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Liverpool 1-1 Crystal Palace: Luis Diaz equaliser after Darwin Nunez is sent off for a headbutt salvages point for Reds

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Luis Diaz salvaged a 1-1 draw for Liverpool against Crystal Palace at Anfield despite Darwin Nunez having been sensationally sent off for a headbutt on his full debut.

Wilfried Zaha’s first-half goal had given Palace the lead against the run of play and when Nunez reacted foolishly to a push from Joachim Andersen, Jurgen Klopp’s side looked set for a miserable defeat in their first home game of the Premier League season.

With his team needing something special, Diaz provided it with a fine solo goal that completely altered the mood at Anfield. It was the impressive Palace who came closest to a winner when Zaha struck the post but the draw means both sides remain winless this season.

But the Reds could have done without Nunez’s forthcoming three-game ban as the injury crisis continues to grow with Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino missing against Palace.

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Meanwhile midfielders Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, defenders Ibrahima Konate and Calvin Ramsay and forward Diogo Jota and back-up goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher are all likely to be unavailable for Monday’s trip to Manchester United, live on Sky Sports.

Speaking about the injury situation, Klopp said: “The week was crazy; I have experienced a lot of weeks but that was like we had a witch in the building.

“It’s not the start we wanted but that’s the least of my problems because it’s really tricky at the moment with injuries. We have to use the next week to maybe bring one or two back. We lost Darwin today which doesn’t help but Bobby (Firmino) might be ready for next week. It’s not a concern, it’s just a start.”

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How the drama at Anfield unfolded

Liverpool had dominated the first half an hour but Zaha’s breakaway strike after excellent work by Eberechi Eze shocked them. Nat Phillips, the defender making his first Premier League start for 16 months, struggled to cope with the Palace counter-attacks.

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Zaha might even have doubled the advantage soon after when eluding Phillips once more but his heavy touch allowed Alisson to smother. Liverpool had to wait for stoppage time until their best chance of the first half when Nunez hit the post with a mistimed shot.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen baited Darwin Nunez into getting sent off, but admitted Nunez’s reaction was wrong

The Uruguayan’s fortunes did not improve. Whether inexperience, frustration, or both, his red card was so rash and though the supporters in the Kop chanted his name, it was a costly error. The only consolation was that his team-mates responded in adversity.

None more so than Diaz.

His goal was brilliant, collecting the ball out wide on the left before cutting inside beyond three Palace defenders and curling his shot into the far corner of the net. But it was more than the goal. His appetite to win the ball back lifted the crowd.

Liverpool pushed for the winner, Mohamed Salah and substitute Fabio Carvalho both going close. But, down to 10 men, there were gaps for Palace to exploit. Had Zaha found the other side of the post late on, Patrick Vieira would have felt it was a deserved win.

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For Liverpool, the gap to Manchester City is four points already.

“It’s been a terrible start points-wise, but I thought they were outstanding tonight with the way they reacted with 10 men. Draws are defeats now as Manchester City set the bar so high.

“To give City a four-point head start, yes there is a long way to go, it’s a tough act to catch one of the greatest teams in the Premier League.”

Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez was shown a straight red card for a headbutt

“The story tonight is Nunez, not only the first headbutt, but to then go again.

“He’s properly gone for Andersen. There has been no history of that at Benfica, he didn’t get sent off there. That’s the stupidity tonight. It will be a steep learning curve for him. It’s a moment of madness. It’s a proper butt, Andersen will feel that.

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“We don’t know why he’s done it. I’ve done two or three things like this in my career. We don’t know why we react. We have no idea. We go off and think ‘what did I just do’ – honestly. I kicked a ball at a fan at Everton and did a similar thing in a game against Steve McManaman. It’s that red mist. It comes over you.”

Jurgen Klopp talked of witchcraft given the number of injuries at Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on injury crisis:

“The real feeling I have at the moment is I’m proud because everything went against us during the week. It was crazy, it was like there was a witch in the building. Putting in a performance in the circumstances, I’m really proud of that.

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“It’s not the start we wanted but that’s the least of my problems because it’s really tricky at the moment with injuries. We have to use the next week to maybe bring one or two back. We lost Darwin today which doesn’t help but Bobby (Firmino) might be ready for next week. It’s not a concern, it’s just a start.”

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira discussed his team’s performance against Liverpool

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira on the point:

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“There are a lot of teams coming to Liverpool that would be happy with a point, but today we played a really good game collectively and I’m pleased with the point.

“Overall we kept our organisation and discipline. It’s a really tough place to come and perform. We created some really good chances, in a difficult period we stuck together and defended well. It was a really good team performance, I’m really happy with the team.”

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Olise’s late strike gets Palace point against United

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Michael Olise has helped Crystal Palace get a point against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

The midfielder’s late strike in extra-time, 91′, levelled the game against United, who had controlled the lead since the 43rd minute of the first half after Bruno Fernandes’ fine finish put the Red Devils ahead just before the break.

A relentless Olise scored from a free kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. The equalising goal saw United’s dream of replacing defending EPL champions City in the second place on the league table, fade away, as they remain third with 39 points, having played a game more than City.

Crystal Palace remains in 12th place with 23 points.

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Atletico Madrid head coach speaks on leaving Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid head coach, Diego Simeone, has insisted that nobody has personally told him to leave the club.

Rumours have persisted that Simeone, 52, could be set to end this 11-year stay at Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

However, the Argentine has now stated that no one at the club has asked him to quit the La Liga giants.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie with Levante on Wednesday night, Simeone said when asked about reports suggesting he would leave the club at the end of the season: “No one has personally asked me to leave.”

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However, having already been eliminated from UEFA Champions League and sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, the Copa del Rey is Atletico Madrid’s last realistic opportunity for a trophy this season.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Simeone’s side, as they sit fourth in the league.

Simeone added, “The boys are enthusiastic to reverse this situation that we have experienced since the break and prior to the World Cup. It’s been a regular to a bad season. For me, there is growth after the break, hopefully, we will continue in that line.”

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EPL: Frank Lampard won’t run away – Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips has backed his former teammate, Frank Lampard to stay at Goodison Park and turn things around.

Wright-Phillips said his former team-mate does not run away from challenges such as Everton is facing now but would face them squarely

Lampard is in danger of being sacked any moment from now after yet another defeat on Friday.

Everton crashed out of the FA Cup on Friday after they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Frank Lampard has now led Toffees to six defeats in their last seven matches and they have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and are currently 18th in the Premier League.

“Frank Lampard has always been a player and a person that won’t run away from things not going well,” Wright-Phillips told the BBC.

“He is the type of person to try and solve it or try and make the situation a lot better…”

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