Friday, 9 May 2014

Palace fight back shatters Reds' title chances

Sports - Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace 3:3 Liverpool

Liverpool's star striker Luis Suarez was left in tears at the final whistle at Selhurst Park, after seeing his side throw away a three-goal lead against a defiant Crystal Palace side, the Reds' defence and title chances crumbled to bits with the 3-3 draw and two points dropped.

Liverpool dejected after draw at Crystal Palace

Brendan Rodgers' men had bossed the game for about 70 minutes, before the London side turned the match on its head, cracking for all neutrals and football fans watching.

The visitors took the lead in the 18th minute, Joe Allen heading in his first Liverpool goal off a corner. Selhurst Park stayed loud and defiant, but the Reds kept control till the break.

And the game looked all but over, when Daniel Sturridge at the edge of the box, made, turned, shot and deflected a shot in to double the lead, followed by Suarez, who made no mistake off Raheem Sterling, netting past a stunned Julian Speroni, to make it 0-3 within under two minutes.

The Eagles were rewarded for the noise and defiance, when Damien Delaney smashed a cracker of a shot past a helpless Simon Mignolet to make it 1-3 and kick-off a great comeback.

Dwight GayleSeconds later, Philippe Coutinho missed a chance before Palace hit back on the counter attack, with a great break and run by Yannick Bolasie, leaving sub Dwight Gayle with an easy finish, to make it 2-3 with under 10 minutes to go, turning on the crowd even more and louder.

It was all Palace in the end, and Liverpool crumbled to bits, caved in under all the pressure. Mignolet made some strong stops, but was well beaten when Gayle slid a shot under him to double his tally and make it 3-3, completing Liverpool's heartbreak in the final minutes.

Tony Pulis can be proud of his side and job, not just in this match, but in the last few weeks. From relegation destined and written off, to mid-table comfort and delight for the London side.

Luis Suarez and Kolo ToureThe Reds meanwhile, were devastated the opposite way, not just in this match, but in the title race. As Martin Tyler said, it went from all right to all wrong for Liverpool, as their title chances are now in Manchester City's control, after this reverse deja vu of the 2005 Champions League final (Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan, three goals in nine minutes for the Reds). 

Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool

Crystal Palace Goals: 1.: 78:19 min Damien Delaney (27), 2.&3.: 80:18 & 87:24 min Dwight Gayle (16).

Liverpool Goals: 1.: 17:44 min Joe Allen (24), 2.: 52:45 min & 3.: 54:43 min Luis Suarez (7).

Crystal Palace Team: 1 Speroni; 2 Ward, 27 Delaney, 6 Dann (booked 67'), 3 Mariappa (booked 30'); 8 Dikgacoi (11 Ince '85), 15 Jedinak; 7 Bolasie, 28 Ledley, 13 Puncheon (16 Gayle 65'); 29 Chamakh (17 Murray 71'). 4-2-3-1
Subs not used: 4 Parr, 12 O'Keefe, 19 Gabbidon, 26 Hennessey.

Liverpool Team: 22 Mignolet; 38 Flanagan, 17 Sakho, 37 Skrtel (booked 63'), 2 Johnson; 21 Lucas, 24 Allen (booked 25'), 8 Gerrard; 15 Sturridge (12 Moses 86'), 7 Suarez (booked 50'), 31 Sterling (10 Coutinho 78'). 4-3-3
Subs not used: 1 Jones, 4 Toure, 5 Agger, 9 Aspas, 20 Cissokho.

Opta Match Stats: Crystal Palace-Liverpool
Attempts: 10-26
On target: 6-8
Blocked: 1-9
From outside the box: 6-10
From inside the box: 4-16
Shot Accuracy: 66.7%-47.1%
(General Play)
Possession: 34.9%-65.1%
Duels won: 53.8%-46.2%
Aerials won: 41.5%-58.5%
Interceptions: 18-11
Offsides: 0-3
Corners: 7-7
Total Passes: 295-608
Long Passes: 13.9%-6.7%
Passing Accuracy: 73.6%-88%
Pass. Acc. Opp. half: 60.8%-79.9%
Total Crosses: 28-14
Successful: 14.3%-35.7%
(Defence & Discipline)
Tackles: 19-16
Won: 78.9%-93.8%
Clearances: 21-28
Fouls conceded: 7-12
Yellow Cards: 2-3
Red Cards: 0-0

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Attendance: 25,261
Man of the match: Dwight Gayle

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