Darwin Nunez was shown a straight red card after an altercation with Joachim Andersen in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, but Harvey Elliott says the Uruguayan shouldn’t take all of the blame.
The striker failed to take a number of chances to score on his Anfield debut, and his frustrations grew further when Andersen became increasingly physical with him in the second half.
The Reds were 1-0 down when Nunez let his temper get the better of him, headbutting the Palace defender in an off the ball incident right in front of referee Paul Tierney.
Elliott, though, believes the goal Liverpool conceded in the first half played a big part in Nunez’s frustrations and says the whole team should take the blame for the sending off.
“It’s not his fault, to be honest, because we conceded the goal in the first half which put us in that situation,” the midfielder told LFCTV after the game.
Highlight Darwin Nunez vs Joachim Andersen.
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“For him it’s a learning curve and for us as a team it’s our fault as well, it’s not just him, it’s everyone’s fault.
“We’re instantly around him, trying to lift him up, and obviously he’s very down in the changing room and feeling sorry for the team and thinking it’s his fault, which it’s not, it’s all of our fault.
“It’s not single-handedly him, it’s us as a collective, so we’re there for him and we’ve just got to take it into the next game and make sure we put it right.”
The 19-year-old had a big opportunity to score in the first half, weaving his way around several Palace defenders before his goalbound shot was blocked inside the box.
The youngster, though, still feels he could have played “a lot better” and knows he needs to take opportunities to score when they come his way.
He also heaped praise on Luis Diaz for his outstanding equaliser and says he is aiming to take elements of the Colombian’s game into his own.
“I feel like I could have done a lot better, as in other games as well,” Elliott added.
“I feel like I had too many chances to miss. In the Premier League you need to take them, like their goal. They had one chance and they scored.
“Lucho is an unbelievable player and he took his chance amazingly.
“This is what these players are here to do, and to be in and around them and to learn from them is always a great learning curve for myself, being around these players, learning their skills and hopefully taking them into my game.”
Elliott will have his eye on securing another start when the Reds visit Old Trafford to take on Man United next Monday.