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Crystal Palace 3, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

Liverpool returned from the international break without Daniel Sturridge to lose yet another game by performing like amateurs.

Mike Hewitt

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Crystal Palace 3 Gayle 17', Ledley 78', Jedinak 81'
Liverpool 1 Lambert 2'

  • Three straight defeats in all competitions was how Liverpool went into the international break. A trip to the a side that lay in 19th position at kick-off offered an excellent opportunity for three points.

  • An early goal arrived at just 1 minute and 29 seconds and Liverpool went ahead before anyone could make an assessment of the proceedings. Lallana and Lambert combined as they did for Southampton as Lallana's floated through ball found Lambert who controlled and finished with confidence. Joe Allen cut his head and bled quite profusely so he needed a tight fitting stocking cap. Lovely. Possession was overwhelmingly in away side's favour in the opening ten minutes as Liverpool appeared to be in control of the game early on.

  • Dwight Gayle scored after Yannick Bolasie's powerful low drive came back off the post. Gayle sidefooted the ball against Mignolet and it diverted into the net. It was a case of far too much space in front of back four and watching the ball instead of runners, and Liverpool seem incapable of holding a lead for a considerable length of time. Another clean sheet opportunity predictably gone through an example of terrible defending. After that, Liverpool probed for an equaliser without hardly testing Speroni, but Palace looked dangerous with pace on counter attacks.

  • Half time thoughts are simple and repetitive. Any attacking players with pace can trouble Liverpool in behind the centre backs and fullback. Any midfielder with pace and strength can overwhelm Liverpool. Liverpool hardly create any clear cut chances or work the goalkeeper while the opposition look so dangerous. Gerrard and Lovren will finish the match and start the next one. Liverpool have been desperately average except for the first three games of the season.

  • In the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Liverpool showed few ideas in constructing attacks beyond getting it wide or having no options whenever a player was in the final third. Steven Gerrard long shots were either weak, blocked, or off target. Crystal Palace weren't in control of the game or putting Liverpool under excessive pressure but looked far more dangerous out of the two sides.

  • Liverpool created two good chances in the space of a couple of minutes that were interrupted by Gerrard being robbed by Jason Puncheon to give the home side an opportunity to score. Borini came on for Lallana and Emre Can came on for Liverpool's worst midfield player by a distance Steven Gerrard Liverpool's best midfield performer Joe Allen. Is that what a manager does when his side needs a win?

  • Well, Joe Ledley tapped home after Yannick Bolasie shrugged the hapless Dejan Lovren off on the right side to cross low for Palace to go ahead. Skrtel's foul gave Mile Jedinak a free-kick opportunity from thirty yards out and what a goal it was. Game over.

  • Crystal Palace gained 9 points in 11 games before today. Liverpool looked awful, have been awful for most of the season so far, and are currently awful. There's a long list of people to blame but only one stands above the rest: Brendan Rodgers. Liverpool are in trouble.

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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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