Questionable Refereeing But 3 Points to the Kop.
The first-half blitz gave Liverpool the much needed 3 points as defensive errors cost Crystal Palace in the first half. Crystal Palace turned up the heat in the second half and with so many missed chances, they would have won this game had they gone in. Liverpool held the first half while Palace bossed the second half.
There were questionable decisions that trailed this win for Liverpool as they closed the gap on City with Benteke's offside call questionable and the penalty given to Liverpool. Liverpool ran 3-1 winner after Van Dijk, Chamberlain and Fabinho have Liverpool the 3 goals and Edouard gave Palace their solitary goal as they succumbed to defeat despite a dominant second half.
Liverpool didn't take it easy so early on with Crystal Palace as they bombarded the Eagles with a series of attacks but nothing came out of it. The defence held strong with blocks and goalkeeper coming to save them but they couldn't prevent Van Dijk's bullet header in the 8th minute after a brilliant corner kick delivery to give Liverpool a much-needed calm especially with City dropping points a day before.
Chamberlain missed two chances to add to the tally but he was unable to get to the delivery into the box with an initial effort and the second one, Robertson found him at the far post but he was unable to steer his effort on target from the right angle.
Even though Palace was flagged for offside later on but Alisson produced a brilliant save to deny Mateta after Ward broke through and picked him out inside the box in the 21st minute. Liverpool dominated proceedings and rightly so, intending to close the gap between them and City. Fabinho should have extended Liverpool's lead in the 25th minute after Jota did well to hold off play and lay the pass to Fabinho but his shot went over the bar when he should have gone for placement.
Liverpool finally doubled their lead in the 32nd minute after brilliant teamwork across the field. Robertson did well to pick out Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain instead of passing to Jota right ahead of him. His pass was precise at the near post and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain controlled the ball well and guided the ball underneath the goalkeeper into the back of the net to register a back to back goal for the first time in 2 years. Liverpool deservedly went ahead 2-0.
Palace managed to displace Curtis Jones and the end ball came to Gallagher inside the box through Mateta. He got a touch too heavy the first time and he couldn't control the ball enough to hit it and the chance went begging as the goalkeeper gathered it. Jones would be relieved while Palace would feel aggrieved to have missed that chance.
Liverpool got away with another chance from Palace after Olise couldn't get his shot past Alisson. It was another loose pass from Liverpool which Olise pounced on but he couldn't score. In the 42nd minute, Palace wasted another chance after Olise found Mateta with a delightful pass. Mateta tried to round up the goalkeeper but a slight touch knocked the ball from going into the net and Palace got a corner kick instead. What a missed chance that was.
Crystal Palace got denied in quick succession after Olise twisted and turned in the 46th minute but Gallagher couldn't turn the header in from close range. A minute after, Edouard was found inside the box and laid a pass to Mateta who still couldn't get his backheel past Alisson as the goalkeeper quickly gathered it from a yard out. Palace started the second half with so much zeal but still missed the goal.
Henderson almost got one for Liverpool as he struck the ball on the half volley only to miss by a tiny fraction. Crystal Palace finally got their goal after Schlupp brilliantly picked out Mateta with a lovely through pass and he unselfishly laid the pass to Edouard with a clever pass, leaving Alisson beaten and Edouard with a simple tap in, to half the deficit in the 55th minute. Palace almost got a second one in the 57th minute after Anderson's strike missed by a tiny fraction too.
Olise almost got the better of Alisson with a volley but Alisson managed to get a touch to it in the 83rd minute to force a corner kick. Crystal Palace turned the heat on Liverpool in the second half and bombarded them on every angle but couldn't get the second goal.
Liverpool finally got the killer goal in the 89th minute after Jota was brought down inside the box. It took VAR intervention to force the referee to have a rethink after he initially called it off. Fabinho stepped up to take the spot-kick eventually and he scored to make it 3-1 as they ran out winners.
Thank you for your time.
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