Liverpool ride their luck in hard earned win over tricky Crystal Palace

JJ Bull
The Telegraph
Liverpool celerbate - Liverpool FC
Liverpool celerbate - Liverpool FC



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Liverpool hang on! A crucial, hard earned three points against a really tricky opponent. They weren't quite at their best today but Klopp's players never looked like losing. 


90 mins+2 - Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2

Zaha has just missed an absolute sitter. It's from a corner, the ball goes back to the edge of the box and Townsend finds Zaha in space, all on his own, six yards out. The ball drops, he goes for the volley but absolutely lashes it miles over the bar. Alisson would have needed to do something special to stop anything on target.


90 mins - Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2

Klopp screams at... someone "GET UP!" and I can only assume he means Origi. He looks furious! 


88 mins - Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2

Liverpool, understandably, are taking their time with free-kicks and goal kicks now. That Palace goal gave them a proper scare. 

Fabinho times a tackle perfectly in the middle of the park and puts Liverpool on the attack - he has been superb all game. Origi is down off the ball though and Fabinho boots the thing out so he can have treatment.



THEY SURE CAN! Liverpool take the lead!

Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 2

It's pinball in the area from a corner, a rammy of players all go for the ball and Palace just cannot clear their lines. Firmino is able to stab it into the net. 


85 mins - Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 1

Now Liverpool have a bit more buzz about them but Palace are taking shots from distance whenever they can. Origi goes on a run and is tackled by Tomkins, who limps away from the challenge. Everything is going through Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold looking for strikers with early crosses... Tomkins is injured and down. Can Liverpool find that crucial goal?




Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 1

Another error by Alexander-Arnold, who gives the ball away and then can't stop Zaha dancing away from him. Benteke overlaps wide left and easily breezes past Lovren, the ball is moved into the area, Zaha lets it run across his body and powers a shot into the bottom corner. Great goal.


81 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Milner in, Henderson off. Liverpool just want to control this game and see it out but Palace aren't making things easy for them. They're actually right in this.


79 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

BENTEKEEEEEEEEEE! Palace go close again! Liverpool have another attack snuffed out, Palace try to move forward quickly, Zaha dribbles a bit before moving it on. Townsend comes inside and chips across the box, it's chipped back in and Benteke goes for a scissor kick volley which is just wide.


76 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Zaha turns Alexander-Arnold inside out but nobody can get anything on the cross. Schlupp tries a snap shot from 25 yards which Alisson has to turn past the post. So close. 


73 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Liverpool still pushing high. The game hasn't really changed.


70 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Ward is broken and needs to leave the game. He goes down off the ball to receive treatment having knackered his knee with an overly aggressive English style tackle. Utterly pointless and now he's injured.

On comes Martin Kelly who looks like the archetypal template for a footballer on Fifa.

martin kelly
martin kelly

Haircut. Head shape. Size. A Football Man. 


68 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

FIRMINO! Saved! Space opens up for Firmino to run into but he's just not quite quick enough to reach the ball first and has to rush his shot as a result. 

Ward tries to wipe out Origi with a hard tackle but has ended up doing himself in and limps away from the tangle. Liverpool win a throw. Was it really worth it Joel? Was it? 


65 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Liverpool are doing all the attacking at the moment. Palace stuck behind the ball. Oxlade-Chamberlain tries a shot from distance but it's way out. 

Origi comes on for Oxlade-Chamberlain after that effort sent into orbit. 


62 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

OK I've found a replay and I think I agree with the VAR now. Lovren is clearly shoved by Ayew before the ball comes into the area. It's a foul. 


60 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Also this:


58 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

A lot of Twitterers have come to VAR's defence about the goal and I think maybe my opinion is changing on it. If I could just watch a single replay in HD I might be able to properly tell. 


55 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Oxlade-Chamberlain chucks a couple of crosses into the area but Palace defend them well. Fabinho is booked for a tactical foul in the middle of the pitch, stopping Kouyate driving towards the box.


