Premier League returned this weekend with some highly intriguing contests including ‘top four aspirants’ Liverpool’s trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace who have been a ‘bogey team’ for the Reds and were in desperate search of three points to escape a relegation scare under Roy Hodgson – the veteran English gaffer who had a short yet disastrous managerial spell at Liverpool following Rafael Benitez’s departure.
The game, however, proved to be an end-to-end thriller and the visitors, Liverpool, came back from behind in the second half to escape with a 2-1 win from Selhurst thus securing a league double over Crystal Palace for the first time since 1998.
Palace thoroughly dominated from the very beginning, particularly Wilfried Zaha who troubled Trent Alexander-Arnold repeatedly down the left-hand flank. He got his reward early in the game when the Reds custodian Loris Karius obstructed Zaha inside the box who had an open goal in sight and Luka Milivojević made no mistake from the spot to earn his side a massive lead. Sadio Mane was shown a yellow for a controversial dive inside the box and his goal was rightly ruled out for offside in the first-half. The Eagles earned a 1-0 lead at in the first half.
The Reds, however, looked more purposeful since the second-half kick-off and it took 4 minutes for them to equalize when Mane converted James Milner’s cross from the left flank. Christian Benteke missed a couple of chances that he should have converted and Mane avoided a marching order as he was not shown a second yellow for grabbing the ball just outside his own box. Liverpool kept on looking for a winner and finally got one in closing minutes when Mohamed Salah found the net from Andrew Robertson’s cross from the left-flank to score his 29 Premier League goal of the season and secured another close yet massive win for the Merseyside Reds in their ‘top-four’ race.
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Lineups:
Crystal Palace: Wayne Hennessey, Aaron-Wan Bissaka (Timothy Fosu-Mensah 88′), Martin Kelly, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic, Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye (Ruben Loftus-Cheek 73′), James McArthur, Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke.
Liverpool: Loris Karius, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Roberston, Georginio Wijnaldum (Adam Lallana 65′ , Dejan Lovren 70′), Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 64′).
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Highlights:
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool Match Stats:
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