Liverpool 3-2 Crystal Palace
Saturday 13 November 2004
Milan Baros scored the only hat-trick of his Liverpool career in his most prolific season for the club – scoring 13 goals in total during Rafa Benitez’s first campaign in charge.
Baros completed his hat-trick with a last minute penalty and give Liverpool victory. In fact, two of Baros’ goals came via the penalty spot after the Czech Republic international had won the spot-kicks himself.
This was a Liverpool side featuring three of Rafa Benitez’s new signings; Josemi at right back, and Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia in midfield. Josemi was not impressing in his early Liverpool career.
The Reds were without injured duo Steven Gerrard and Djibril Cisse – a recent £14m acquisition – and had just lost their 100% home start under Benitez days earlier against Birmingham.
After the match, Benitez said “We fought right until the end and that was important. We knew it would be difficult but I thought we played as we had to.”
The return fixture later that season saw Liverpool defeated 1-0, Andy Johnson scoring the only goal. It wasn’t enough to save Palace from relegation though – narrowly dropping out as West Brom pulled off a miracle escape.
Liverpool went on to finish fifth in the League, but their season ended in Istanbul on May 25th…
Goals: Baros 23 pen, 45, 90 pen – Kolkka 44, Hughes 52.
Liverpool: Kirkland, Josemi, Hyypia, Carragher, Traore, Garcia, Alonso, Hamann, Riise, Kewell, Baros.
Subs: Dudek, Finnan, Biscan, Sinama-Pongolle, Mellor.
Crystal Palace: Kiraly, Leigertwood, Popovic, Boyce, Granville, Routledge, Watson, Riihilahti, Hughes, Kolkka, Freedman.
Stats via the excellent LFCHistory.