Liverpool 4 - 0 Crystal Palace
Reds: Alexander-Arnold 23’, Salah 44’, Fabinho 55’, Mané 69’
Liverpool fans collectively breathed a sigh of relief when Kloppo rolled out our strongest XI for tonight’s match. Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, and Georginio Wijnaldum all returned to the starting line-up. The Reds want those three points tonight, which would bring them tantalizingly close to their long-awaited Premier League title.
Robbo takes all of ten seconds to make his presence known. He wins the ball in the Palace half and then absolutely bulldozes an opposing defender. Welcome back!
It is all one-way traffic in the opening stages, with the visitors hardly getting a kick of the ball in the opening ten minutes. The Reds are showing more attacking ambition in this opening salvo than they did at any stage against the Blues. Salah and Robbo are already showing the attacking quality and intent that we desperately missed last time out.
With fifteen minutes gone, Roy Hodgson is forced into a change, with Wilfried Zaha pulling up short with a knock. While we don’t wish injuries on anyway, that’s a dangerous attacker we won’t miss running at our defense.
GOAL! Virgil van Dijk wins a free kick in a dangerous spot, about 25 yards from goal. Trent Alexander-Arnold steps up and curls it over the wall and into the top corner. Fantastic free kick, Hennessey had no chance. 1-0.
A moment later Liverpool nearly double their lead. A Jordan Henderson volley (!) hits the post, and Van Dijk cannot turn the ball home in the goal line scramble. Unlucky!
Martin Atkinson seems to have turned penalties off for this match. The Reds have been denied three decent penalty claims in short order, including what looked for all the world like a handball.
GOAL!! And what a goal it was! Fabinho picks the ball up near the center circle, beats a man, and hits Salah in stride with an inch-perfect chip over the top. Salah chests down and finishes calmly with his favored left boot.
It was a truly dominant first half. Palace managed just two shots, both from outside the box, and both off target. If anything, the 2-0 scoreline flatters the visitors.
Aaaand Liverpool nearly add to their lead within the first minute. A low Andy Robertson cross is flashed across the face of goal, but Salah is just a half-step away from poking it home.
GOAL!!! In a day of spectacular Liverpool goals, this might be the best. Robertson lays it off to Fabinho about 30 yards from goal. The Brazilian takes a touch, looks up, and puts his laces through it. Just like with his goal against City, it was rifled into the back of the net and the keeper had no chance.
With a little more than an hour gone, Klopp makes his first change, bringing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on for Jordan Henderson.
GOAL!!!! Another great team goal! Salah plays Sadio Mané through on goal, and Sadio—who hasn’t had many chances today—coolly slots it low, beating the keeper to the far post.
Klopp makes two more changes after the last goal: Trent makes way for Neco Williams and Takumi Minamino comes on for Bobby.
Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott are the last subs off the bench. Elliott replaces Robbo (did he draw the fullback short straw?) and Keita comes on for Mané.
That was as complete of a performance as we’ve seen all season from Liverpool. The Reds were dominant on both sides of the ball, and easily could have scored more. Two points is all that separates Liverpool from their first title in 30 years.