Liverpool recovered from a goal behind and a man down to win 2-1 at Selhurst Park, with Christian Benteke scoring the winning goal from the spot in the 95th minute.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Premier League, Sunday 6th March 2016
Selhurst Park, London
Goals: Ledley (48); Firmino (72), Benteke (90+5).
Klopp made two changes to the side that beat Man City on Wednesday, with Mamadou Sakho and Alebrto Moreno replacing Kolo Toure and Nathaniel Clyne in defence.
Liverpool were seeking to collect their third consecutive league win for the first time this season, against a Palace side who hadn’t won in 11 games.
The first half was a scrappy 45, with the first 10 minutes frenetic, sometimes end-to-end action as Palace looked to exploit Liverpool on the counter using the pace of Zaha and Bolasie.
It was Palace forward Emanuel Adebayor who came closest in the first half though, heading against the bar from close range.
The home side had the better chances, with Simon Mignolet thankfully in good form for Liverpool – who failed to register a shot in target in the first 45 minutes.
Liverpool failed to clear the corner and the ball eventually fell for midfielder Joe Ledley who hit a half volley from the edge of the box into the bottom corner. Nothing Mignolet could do about it.
Liverpool attempted to get back into it but still failed to threaten Palace keeper Alex McCarthy. Come the hour, Klopp called on Philippe Coutinho to replace Jon Flangan.
Within a minute of that positive sub though, James Milner picked up his second yellow card for another rash challenge on Zaha. It was stupid stuff from the Reds’ vice-captain.
Emre Can moved to centre-back alongside Sakho, with Dejan Lovren over to right-back.
Liverpool’s first shot on target finally arrived in the 65th minute, but it was a relatively tame effort straight at the keeper from Firmino.
The Reds drew level though when McCarthy gifted Firmino the equaliser in the 72nd minute. The Brazilian punished the keeper’s poor clearance with a composed finish, taking him to eight goals for the season and LFC’s top scorer.
Liverpool, despite being a man down, were the ones pushing for a winner. Sub Christian Benteke almost scored with his first touch but his shot off a corner was too close to the keeper, not an easy chance.
It was a nervy final 10 minutes, especially with Palace adding Liverpool’s previous tormentor in chief, Dwight Gayle, on.
Liverpool almost grabbed the winner three minutes from time when Moreno hammered a shot from 25 yards which hit the post.
Klopp’s side showed some resilience to continue to push for a winning goal, despite being a man down. Coutinho enjoyed a lot of the ball and really looked to provide the moment of magic.
Benteke then won – and scored – a penalty in the 94th minute, showing superb composure to slot the spot kick past McCarthy with the final touch of the game.
An incredible end, Liverpool earning their third straight league win for the first time this season. Up the Reds!
Next Up: Man United (h), Thursday, Europa League Last-16 First Leg
Crystal Palace: McCarthy; Ward, Delaney, Dann, Souare; Jedinak, Ledley (Sakho, 82), Cabaye (Mutch); Zaha, Bolasie, Adebayor (Gayle, 82).
Subs not used: Speroni, Kelly, Lee, Chamakh.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Flanagan (Coutinho, 64), Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can; Milner, Firmino (Toure 88), Lallana; Origi (Benteke 80).
Subs not used: Ward, Clyne, Allen, Sturridge.
Referee: Andre Marriner
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