Sunday, 1 April 2018

Salah Seals Reds Comeback at Selhurst Park

Sports - Football - Premier League - CPFC 1:2 LFC

Liverpool bagged all three points against Crystal Palace thanks to top scorer Mohamed Salah's late winner after a less convincing performance by the Reds in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off at Selhurst Park.

Click here for my ByTheMinute match coverage.

It was Jürgen Klopp's 100th Premier League match in charge, his record being W54 D28 L18 and seeing 324 goals with this result.

Only Manuel Pellegrini saw more goals in his first 100 PL games with Manchester City (329).

With this win, the Reds completed the double over the London side for the first time since 1997-98.

Palace skipper Luka Milivojevic put the home side ahead from the spot after 12:26 minutes, following Loris Karius barging into Wilfried Zaha.

It wasn't the start the visitors wanted and the hosts kept frustrating the hell out of the Reds.

Sadio Mané was booked for his overdramatised diving antiques just over halfway through the first half.

Referee Neil Swarbrick took his time, replays showing James McArthur had made no contact, instead of making something of the chance, with the ball in the box, the Senegalese decided to go down.

The Eagles fans booed him on after that, he headed the ball in minutes later, to be flagged offside.

Just before the break, Mané's downward header was kept out well by Wayne Hennessey.

The interval saw no changes, former Reds boss Roy Hodgson surely the happier with his side's stubborn display against the shaky visitors.

But it didn't last long, four minutes after the restart Mané levelled from close range fed by James Milner from the left.

Former Liverpool forward Christian Benteke missed a couple of sitters wide, making life too easy for Karius after the keeper's shaky start.

Mané was lucky to escape a second caution and sending off with just under half an hour to go when he was involved in a bit of a tangle and rumble and picked up the ball after falling down once again.

A free kick was given against the number 19, but nothing further, Palace were not happy, Klopp took him off seconds later.

Karius made a cracking save denying Patrick van Aanholt, keeping out a nice left footed free kick into the top left corner, it stayed 1-1.

Sub Adam Lallana didn't last long, being replaced by Dejan Lovren just a few minutes after coming on for Georginio Wijnaldum.

Palace kept pushing but were unable to release a shot nor get anything on target.

Momo made it 1-2 with his 29th league goal of the season in the 84th minute.

The PL top scorer collected and took the shot patiently inside the box, netting from close range into the bottom left corner, assisted nicely by man of the match Andy Robertson from the left.

The Egyptian is now just three goals short of breaking Cristiano Ronaldo's 2007-08 Premier League scoring record.

With this defeat, Palace have lost each of their last four home games against Liverpool in all competitions and drop down to 17th just two points above the drop zone.

Three points keeps LFC comfy in third, five points ahead of Tottenham in fourth and only two points behind United in second, but both have games in hand.

And this match was definitely not a confidence gainer for the Reds ahead of their Champions League quarter final first leg clash against Manchester City on Wednesday.

No matter what Klopp tries to blame it on, criticising the ref or whatever, the Reds were just not good enough most of the match and have to do much better to have a hint of a chance to progress against the league leaders.

Palace Goal: Milivojevic pen 13'.

Liverpool Goals: Mané 49' & Salah 84'.

HT Stats: PAL 1-0 LIV
Possession: 24%-76%
Shots: 2-12
On target: 2-4
Corners: 1-4
Fouls: 4-5
Yellow cards: 2-2

FT Stats: PAL 1-2 LIV
Possession: 30%-70%
Shots: 6-16
On target: 3-6
Corners: 4-6
Fouls: 6-8
Yellow cards: 2-2

CPFC Team: 13 Hennessey; 3 van Aanholt, 12 Sakho, 34 Kelly, 29 Wan-Bissaka (24 Fosu-Mensah 88'); 7 Cabaye (8 Loftus-Cheek 73'), 4 Milivoyevic (c), 18 McArthur (booked 45'); 11 Zaha, 17 Benteke (booked 38'), 10 Townsend. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 14 Lee Chung-yong, 16 Cavilieri, 23 Souaré, 24 Delaney, 44 Riedewald.

LFC Team: 1 Karius (booked 12'); 26 Robertson, 4 van Dijk, 32 Matip, 66 Alexander-Arnold; 5 Wijnaldum (20 Lallana 65' (6 Lovren 70')), 14 Henderson (c), 7 Milner; 19 Mané (booked 24') (21 Oxlade-Chamberlain 64'), 9 Firmino, 11 Salah. 4-3-3
Subs not used: 2 Clyne, 18 Moreno, 22 Mignolet, 28 Ings.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick
Man of the match: Andy Robertson
Ground: Selhurst Park
Attendance: 25,807

Click here for my previous LFC match report.

All pictures, facts and stats were taken from the BBC match report, MOTD, Twitter and Sky Sports coverage.

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