After the first red card for an assault in his almost seven-year tenure at Liverpool FC, Jürgen Klopp addressed clear words to villain Darwin Núñez. There was a provocation, but it was definitely “the wrong reaction”. He will have a clear conversation with him, according to the successful German coach. “He has to learn from it. Unfortunately, he now has three games to do so. It’s not cool for us, but it is what it is,” said Klopp after the disappointing 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on Monday evening. “You shouldn’t behave like that.”
The Uruguayan, for whom Liverpool are said to have transferred €75m plus potential bonus payments to Benfica in the summer, was tempted to headbutt Joachim Andersen. Outnumbered, the Reds only managed to equalize. With that, the English Cup winners got off to a false start with two draws from their first two games.
Núñez hits the post
At the start there was a 2-2 win at Fulham for the title co-favourite. The championship runners-up are now four points behind Manchester City. Unlike Liverpool, the champions started the season with two wins. But Klopp remained calm despite the unsuccessful start, at least in this respect. He’s “don’t worry, it’s just the start,” said the Reds team manager: “If we have two points at the end of May, it’s difficult, but right now it’s okay.”
He was “primarily proud given the circumstances,” emphasized Klopp after a “crazy week.” It was like a curse in the house.” The 55-year-old alluded to Thiago and Roberto Firmino’s injuries. At Liverpool’s Anfield Road, Crystal Palace surprisingly scored the opening goal with the first shot on goal. Wilfried Zaha (32nd) was allowed to celebrate after a counterattack. Newcomer Núñez (45th) only hit the post for the highly superior Liverpool.
After the change, the Reds were outnumbered. A little later, however, Liverpool equalized: Luis Diaz (61st) scored after a solo and caused celebrations. But it was no longer enough for the first win of the season in the Premier League. After the 1-1 draw, his team played “a strong game” even with a professional less, said Klopp: “With a lot of passion. We weren’t lucky a few times.”
Kostic on the field for the first time for Juventus
With Bundesliga newcomer Filip Kostic as a noble joker, Italy’s record champions Juventus Turin have made a successful start in Serie A. Coach Massimiliano Allegri’s team defeated Sassuolo Calcio 3-0 (2-0) on Monday evening and reinforced their ambitions at the end of the first matchday. Juve are aiming back at the Italian football throne after two disappointing years.
New signing Angel Di Maria (26th) and Dusan Vlahovic (43rd, penalty kick and 51st) scored for Turin. Winger Kostic, who had switched from Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt to the “Old Lady” three days earlier, was on the pitch for a good half hour after being substituted on in the 61st minute.
The Italian media especially praised Di Maria. The Gazzetta dello Sport gave him the best rating among all players. “Di Maria is a guarantee of success and has found its right place at Juve,” commented the newspaper. The only downside: The Argentine had to be substituted after 66 minutes with adductor problems.
Vlahovic, meanwhile, welcomed Kostic’s signing. “It’s nice to have someone I can speak my native language with. I’m sure Kostic will settle in here soon,” said the Serb.
SSC Napoli also started with an unchallenged victory. However, the 5: 2 (2: 1) at Hellas Verona was overshadowed by racist abuse against Napoli striker Victor Osimhen. According to a report by the French news agency AFP, the Nigerian was insulted by the Verona fan block after his goal to make it 2-1 (45+3). Defending champions AC Milan started the season with a 4-2 win against Udinese Calcio at the weekend.