Crystal Palace 2-4 LIVERPOOL
Liverpool claim 3 points against Crystal Palace, after a hard fought fixture that saw 6 goals scored.
Klopp would change the side that was victorious in the league cup, but often Premier League games have quite different lineups to other competitions.
Karius goes back in goal, despite conceding almost every time Liverpool have played with him and Mignolet’s clean sheet record being of a very high standard. I think it’s fair to say that Klopp wants to use his new signing a lot. I don’t wish him to have wasted any transfer money, but I would rather have the highest standard of goalkeeper in our team, even if your new signing has to be relegated to substitute. James Milner was said to have had an illness, some kind of virus or cold/flu that has made him sick enough to not be able to name as substitute even. So, Moreno came in to play at left back. Surprinsgly, Daniel Sturridge did not start this game despite scoring twice the last time he was started. It didn’t seem to negatively effect the team, but is it fair to Daniel? He really proved himself to be on top form but was not rewarded with anything more than a place on the substitute bench in the next fixture. I feel bad for him.
This game was end to end football. One minute, we were watching Coutinho or Mané or Firmino try their luck to score and then all of a sudden, Reds fans were cheering on our defence as we made some challenges at the back. Palace were not going to take a draw or defeat without a fight. They wanted to win, in front of their own fans.
It would only be around a quarter of an hour before the first goal would come. Emre Can received the ball from Alberto Moreno on the edge of the penalty area and accurately placed the ball beyond the goalkeeper and into the net. This seems to have been Moreno’s best contribution to a game since the start of the season, I would say. He’s assisted a goal and that is the least he will need to be doing if he ever wants to become a regular left back for Liverpool again.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Liverpool.
Just two minutes later, there would be a reply. Crystal Palace responded by taking Liverpool by surprise. Our fans had barely stopped celebrating the goal by Can before Dejan Lovren couldn’t stop James McArthur from scoring a header. Crystal Palace 1-1 Liverpool.
A couple of the goals in this game involved Lovren not beating McArthur in the air, actually. He’d end up scoring TWO headers. I don’t like to talk very negatively about our defence, but I just felt there was more Lovren could have done to stop Crystal Palace scoring (twice). If Klopp were to replace him at the back for the next fixture at least, I’d understand exactly why. When the league campaign we’re currently involved in has us being kept 2nd or 3rd by goal difference alone, we have to make sure that we don’t needlessly concede goals. If by the end of the season, it’s still as close as it is now then we need to have conceded at little as possible. The defence will need to be consistently strong. Sometimes, the manager will have to rotate the defenders to make sure he has the perfect set up to stop goals being scored against us.
About 3 minutes later, Liverpool would win a corner. Coutinho would take it and as if he felt guilty for allowing McArthur to beat him in the air and score against us- Lovren rushed in to meet Coutinho’s corner with a fine header which sailed right from his head and into the back of the net. If anything stops Lovren from being replaced for his defensive errors – it will be the fact that he can score. You take him out of the team, you’re also taking away his potential goals which he’s proven to be able to get in high pressure competitive fixtures.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool. Liverpool were now winning after five minutes of exciting action in which three goals had been scored. It was still only about 21 minutes played. More goals would come in the first half too.
The 33rd minute would see Crystal Palace score the second headed goal from McArthur I mentioned.
Former Manchester United player Wilfried Zaha threw in a cross and McArthur repeated the headed goal he’d gotten earlier all over again. We’d taken two leads but seen them equalised against twice now. By the same player.
Crystal Palace 2-2 Liverpool. Learn from your mistakes, Liverpool. We need to assess our weaknesses and strengthen them, make sure we don’t let the same defensive errors happen more than once. If a player beats you in the air to score once, try and make sure that you don’t let them get the better of you the next time an aerial battle occurs. That’s “adaptability”. Realising the opponents strengths and adapting to defend against them, within the game.
Still, another goal was on the way in the first half. For the second time in the game, Coutinho would cross in an assist from a corner to the penalty area and this time, Joel Matip would score a header. I was impressed with Matip, he showed he can not just use his head for defence but to also attack well and provide a goal. The 1st half was just about to end but Klopp could at least praise his team for leading at the break.
Five goals and the game was only half done still. This game was certainly more exciting than the Manchester United fixture we’d only gotten a goalless draw in. Many fans would have looked at the fixture list at the start of the season and taken note of when we’d be playing United in anticipation of when the exciting fixture would be due to happen… but this season, some unexpected things have happened. The United fixture was boring compared to this game against Crystal Palace. Who’s more likely to score twice against Liverpool? Wayne Rooney? The £89M Paul Pogba? Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Or… James McArthur? Nobody could have predicted the way this all turned out. But that’s part of why we love football, the unpredictability is exciting.
The second half seemed like Liverpool did not want their opponents to score a third equaliser. The fact that we can score multiple times is known but we can’t guarantee that every time Palace score, we’d go out and get another. It creates some nervousness, when drawing just isn’t the standard for Liverpool in general this season. We’ve been out there at home and away fixtures, winning. Our League position has seen us rush up the table, only being kept from 1st place by goal difference – the points we have had were equal to the 1st placed team.
This wave of success is to be repeated and in the race for the Premier League title, draws just won’t do. You’d have to already be ahead by several points (4 at least) and top of the league to just accept a draw while other Premier League teams went out and got wins as you drew. You draw and others win – they’ve caught up two points. You keep doing that over and over, the two points gained will turn into 4, 6, 8, 10… you will then find out that your position slips away and why? They won as you drew. They got 3 points and you only got 1, multiple times. It’s just not good enough for this kind of thing to happen and Liverpool have really done their best to see it didn’t happen this season. The most successful teams have won, but so have we. We’ve been up there, gathering just as many points as they did.
We didn’t draw with Crystal Palace, in fact we’d score a 4th goal in the second half that made sure it wasn’t going to be 3-3 by the end of the game.
The 4th goal was Firmino’s. Jordan Henderson had provided a wonderful through-ball from the heart of midfield and Firmino chased it, brought it a little closer to the edge of the penalty area and then took his shot, which powered past the goalkeeper and into the net from around 20 yards. Great football, from the moment Hendo saw Firmino running and put through his assist to the Brazilian to the moment the ball hit the back of the net. From the 4th goal until the final whistle for full time, I certainly felt less nervous about only getting a draw and confident of victory which would happen eventually.
Man Of the Match
You’d probably think I had 4 choices to award this to, but I’m choosing a 5th choice who was actually not a goalscorer… I’m going with Coutinho. He assisted two goals from corners, was constistent in attacking and providing attacking opportunities for his teammates and generally was too much for Crystal Palace to handle. Unselfish and dangerous, even when he’s not scoring himself – Coutinho is a good example to anyone who would like to keep their place in the side even if they’re not the best goalscorer in the squad. Contribute this well to the squad and you’ll find yourself a part of the starting 11, consistently. The fans are sure to love you too. I love our little Brazilian magician.
The extra fans in the new main stand are back for more as Watford travel to Anfield for Premier League action.
Walk on with hope in your heart, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.