Liverpool lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace on Saturday, as a below-par Reds failed to pick up three points on Steven Gerrard’s final match at Anfield.
Liverpool 1-3 Crystal Palace
Premier League – Anfield – Saturday, 16th May 2015
Goals: Lallana (26); Puncheon (43), Zaha (60), Murray pen (90)
Brendan Rodgers made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Chelsea last Sunday, with Alberto Moreno replacing Glen Johnson and Jordon Ibe coming in for Rickie Lambert.
The game was all about Steven Gerrard though, with arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player making his final ever appearance at Anfield.
The 34-year-old was given a guard of honour before kick-off by both sets of players, amid a magnificent reception from the Anfield crowd.
Emre Can dragged an early effort well wide of the target, but the game had the feel of being second to all things Gerrard in terms of importance.
In the 26th minute, Liverpool were ahead. Adam Lallana raced through on goal after a sloppy pass by former Reds player Martin Kelly, before finishing excellently past Wayne Hennessey.
Palace looked a threat on the break though, with the pace and trickery of Jason Puncheon and Yannick Bolasie causing problems.
The lively Puncheon levelled matters with a free-kick just two minutes before half-time, giving the scoreline a very different complexion at the interval.
Ibe had the first decent chance of the second-half, but fired his shot into the side-netting when better options were available.
It was Alan Pardew’s side who started the half easily the better side though, with Chung-Yon Lee shooting wide and also having penalty claims waved away.
Philippe Coutinho shot into the Kop, and Jordan Henderson and Ibe both saw efforts trickle wide, as Rodgers’ men tried to up the ante as the match approached the hour mark.
Liverpool’s attempts at going ahead again were undone after 59 minutes, however, as Wilfried Zaha side-footed home after good work from Bolasie.
Gerrard almost had his fairytale moment with 63 minutes on the clock, but his shot was comfortably saved by Hennessey. Lucas Leiva and Rickie Lambert were introduced soon after, in place of Ibe and Lallana.
A rampant Bolasie crashed a shot against the crossbar for the visitors, while Henderson, arguably Liverpool’s standout player, curled a shot wide.
Gerrard was pushed further up the pitch for the final quarter of proceedings, but that elusive equaliser just wouldn’t come.
Palace put the game to bed in the final minute, with Glenn Murray tapping home after his initial penalty had been saved by Simon Mignolet. It had been a bitterly disappointing Liverpool performance.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno (Sinclair ’87), Gerrard, Henderson, Lallana (Lambert ’65), Coutinho, Ibe (Lucas ’65), Sterling.
Subs not used: Ward, Johnson, Toure, Allen.
Crystal Palace starting XI: Hennessey, Ward, Dann, Kelly, Souare, McArthur, Ledley, Puncheon, Lee, Bolasie, Chamakh.
Referee: Jonathan Moss