Crystal Palace 1 - 3 Liverpool
Crystal Palace: Edouard 55’
Liverpool: Van Dijk 8’, Oxlade-Chamberlain 32’, Fabinho 89’ PEN
Jurgen Klopp’s men are looking for a third successive win after strong performances against Brentford and Arsenal last week. Klopp’s midfield of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Curtis Jones is a fan-pleaser, and remains unchanged from the Arsenal game. So does the backline which features Joel Matip alongside Virgil Van Dijk and our star full-backs. Diogo Jota’s heroics on Friday are still fresh on our minds, and we hope to hear his brand new song ringing through Selhurst Park tonight. The last time we visited, we bagged seven goals, so let’s do that again, yeah?
Palace kick off the half with an energetic press high up the pitch, but Liverpool quickly gain control of the game and push back.
Andy Robertson is everywhere, making key passes, and setting up crosses for attack. At 8’, he sends in a corner which is received by Van Dijk and headed in with power - GOAL!
Liverpool keep up the pressure, but at 20’, Palace charges back on the counter and Mateta runs at Alisson who is forced to stretch his form and make a fantastic save. It would have been deemed offside anyway it seems.
Liverpool continue to dominate and move like a well-functioning unit. At 31’, a quick team sequence starting in midfield is fluidly passed from the right wing to the left, and Robertson crosses it over towards goal where an unmarked Ox receives it, controls it wonderfully and swings it into the net with his left foot - GOAL! This is fun and joyful and easy football! That’s two assists already for our Robbo.
At 38’ Matip makes an error kicking the ball to Olise, who runs astray of Van Dijk and slips the ball towards Alisson who is forced to make another save. He has another chance three minutes later dragging Alisson wide before directing the ball towards goal, but Matip gets there just in time.
Liverpool have a shaky start to the second half, and after having a couple of shots at goal saved, Palace have a through ball sent towards Alisson at 55’ that’s driven in by Edouard - GOAL.
Palace fans get behind their squad and raise the volume which adds to the frenzy. Klopp responds by subbing Ox with Minamino at 59’.
Liverpool keep trying to get their grip back on the game, but Palace manages to slip away on the break and get in behind the backline several times. A knock to Trent in a challenge just past 65’ doesn’t help.
Klopp calls in a huddle and frantically conveys instructions during a break with 15 minutes to go.
At 82’, a long ball from Palace soars over Liverpool’s midfield and Olise receives it and charges towards Alisson whose fingertips manage to nudge the ball away. Thank god for our Holy Goalie.
A soaring ball from Trent to Jota leads to a possible penalty shout when Jota collides with Guaita near his goal around 86’. VAR deems it a penalty! Our star goalscorer Fabinho steps up and settles the game - GOAL!!!!!!! A MUCH NEEDED ONE AT THAT.
James Milner is brought on late for game management, and Joe Gomez for a limping Trent. Hopefully the latter isn’t down with something serious.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
Liverpool were dominant in the first half even without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and they looked like they were having fun on the pitch. They came under pressure from Palace in the second half, with a change in shape and energy from the home team. But they managed to hold on, served well by a lucky late penalty.
Manchester City dropped a point yesterday against Southampton, which is sure to get folks talking. But rather than get swept up in the narrative, it’s important that the squad keep their heads down and maintain consistency in the coming weeks. With Champions League games and a League Cup final looming, things will get busy. Up the composed and consistent Reds!
And 3 points to the traveling Kop for belting out Diogo’s (long overdue) new song.
Liverpool’s Man of the Match vs. Crystal Palace
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