impression on Monday night when he was sent off for an off-the-ball incident after 57 minutes.
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Palace’s Joachim Andersen went down, prompting the referee to show a straight red to Nunez, as the Liverpool striker had headbutted his opponent.
At the time, Liverpool were trailing to Wilfried Zaha’s first half goal, though they would equalise through Luis Diaz four minutes after Nunez was sent down the tunnel.
Speaking after the match, Klopp said: "It was a really good start, exactly what we wanted, showing a lot of desire, it was all there.
"We were then unlucky in situations. The game plan for Palace was obviously to have five at the back, get men behind the ball and go for the counter attack. It is difficult with the speed of Zaha.
"The second half again started positive, but getting the red card was a knockback."

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez (2nd L) is sent off from the pitch by referee Paul Tierney (L) after committing a foul during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield stadium, in Liverpool, north

Image credit: Getty Images

Klopp admitted Nunez deserved to go, but said his striker was provoked. Andersen had shoved Nunez in the back at the start of their encounter.
“Of course it was a red, he was provoked but that is not how he should behave,” he explained.
However, he was ultimately pleased with the point.
"Then we equalise four mins later,” he continued. “With 10 men, putting in such an effort. My real feeling now is that I am proud."
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