Liverpool left it late to snatch a win at Selhurst Park as Mohamed Salah proves his mettle yet again with a late goal to take all three points.
Liverpool continued to win and put their last away loss to Manchester United behind with a late win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The matchwinner? Mohamed Salah! The Egyptian has time and again proven his superiority and his match-winning goal against Crystal Palace took him further ahead in the race for the Golden Boot.
Liverpool were the dominant side throughout the encounter and had nearly 76% possession of the ball. This, however, was not enough as they conceded an early penalty which Luka Milivojevic scored correctly past Loris Karius as Palace took the lead.
Sadio Mane’s first-half goal was disallowed for offside, and that was all Liverpool could do to come close to scoring a goal in the first half. The second half began the same way as the first, with Liverpool dominating, only this time Sadio Mane equalised early in the second half.
Liverpool kept trying for the winning goal, but Palace too had their fair share of chances but were complacent in front of goal. Complacent would be a word rightly suited for Christian Benteke who was set up by Andros Townsend with two glorious chances in one minute, but the Belgian missed both.
Liverpool’s efforts finally paid off late in the second half after good play from the Reds which saw Andrew Robertson set up Salah for what was the eventual match-winning goal. The strike was the Egyptian’s 29th goal of the season.
How did Liverpool’s players rate against Crystal Palace?
Loris Karius – 7
Steadily showing Klopp and the Liverpool fans why he’s the current no.1 with a string of saves. A good save in the first half from a Zaha shot set the tempo of the game. He was entirely responsible for conceding the penalty in the first place, but he had no choice in that situation, which Milivojevic scored expertly.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5.5
Had a troubled first half as Palace time and again tried to create something from his side of the pitch. Eventually grew into the game, but needs massive improvements if he is to cement his place in the team.
Joel Matip – 5
A big reason for Zaha & Co. attacking Alexander-Arnold’s side was due to the lack of help the fullback received from Matip. His overall distribution was poor throughout the game, while also playing a crucial part in conceding the penalty for Palace.
Virgil Van Dijk – 7
Led the Liverpool defence, showing his class all along the way. Van Dijk’s one crucial error allowed Benteke in an excellent position to score only for the Belgian to squander that chance. Otherwise, he was rock solid on the night. There was a chance from the corner where he could have scored.
Andrew Robertson – 8.5
Everyone, last season, and the season before that were crying out loud for a left back who plays like one. Those voices have gone silent, mostly due to Andrew Robertson’s presence in that position. One of the liveliest players on the pitch while Liverpool attacked, and he made his mark when he unselfishly squared the ball for Salah to score the winner.
Jordan Henderson – 5.5
It’s hard to believe a poor performance from Liverpool’s primary central midfielder despite his side enjoying almost 75% possession all throughout the game. Gave away a lot of simple passes, and was way off his usual defensive self.
James Milner – 7
With Liverpool’s midfield trio looking more confident than ever he does miss out on some crucial games. Today he was present due to Emre Can’s absence and shone. Provided the vital assist for Mane’s equaliser after he did good work in the build-up to that goal. More importantly, he was Liverpool’s leader on the pitch.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 4.5
A seemingly off-day for the Dutchman. Wijnaldum switched off right from the start and very much anonymous in midfield. Like Henderson, he too had a bad game despite Liverpool dominating possession. Was replaced in the second half.
Sadio Mane – 7
Mane was a constant threat in attack and probably Liverpool’s saviour after he got the much needed equalising goal. On the downside, he was booked for diving and could have seen red for an apparent and deliberate handball, although the referee only let him off with a warning.
Mohamed Salah – 7
He just can’t stop scoring. Another goal, this time a match winner late on in the game as the Reds rose a level above their opposition. Did attack the ball well and tested Hennessey a couple of times, while he delivered some excellent shots from corners.
Roberto Firmino – 7
Grew into the game quite late but did start attacking the tiring Palace defenders with some usual vigour. Unfortunately, there were no goals, or assists like his fellow forwards got on the night.
Adam Lallana – N/A
Came on for the dismal Wijnaldum, but unfortunately went off himself with what looked like a hamstring injury.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6.5
There were two sides to his game today, on one end he added more directness to Liverpool’s attack as they looked for a winner, and he played a crucial part in it too, providing the decisive pass for Robertson before the left-back squared it for Salah. On the other hand, when Liverpool did get the lead, he switched on defensively and made some excellent choices while retaining or passing the ball.