Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool: Reds win hard fought encounter to maintain top 4 push

Premier League
Saturday 31 March 2018 - 12:30 pm
Selhurst Park
Palace1
2Liverpool
Show Match Events
12'Karius
⚽️ Milivojevic13'
24'Mane
Benteke38'
McArthur45'
49'Mane ⚽️
64'↔️ Mane off, Oxlade-Chamberlain on
64'↔️ Wijnaldum off, Lallana on
70'↔️ Lallana off, Lovren on
Cabaye off, Loftus-Cheek on ↔️73'
84'Salah ⚽️
Wan-Bissaka off, Fosu-Mensah on ↔️88'
Possession %
3070
Total Shots
616
Shots on Target
36
Shots Blocked
6
Offside
11
Hide Match Events

Liverpool, temporarily at least, moved back into 2nd place with the first win of the Premier League weekend.

The reds were 1-0 down after 12 minutes at Selhurst Park when Crystal Palace fired in from the penalty spot.  Sadio Mane saw a penalty appeal waved away, and a goal disallowed, before he scored the equaliser early in the second half.

And in the final 10 minutes of the game up stepped Mo Salah to score his 37th goal of the season (29 in the Premier League) to give Liverpool all three points.  The reds have extended the gap over 5th placed Chelsea to 10 points, although the London club have 2 games in hand.

Despite not being at their best, the reds deserved all three points after coming out for the second half in far more determined fashion.

The only major disappointment in the game was Adam Lallana limping off just minutes after arriving on as a sub.

As it happened: Palace 1-2 LFC

Teams

Liverpool made two changes from before the international break - both due to international injuries.  Joe Gomez and Emre Can picked up knocks while on duty for England and Germany - Alexander-Arnold and James Milner coming in for them.

Palace welcomed back Wilfried Zaha to their side and Mamadou Sakho, Martin Kelly and Christian Benteke were also in the starting line up.  With Hodgson on the bench and even Diego Cavalieri as sub keeper - there were a lot of familiar faces.

Slow Start from the reds

The reds took a while to get going, in fact the early penalty for the home side was what was required.

Alexander-Arnold and Matip were exposed as Benteke fed the ball through to Zaha.  Karius had to come to try and claim but conceded the penalty, collected a yellow card and then moments later was picking the ball out of his net.

At the other end, Sadio Mane was unfortunate to be awarded a yellow card for simulation.  Replays showed he had been tripped in the penalty area.  VAR may have decided that was a reds penalty.

Moments later he had the ball in the back of the net from a Mo Salah corner.  This time, correctly, the referee disallowed the goal.

Palace were defending well and Liverpool's midfield was lethargic with Henderson guilty of over-elaboration and Wijnaldum a virtual passenger.

A better response

Second half and arses had been kicked.

Within 5 minutes the reds were level - Sadio Mane on the end of a well drilled Andy Robertson pass to poke into the net.

Karius made amends for his first half penalty with a wonderful save from a free kick at the edge of the box which kept the reds in the game.

Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain were sent on to provide some energy in the closing period, but Lallana was injured within a few minutes.  The stretcher came on but he limped off under his own steam - Lovren replaced him.

And in the final 6 minutes of normal time, Mo Salah popped up from nowhere to take advantage of the loose ball at the edge of the six yard box to score a 29th Premier League goal of the season.

The reds can enjoy their victory and watching the other teams this weekend - full focus now switching to the first leg of the Champions League tie.

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Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool: Reds win hard fought encounter to maintain top 4 push

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