Jurgen Klopp’s men continued their good form and brushed off the Crystal Palace challenge with a 2-0 victory. This was not the best match from the Reds, yet they did not make any significant mistake and eventually earned three points to secure the second spot in the Premier league table.
Crystal Palace lineup (4-4-2): Wayne Hennessey; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick van Aanholt; Jeffrey Schlupp (Max Meyer, 83′), Luka Milivojevic, James McArthur, Andros Townsend (Joel Ward, 79′); Wilfried Zaha, Christian Benteke (Alexander Sorloth, 70′).
Liverpool lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; James Milner (Jordan Henderson, 67′), Georginio Wijnaldum, Naby Keita (Adam Lallana, 87′); Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino (Daniel Sturridge, 90’+4′), Mohamed Salah.
Goal: Milner (Pen 45′), Mane (90’+3′).
Yellow card: Van Aanholt (42′), Alexander-Arnold (52′).
Red card: Wan-Bissaka (75′).
Liverpool right away started attacking and it took some resilient defending from Hennessey and co, to keep Mane and Salah at bay. The latter got a magnificent chance at 22nd minute, when Keita’s high ball found him in a one-on-one situation. The Egyptian first touch was brilliant but the chip went above the bar and the score was still 0-0. Minutes later, against the run of the game, Townsend created a big moment for Crystal Palace. Capitalizing on a Liverpool mistake, the winger cut inside and then took a stunning shot. It was good enough to beat Alisson, but then it got ricocheted off the crossbar. Unfortunately for Palace, they could not get a welcome lead in the match.
Crystal Palace players got their share of chances on a couple of other occasions during the first half as well. Meanwhile, Salah and co tried to penetrate the Eagles defense with all their might. Their efforts eventually paid off! In the fag end of the first half, Salah was fouled inside the box by Sakho and the referee had no hesitation to point to the spot. Milner calmly converted that penalty and Liverpool went into the break leading 1-0.
Crystal Palace started the second half in a spirited fashion, compelling Alisson pull off two exquisite saves within first ten minutes of the half. But then, Liverpool got hold off the game once again, and dominated the midfield. Things got worse for the Eagles fifteen minutes before the end, when Wan-Bissaka saw a red card. The defender fouled Salah as the last man and the marching order was inevitable.
Final significant action of the game came during the stoppage time, when Salah set Mane up beautifully with a delicious pass. Work was yet to be done, and Mane did not disappoint. After a quick run, he fooled Hennessey and slotted in the ball nicely, to make the final score 2-0 in favour of the Reds.
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool stats:
|Shots (on target)||8 (2)||16 (6)|
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool highlights:
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