With Man City finally dropping points, Jurgen Klopp’s side opened up the Premier League title race again with a convincing 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
The Reds took little time to get going, taking the lead in the 8th minute with Virgil van Dijk comfortably converting from a corner. Liverpool were in no mood to slack off and got another in the 32nd minute thanks to a slick finish from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, making it 2-0!
The Reds enjoyed 66% in the first half, totally dominating things and almost making things look too easy. LFC slacked off in the second half and were made to pay in the 55th minute when Palace got one back through Odsonne Edouard.
Palace threw the kitchen sink at Liverpool, who were visibly rattled and would’ve lost the plot if not for Alisson’s heroics. They received a penalty in the 89th minute, which was smartly converted by Fabinho to seal all 3 points. The Reds are now 9 points away from City (with one game in hand). Won’t be easy – but at least there’s still a title race to fight for.
Liverpool Player Ratings at Crystal Palace
Jurgen Klopp (7.0) –
Klopp maintained his winning combination from the last PL game and his side were excellent in the first half, capitalizing on Palace’s weaknesses perfectly. However, Liverpool horribly slacked off in the second half and Klopp couldn’t do much to stop that – having to trust n Alisson to save them from trouble.
Needs to ensure his side stop slacking off during games if they need to win every game in the league and maintain pressure on Man City in the title race.
Alisson (7.5) –
Makes a fantastic save in the 39th to save Matip’s blunders. Then another clutch reflex save denies Edouard’s backheel from like 5 yards out in the 48th. Denies Olise with an exceptional save – recovering well from being out of position to parry away a chipped effort wide. Ensured his side didn’t self-implode with some key saves.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.0) –
Trent was very comfortable on the right and kept it very secure in the first half. Kept sending crosses forward and came up with an exceptional long ball to send Jota through in the 85th to help him win the penalty.
Virgil van Dijk (7.0) –
Big Virg opens the scoring with a superb header from a corner. Slacked off for Edouard’s goal, playing Mateta onside to help set up that strike. Apart from that, he was relatively solid and puts in another strong performance in an away game.
Joel Matip (5.5) –
Matip was uncharacteristically sloppy and made a few errors in the first half, including giving the ball away outside his box to a Palace player and nearly costing his side a goal. Too weak with a clearance in the 55th and caught out of position for Edouard’s goal. Invited pressure with some niggly errors and didn’t look too comfortable against Palace’s pace.
Andy Robertson (9.0) –
The in-form left-back continues his good work, swinging in an ideal cross to assist Van Dijk’s header. Swings in a brilliant cross in the 11th that isn’t converted by Ox. But gets his second assist after his superb cross in the 32nd for Ox is scored by him.
Robbo was troubled a bit by the tricky Olise, but was predominantly superb on the left and looked a threat every time he had the ball. Playing like the best left-back in the league again.
Curtis Jones (7.5) –
Jones loved the freedom he received in midfield, moving the ball forward swiftly and creating some nice chances too. Created 3 chances, maintained a 90% passing accuracy and was adventurous in a very open game.
Jordan Henderson (7.5) –
Captain Hendo starts the game in lively fashion, testing the goalkeeper with a nice shot in the 6th. Makes a sweet pass to send Ox through, but unable to see him pounce on it. Made a smart run in the box in the 53rd before hitting a shot on the turn that goes agonizingly wide. Led like a leader in midfield, marshalling his team forward and being involved in some exciting stuff.
Fabinho (6.5) –
Got a huge chance to score in the 25th, but disappointingly skies a shot over the bar from close range. Made up by scoring a smart penalty to seal the deal. Was a bit shaky defensively and couldn’t stop the Palace onslaught in the second half, but at least helped LFC get the win in the end.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (7.5) –
Was really eager to get among the goals and nearly did in the 12th, hitting the sidenetting from a difficult angle. Gets his goal after the half-hour mark, brilliantly bringing down Robbo’s cross and sliding a shot past the goalkeeper. Sets up a nice chance for Hendo with a smart cross in the 52nd. Surprisingly taken off at the hour-mark after a bright performance.
Roberto Firmino (6.0) –
Bobby doesn’t look comfortable in possession, giving the ball away far too often. Not really involved in much and unable to test the goalkeeper properly either.
Diogo Jota (7.0) –
After his heroics against Arsenal in mid-week, Jota looks hungry for more today. Set up a nice chance for Fabinho in the 25th. Moved the ball swiftly to Robbo to help him set up the second. Able to go through on goal in the 85th, but was barged down – earning a crucial (slightly lucky) penalty for his side. Grafted hard all game long, indirecting helping set up a few goals.
Takumi Minamino (6.0) –
Involved in some exciting counter-attacking moves towards the end, bu tunable to get among the goals.
Joe Gomez (N/R) –
Helped his side see out the game.
James Milner (N/R) –
Helped ensure the game was won.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Robbo was on fire on the left today, assisting two goals with superb crosses and ruling the roost. He’s the MOTM today .