Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has jokingly claimed that a “witch” has been cursing members of his squad in the wake of Monday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace.
The Reds have been dealing with numerous injury problems in the early stages of the new season and picked up a couple more concerns before welcoming the Eagles to Merseyside.
Joel Matip suffered a groin injury in training which ruled him out of contention, while Roberto Firmino also missed the contest as a precaution.
Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcantara, Ibrahima Konate, Caoimhin Kelleher, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and Calvin Ramsay also occupy spots in the Liverpool treatment room, while Kostas Tsimikas, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita were only fit enough to make the bench.
Following the stalemate with Palace – which leaves Liverpool winless in the 2022-23 Premier League season – Klopp likened his side’s injury crisis to that of a squad cursed by a supernatural entity.
“The week was crazy; I have experienced a lot of weeks but that was like we had a witch in the building. Honestly, like every day somebody else pulled out [of training] for the craziest reasons,” Klopp told reporters in his post-game press conference.
“[Joel] will be two weeks. We will see with that. In the end, Joey didn’t start. Nat [Phillips] did really well, I have to say, but Joey didn’t start because he only trained yesterday again. At the start of the week, [he had] a little issue.
“Bobby couldn’t make it. Hendo 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, but then the game we made of it I really liked it – I really liked the game. That’s how it is.
“We want to fight and I saw that a lot, and we played really good stuff. So, a lot of good performances and I liked it, but that’s it now. We drew, let’s carry on.”
Liverpool failed to make their early dominance count at Anfield and went behind before the break to Wilfried Zaha‘s goal on the counter-attack before Darwin Nunez saw red for a headbutt on Joachim Andersen.
Nevertheless, the 10-man Reds rallied to rescue a point through a sensational Luis Diaz solo effort, but Klopp was unable to defend Nunez’s actions at the final whistle, as the Uruguayan received the first red card for violent conduct of Klopp’s Liverpool career.
“A little provocation here and there – and definitely the wrong reaction. A clear red card, I cannot deny that. Yeah, he will learn from that. Unfortunately, he has now a few games’ time to do so. That’s not cool for us in our specific situation, even less, but that’s how it is,” Klopp added.
“There must be always a first time… it doesn’t make it better. Of course I will speak with him. I came in and I wanted to see the situation; in the game I couldn’t see anything so I didn’t know what happened.
“I saw Andersen on the floor and Darwin walking away, that was my picture. I asked then our guys already and I saw only, ‘OK, red card’. And then I saw it – yes, it is a red card. Wrong reaction in the situation. Andersen wanted that, I would say, and he got it. But he made a mistake, Darwin, so of course we will talk about it. But not yet.”
Nunez will now sit out Liverpool’s fixtures with Manchester United, Bournemouth and Newcastle United before returning for the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on September 3.