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Football news - Liverpool seal nervy win in seven-goal thriller against Crystal Palace

Liverpool seal nervy win in seven-goal thriller against Palace

19/01/2019 at 16:16Updated 19/01/2019 at 18:01

Premier League, Anfield - Liverpool 4 (Salah 46', 75' Firmino 53' Mané 90') Crystal Palace 3 (Townsend 34' Tomkins 65' Meyer 90').

Mohamed Salah scored a brace as Liverpool came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 4-3 in a thriller to go seven points clear of Manchester City in the title race.

The Reds, who recalled James Milner, Joel Matip and Naby Keita, dominated possession but after missing a string of headed chances, Roy Hodgson’s side made them pay when Andros Townsend finished off a slick move.

The Reds responded brilliantly in the second half with Salah netting from close range before Roberto Firmino made it 2-1 with a cool finish.

Palace hit back when an unmarked James Tomkins scored from a corner to stun Anfield and evoke memories of their memorable results against Liverpool in recent years.

Andros Townsend celebrates scoring their first goal with Jordan Ayew

Andros Townsend celebrates scoring their first goal with Jordan AyewReuters

But a howler from 39-year-old keeper Julian Speroni gifted the home side the lead when he fumbled a cross and Salah scored on the line.

James Milner was shown a second yellow for late challenges on Wilfried Zaha but Sadio Mane scored a belter for Liverpool’s fourth in stoppage-time to seal victory.

Substitute Max Meyer netted for Palace, who will feel they deserved a point, but Klopp’s men held on for a priceless victory and put the pressure once again on Manchester City who face Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

TALKING POINT

Did Liverpool get lucky or are they showing the stuff of potential champions?

Premier League, Liverpool, Salah

Premier League, Liverpool, SalahGetty Images

Their defence looked uncharacteristically leaky today against a Palace side who carved out few chances and were happy to sit back and defend for large parts. But they fought back from going behind and kept their cool despite Tomkins’ goal. Their front three delivered again and this could game be remembered as one of those pivotal results if Liverpool are able to win the Premier League.

PLAYER RATINGS

LIVERPOOL: Alisson 5, Milner 6, Matip 6, van Dijk 7, Robertson 8, Henderson 4, Fabinho 6, Keita 5, Mane 7, Salah 8, Firmino 7. Subs: Shaqiri 5, Lallana n/a, Camacho n/a

CRYSTAL PALACE: Speroni 5, van Aanholt 6, Sakho 7, Tomkins 8, Wan-Bissaka 7, Milijovejic 7, Kouyate 5, Townsend 8, McArthur 7, Zaha 7, Ayew 5. Subs: Schlupp 5, Meyer n/a, Wickham n/a

MAN OF THE MATCH

Andy Robertson (Liverpool): The Reds were far from their best defensively but the full-back’s work rate, tackles and crosses were impressive. He also showed good composure following Milner’s late red card.

KEY MOMENTS

34’ - GOAL FOR PALACE! Lovely move. McArthur starts it off, Zaha uses his pace and cuts it back for Townsend to slot it in against the run of play.

37’ - ANOTHER CHANCE! Robertson swings in a cross for Van Dijk who misses the target with his header from around 15 yards out.

39’ - PENALTY APPEAL! Sakho and Salah tangle in the box, the Egyptian goes down easily, it is no penalty. McArthur has a go at Salah for that tumble.

46’ - GOAL FOR SALAH! van Dijk's speculative long-range shot hits McArthur and loops kindly for Salah who sticks out his leg to equalise, he appeared to be onside.

53’ - GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Firmino has space on the edge of the box and curls an effort which takes a deflection and goes into the far corner to make it 2-1.

65’ - GOAL FOR PALACE! Townsend's shot took a deflection for a corner. And from Milijovejic’s set piece, Tomkins rose highest to head it down into the bottom corner, its 2-2!

74’ - GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Milner volleys in a cross, Speroni makes a hash of it and Salah is there to tuck it in on the line to make it 3-2.

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), celebrates against Crystal Palace - Premier League 2018-2019

Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), celebrates against Crystal Palace - Premier League 2018-2019Getty Images

88’ - MILNER IS SENT OFF! He gets a second yellow for a late one on Zaha, 6 minutes from being booked for another late challenge on the winger.

90’+3 - GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Robertson plays it into Mane, who bends a shot into the far corner. Great finish to make it 4-2.

90’+5 - GOAL FOR PALACE! Meyer exchanges passes with Wickham before bending a shot in that Alisson should have done better to keep out.

KEY STATS

Mohamed Salah is the first player in the Premier League and the second player in Europe's Top 5 Leagues, to score 15 goals this season. Only Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (17) has more.

Julian Speroni (39y 246d) became the oldest player to make a Premier League appearance this season and the oldest to appear in the competition since Shay Given (40y 151d) vs Crystal Palace in September 2016.

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