Liverpool 4 Crystal Palace 3 : Match Report and Player Ratings

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Liverpool managed to come from behind and beat Crystal Palace at Anfield yesterday in a 7-goal thriller, with Mo Salah once again being the difference maker in ensuring Liverpool maintained a 7-point lead over Manchester City in the Premier League table:

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The Reds controlled the majority of the first-half without creating many clear-cut chances, although a superb counterattack by Palace ensured they took a surprise lead going into the break after Andros Townsend slotted home from cross-range, with Wilfried Zaha taking advantage of Milner at right-back to cross the ball in.

Liverpool came out after the break with a clear objective of scoring goals and this is exactly what transpired. Salah only took a minute to equalise while mere moments later Roberto Firmino put us ahead with a fine finish into the bottom corner.

You would have been justified in assuming it would be a straightforward affair from that point on but Palace scored again against the narrative, with James Tomkins heading in straight from a corner after a moment of disappointing defending from the hosts.

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It looked like possibly being one of those days but a horrendous misjudgement from Julian Speroni in the Palace net (who was making his first appearance since December 2017) allowed Salah to prod the ball into an empty net.

The tension was still ever-present around Anfield, with a second yellow-card for Milner after a rash challenge on Zaha doing nothing to calm the nerves.

Mane sent the home crowd into a cauldron of noise when he slotted home to give the Reds a very late 4-2 lead and even a Max Meyer goal in the dying seconds did nothing to stop Liverpool ending the game with all 3 points.

I think it’s fair to say that fans would have aged significantly after the game and it will be difficult to withstand every game in the title race going like this one; it’s difficult to deny the superb mentality that was on show though and testament to how much Klopp has changed the sense of belief in both fans and players this season.

Player Ratings:

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Alisson: 6

Couldn’t do much about any of the goals, bar a stronger hand on Meyer’s shot. Impressive distribution as usual.

James Milner: 5

Had a torrid afternoon at right-back against Zaha’s pace and skill and this was shown with his late red-card. Some decent contributions going forward.

Joel Matip: 7

A good return to the side for Matip and his passing from the back was to good effect; should have done better with a header in the first-half.

Virgil Van Dijk: 7

A typically assured display from Van Dijk, despite conceding three goals. Was instrumental in the equaliser but should have scored with a header of his own.

Andy Robertson: 7.5

A great outlet down the left and rarely troubled defensively, Robbo proved exactly why a new long-term deal was justified this week.

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Fabinho: 8 (Man of the Match)

Back in midfield, Fabinho was once again integral to getting the three points — solid defensively and some great balls over the top. Have to hope a potential injury wasn’t serious.

Jordan Henderson: 8

Another very good performance from the captain, who has developed a strong partnership with Fabinho. For all the criticism he receives about finding the safe option, he was ambitious with his passing yesterday.

Naby Keita: 5

A lacklustre game from the Guinean, who was sloppy and carried little threat. Hard to place all the blame on him as he’s wasted on the left but still disappointing.

Roberto Firmino: 7

Albeit some moments of frustration, Firmino scored the crucial goal that gave Liverpool the lead with a fine finish. Showed his work ethic with the amount of positions he played, even filling in at right-back near the end. A manager’s dream.

Sadio Mane: 6.5

Made some very poor choices and needs to improve his decision making but hard to dispute how vital his late goal could end up being.

Mo Salah: 8

Another 2 goals for the Egyptian, who showed a real striker’s instinct with both finishes. We’re very lucky to have him but he won’t do his reputation any good with the embarrassing dive in the first half.

 

 

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