52 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Zaha is much better on the left than the right. He gets on the ball and comes inside but his shot is blocked. Townsend has an effort from distance which Alisson has to push over the bar. Great hit.




Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 1

Firmino bursts through the middle, Robertson crosses in, it somehow bobbles through to Mane past about three defenders - somehow- and he controls before shooting. The goalie gets an arm to it but can only push the ball onto one post and then off the other.


49 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

MANE SHOULD SCORE! A brilliant move, Henderson threads a pass from halfway which splits the centre-backs and puts Mane through on goal. His run is great, he takes the ball under control but then shoots wide. Might have pushed the ball a little wide for the shot.


48 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Palace on the attack in this second half. They win a corner which is headed away and Van Aanholt tries to score a worldy on the volley from 25 yards. He boots it waaaay wide.



Paul Ince reckons it's a clear and obvious foul. Robbie Savage agrees. Ayew can't get to the ball if Lovren is shoved out of the way apparently. I'm not having it.


Liverpool have been rubbish

In an attempt not to get caught tip tap passing in the Palace half, Klopp has his players looking for the early long ball whenever they can. All it's doing is handing possession to Palace. 






45 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Peter Walton has said that the referee has to go over and watch that one. It's ludicrous that the assistant has ruled it out - I don't know what sport they're watching. I like VAR a lot but the people in charge. My god.



That is mental. So so so stupid.

I don't see how that can be a foul. Lovren goes down in the box - I can't even see what the push is meant to be - and he falls over as though diving and the VAR says it's a foul. It's ridiculous. 




Crystal Palace 1 Liverpool 0

Guaita catches another of those useless high balls into the area, kicks it long, Alexander-Arnold fouls Zaha. The free-kick is curled in and headed past the goalkeeper! VAR are checking it but there's no way the push on Lovren is enough to rule it out. Surely.


39 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

  • Andros Townsend has attempted seven and completed three dribbles so far - no other player on the pitch has attempted more than one.

Liverpool go close from a corner. The ball ends up at the back post but Guaita is there again to deny Oxlade-Chamberlain.


36 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Both Van Dijk and Kouyate go up for a header and land in the same awkward way. Their knees/ankles look to jar and hopefully neither have picked up injures. Kouyate looks to have come off worse.


33 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Oxlade-Chamberlain steals the ball from Van Aanholt by the Palace box but his low cross is cut out. Then a punt in the air is caught by the goalkeeper. This isn't vintage Liverpool but it does look like they've come with a plan.


30 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Wijnaldum gets a whack to the face and goes down for a bit. It's obviously an accident. 


27 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Not the best game ever. Liverpool not quite themselves. So many long passes from Klopp's team - they really seem to think it's going to work. It probably will.


24 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

<span>Credit: REUTERS </span>

Palace are getting a lot more of the ball in the opposition half than they did against Chelsea a couple of weeks ago. I wonder if Klopp sort of wants that to happen so that his side is more dangerous in transition... but it's probably just because Palace are at home. 

Lots of long balls to the forwards today from Liverpool. 


21 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Zaha gets a telling off from the referee for fouling Fabinho, and that'll be Zaha wound up for the rest of the game. He is aaaaaalways whinging about something. Great player but come on, man.


18 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

SO CLOSE! Palace almost take the lead! Alexander-Arnold has had a few poor passes so far and one hit across the pitch gives Townsend the ball and he has space to run into! A tackle comes in, Kouyate receives the ball and hooks a cross into the area for Ayew, who attacks it with the outside of his boot. Wrong technique. The shot is wide of the far post - that should have been a goal.


16 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

The corner is headed away by Van Dijk, Townsend wins the second ball and eventually another corner. The referee spots a push or something in the box.

Palace are playing this exactly as you'd imagine. The entire plan is to block Liverpool's path to goal.


