LIVERPOOL 1-0 Crystal Palace
Liverpool hosted London side Crystal Palace at Anfield for a victory in our first home fixture of the season.
Jurgen Klopp is keeping everyone guessing over what his strategy may be in any given fixture. Clearly he has been anticipating the return of Daniel Sturridge as much as our fans. Sturridge would be returned directly into the starting 11 lineup as soon as he was fully fit.
Klopp hadn’t made any changes to the side that drew with Watford and then went onto defeat Hoffenheim, but this time he made five changes to what was a winning formation. (If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it, Jurgen?)
Klavan replaced Lovren, Milner replaced Alexander-Arnold, Gomez replaced Can, Robertson replaced Moreno, and Sturridge replaced Salah. So, you can see that a variety of already successful players moved around with some of them becoming substitutes instead of keeping their place in the starting lineup.
As for Crystal Palace, their lineup had it’s threats and strengths too. Christian Benteke being one of them.
Former Liverpool striker Benteke has a scarily efficient record of scoring against Liverpool, he has scored five goals in his previous three Premier League games at Anfield as an opposition player, more than he has at any other away ground in the competition. We’d have to keep an eye on him and mark him tightly, because he hasn’t and wouldn’t hesitate to punish us with a goal scored against us.
Liverpool hadn’t kept a clean sheet against Crystal Palace in 13 competitive matches, since a 0-0 draw in an FA Cup fourth-round tie in January 2003, over 14 years ago now.
Liverpool consistently kept away threats from Crystal Palace’s attackers though from the first minute to the last. Praise was much deserved for the Reds at the back (including our goalkeeper) for being able to not concede any goals at all. May we continue to see more clean sheets this season. A home debut for Andy Robertson was full of promise and he could have had a couple of assists if finishing from team-mates had been just a little more accurate. He really gave his all to make sure teammates were provided with the service they’d need to score. Robertson provided Milner with an excellent ball down the left hand side before another curling cross almost brought an opener from Matip. Also another chance which was gifted to Mané but that was one chance he did not convert.
It would be the 73rd minute before Mané would gather a long ball and run on toward the goalkeeper to strike it past Hennessey for the only goal of the game.
Much of the game had been quite defensive. Of the opportunities in attack that were being taken, this was the most accurately placed. Another 17 minutes + injury time had to be played after it so it was certainly quite nerve wrecking awaiting the final whistle which would signal Liverpool’s first Premier League victory of the season. Mignolet would make a difference with saves from him denying Crystal Palace any point from their visit to Anfield. We did not let this turn out a draw and would not concede late into the game, which had happened in the Watford game. Improvements have surely been made already to correct that kind of error.
Man of the Match
Top class football from Sadio Mané helped Liverpool’s first home game turn out a win instead of a goalless draw. Without his contribution, we may only have claimed a single point from the fixture. The fans really need to see a very positive start for the side early on in the season, a sign of good things to come. Mané gave that reassurance to us.
Of course, the goalscorer of the single goal in a 1-0 victory should be praised. He’s really worked hard to ensure the continuing success of Liverpool. His second goal in two Premier League fixtures has seen Mané currently claim the title of “top scorer” for the new season. May he continue to hold it by scoring many more.
Liverpool will continue their Champions League campaign and head back to Anfield once more for that in just a few days time.
[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.