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Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 2: First Thoughts

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What started so well turned into a nightmare for Liverpool against Crystal Palace.

Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool 1 Coutinho 23’, Player XX’ Crystal Palace 2 Benteke 42’, 74’,

  • Pre-match thought: With the good news that is Joël Matip being in the starting lineup, prospects are no longer as bleak as they appeared, but with good news comes bad news and that’s Daniel Sturridge having issues with his hip once more. We may have seen his last match in a Red shirt at this point.
  • And we’re off! Christian Benteke leading the line for Crystal Palace today, unsurprisingly. With 12 goals scored for the team, hopefully it won’t be too much of a challenge to keep him under control.
  • Off to a bright start with plenty of chances on the counter in the first five minutes. These are the Reds we love to see controlling the game - or at least attempting to.
  • Liverpool are doing a good job of moving through the midfield, but if they could get a handle on those second balls, we’d be in better shape.
  • Annnnd 15 minutes in and all the energy has gone out of the match. What looked like a fast paced battle has turned into a more conservative effort as both teams settle in.
  • “There’s the Liverpool kindergarten,” remarks Jon Champion when the camera moves onto the bench and with four teenagers there (including Rhian Brewster!!!), he’s not wrong.
  • GOAL! Reds win a free kick at twenty minutes after Philippe Coutinho is fouled outside the box and the Brazilian Magician does what he does best, smashing it into the net over the wall with a beauty of a curler.
  • The combination of Wilfred Zaha and Johan Cabaye have caused plenty of issues today for Liverpool, with the two often breaking up much of the home side’s attack.
  • Goal. Christian Benteke levels for Palace after great one-two from Cabaye and the complete disappearance of Liverpool’s defense.
  • Halftime: The current scoreline is probably a fair assessment of the match so far, but the big talking point will be Benteke refusing to celebrate in front of the Kop, but going to former Liverpool teammate and current Palace teammate Mamadou Sakho to celebrate - probably the end of the latter’s Liverpool career as well. Pick your narrative at this point.
  • We’re back! No halftime changes but none have looked necessary as Liverpool has held all the possession but few of the chances.
  • WE ALMOST HAD A LUCAS GOAL. Liverpool win a corner and the blonde Brazilian bundle of sunshine choops it, womp womp.
  • Chances are coming more frequently now as Liverpool start knocking on the door of Palace’s defenses.
  • ...Or not. With 25 minutes left in the second half, everyone has already started wasting time, with Palace clearly happy to take the point away from home.
  • Goal. Benteke again, this time from a corner as someone makes the grave mistake of leaving him open at 74 minutes.
  • All the possession in the world and nothing to show for it. To add injury to insult, Dejan Lovren comes off after an elbow to the face, making room for youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold.
  • MARKO GRUJIC SIGHTING! He comes on for Clyne, after Moreno comes on for Milner in these frantic last minutes of the match.
  • Six minutes of stoppage time added and I’m about to pull out what little hair I have.
  • Final Whistle: That’s that. A match that started so optimistically ended in shambles and with many places to put the blame, and Christian Benteke making it clear how important he’s turned out for Crystal Palace.

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.