13 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Zaha gets in the box but has a shot blocked. 


10 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool hit another early ball over the top for the wide forwards to chase. Oxlade-Chamberlain is definitely in the team because he can hit a shot from distance and he tries to do exactly that, cutting in from the left to have a ping. Blocked and then Palace win a free-kick.


7 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Alexander-Arnold hits a poor corner to the near post. Alisson is wearing black leggings (or whatever they are) underneath his shorts and it makes him look like he's just some random guy out the crowd wearing trousers. I'm a big fan. 

The Palace mid-block eventually pays off as pressure on Alexander-Arnold forces him to hit a pass back to Alisson from the halfway line which goes out for a corner.


5 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Palace are going to be playing a 4-5-1 all game long, always behind the ball and just hoping to break and score somehow. 

Mane runs in behind the defence but Guaita reads the pass and comes off his line to head away. 


3 mins - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool on the attack from the very start, running at Palace with intent. McArthur commits a foul within 30 seconds and Alexander-Arnold gets ready to curl it into the area. Palace head away and try to break but Liverpool are soon back in possession.



Hodgson and Klopp have a little hug and we are underway. Palace get the game started.


What do Liverpool need to secure the title?

In this massive article I've gone through all the teams who should finish top seven to analyse what they could do in the January market to improve. Includes realistic transfers and lots of mentions of Alfredo Morelos, who is very good.

How to find the edge in title pursuit: What Liverpool, Man City, Leicester, Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea need to do... and who they could buy in January


Salah only fit enough for the bench

Jurgen Klopp hinted as much this week and that confirms it, with Mohamed Salah still struggling with his troublesome ankle so he starts on the bench. Andy Robertson has recovered from his own ankle problems though to start at left-back and there is also a start for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Palace unchanged from the team which lost 2-0 at Chelsea two weeks ago.

Jordan Ayew leads the line with Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend out wide.


And in black and white form

(although Liverpool kind of just did that in theirs)

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Cahill, van Aanholt,  Townsend, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew. Subs:  Dann, Meyer, Hennessey, Schlupp, Benteke, McCarthy, Kelly. 

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk,  Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain,  Firmino, Mane. Subs: Milner, Keita, Salah, Gomez, Adrian,  Lallana, Origi. 

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire) 


Liverpool team news


Palace team news


Don't forget the leaders

After a pause in Premier League action for the international break, this week's news has been overwhelmingly dominated by all things Jose Mourinho and Tottenham related, meaning it all seems like a long, long time ago since Liverpool impressively beat Manchester City at Anfield to strengthen their position at the top of the Premier League summit.

It is now 12 games and counting unbeaten this season for Liverpool who have only dropped points when they drew 1-1 with rivals Manchester United. Meanwhile, taking in results from last season, they could make it 30 games without defeat today. (Only four other sides have managed that feat)

Trying to stop them will be hosts Crystal Palace who have actually made a solid, if not spectacular, start to the season. Roy Hodgson's sides are generally very good at soaking up pressure and hitting teams on the break but they will need to be at their very best to succeed against a Liverpool side.

They are also winless in four Premier League games, conceding two goals each time and their meagre tally of four goals scored at home this season is the joint-lowest in the Premier League, level with Watford.

In contrast,  Liverpool have scored 24 Premier League away goals versus Palace, six more than any other team and Sadio Mane has scored seven goals in nine Premier League games against them, including in each of his last four appearances in this fixture. Man-marking Roy?

Oh and don't mention anything about any title race to opposite number Jurgen Klopp....

"We don't think about the title race. The biggest challenge for us is constantly facing questions about it," he said in his presser yesterday. "After that it is (a) completely normal season. We never made it the season where we have to (win the league). We play as good as we can, try to get as many points as we can and the challenges are the 26 games we have to play - and the next one is Crystal Palace.

"These challenges are big enough so we don't need any others and we don't think about anything else."

Of course, Jurgen.

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