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Liverpool 3, Crystal Palace 1: First Thoughts

A first-half romp at Anfield led to a resounding win for Liverpool as the Suarez-Sturridge partnership up front returned to it's full, dangerous stride.

This happened, and it was adorable.
This happened, and it was adorable.
Clive Brunskill

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 3 Suarez 13', Sturridge 17', Gerrard (pen) 38'
Crystal Palace 1 Gayle 76'

  • The match started brightly, with Liverpool applying tremendous pressure in the early going before a series of Palace counter-attacks settled them down. Then came Luis Suarez's weird, scrambling, falling-over opening goal (and really, who else but Suarez could have scored a goal like that?), and then things immediately opened back up for the Reds, starting with a thunderous shot from Daniel Sturridge that Julian Speroni barely parried away. Minutes later, Sturridge found himself with a little bit of space to Speroni's right and powered the ball by him with his left foot.

  • So let's talk about this Raheem Sterling as a wing back thing. It was... uhm... not great. Perhaps not as bad as initially anticipated, but still not great. He grew in to the role a bit more as the match went on, but he still spent most of his time playing as though he was a winger with a fullback behind him, which is dangerous at best when playing as a wing back. He was caught out of position several times after either not recovering from a run forward fast enough or being too aggressive with his pressing. Fortunately Palace was offering very little in the way of meaningful threat on his flank, but he still created too many nervy moments. He did have a a couple of nice takeaways when he caught Palace players dallying on the ball, but by and large there were a lot of nervy moments coming from him when Liverpool didn't have the ball

  • Speaking of Sterling, that was never a penalty. The contact clearly started outside the box. Considering how many times similar decisions haven't gone Liverpool's way, let's just take it and move on.

  • It's hard to blame them for it when they were up 3-0 at the half, but Liverpool came out in the second half with nowhere near as much drive and verve as they had in the first. It allowed Palace to grow back in to the match a bit, though not so much so as to mount any truly significant threats from open play.

  • Luis Alberto's introduction in the 65th minute saw Liverpool put a playmaker behind the strikers in their 3-5-2 formation as people have been pining for, and it saw some interesting effects. Instead of Suarez dropping back for the ball and Victor Moses making defense-stretching runs (which were extremely effective today), Suarez was able to spend more time finding gaps in the defense while Alberto looked for the ball. It was nice to see the young Spaniard getting good time on the pitch and looking as calm and collected as he did.


liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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