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Crystal Palace 3, Liverpool 3: First Thoughts

Liverpool blow a 3-0 lead at Selhurst Park and drop a crucial two points, drawing 3-3 and very likely seeing their title challenge go up in smoke.

Jamie McDonald

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Crystal Palace 3: Delaney 79' Gayle 81' 88'
Liverpool 3: Allen 17', Sturridge 53', Suarez 55'

  • If you have any doubts as to what this title race means to the Liverpool fanbase, just listen to the crowd noise right around kickoff. Even without the loud rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone, everything you could hear was from the Traveling Kop. Selhurst Park may as well have been Anfield Road today.
  • There was an early penalty shout from Glen Johnson when Yala Bolasie made contact in the box. It went uncalled, and on replays, that actually looked like the correct call; Bolasie certainly did swing his leg and caught Johnson's thigh, but Johnson was already on his way down after minimal, if any, contact from Bolasie around his shoulders.
  • Oh, Sakho. How did you miss that? How?!
  • Tony Pulis has a deservedly poor reputation after his Stoke days, but it has to be said that he has Crystal Palace playing a surprisingly well-balanced game. There's still some Stokensian Thugball going on when Palace are out of possession, but with the ball they're actually almost fun to watch.
  • Man, Liverpool are having such a hard time breaking Palace down, Sturridge and Suarez are getting no space in the box, and OH MY GOD JOE ALLEN JUST DID WHAT?! A headed goal from Red Panda to put Liverpool back on top of the Premier League table temporarily. We are truly living in special times.
  • In general Liverpool were far more patient against an opposition that was happy to sit deep; they were much more intentional in their use of the fullbacks, and while said fullbacks didn't always comply--Johnson had a few wasteful moments--there was more of a threat to Liverpool going forward than there was against Chelsea. Plenty of good looks on goal, just a matter of finding the final ball.
  • Simon Mignolet made two terrific saves to keep Liverpool at 1-0, first on a low drive from Jason Puncheon that he saw late, then tipping over Mile Jedinak's effort from distance. Cherry on top was the punch from the corner after the Jedinak shot that made it to the halfway line. Strong-in-the-air Mignolet is good Mignolet.
  • Phenomenal shot from Sturridge and terrific save by Julian Speroni. Not so hot from Suarez on the follow-up.
  • And yeah, Suarez ties the 38-game Premier League record with his well-taken goal after a neat one-two with Raheem Sterling. Also, 48 away goals at that point, most in Premier League history
  • Mark Clattenburg did not have a particularly strong day, and his booking of Martin Skrtel after the Slovakian was hugged to the ground by Marouane Chamakh was the low point.
  • Liverpool tried to push forward, both in possession and on the counter, but there were just too many tired legs. Rodgers' mid-week comments about the need for reinforcements throughout the squad held true, as you could see that there was a need for at least three fresh sets of legs but none available that had the requisite quality.
  • Hell of a deflection on the Damien Delaney goal that cut it to 3-1, and Liverpool just had absolutely no gas to defend Palace's counter that led to their second. All of a sudden we went from talking about goal difference to talking about the three points being in doubt. And this wasn't an "oh that's cute they're trying" sort of thing, this was a "Liverpool are completely gassed and could conceivably concede two more" thing.
  • And then they conceded to Dwight Gayle again, this time on calamitous defending by Skrtel and Johnson. Surreal, disappointing stuff.

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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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