Liverpool made hard work of their evening as they sealed a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday at Selhurst Park.
Crystal Palace 2-4 Liverpool
Premier League, Selhurst Park
October 29, 2016
Can 16′ (assist – Moreno)
McArthur 18′ (no assist)
Lovren 21′ (assist – Coutinho)
McArthur 33′ (assist – Zaha)
Matip 44′ (assist – Coutinho)
Firmino 71′ (assist – Henderson)
Klopp made wholesale changes against Spurs, and only one of the players to help secure progress to a quarter-final clash with Leeds United kept their place against the Eagles, with Alberto Moreno retained at left-back due to illness to James Milner.
On a 10-game unbeaten run and with a hard-fought 2-1 win away to Palace in March still fresh in their minds, the Reds will have been primed to continue their push for a successful 2016/17 campaign.
Coming up against a Palace side that had won just once in their last five games this proved a surprisingly difficult challenge, but Liverpool were able to fight back and seal the win.
- Can nets first goal of season to break deadlock
- Lovren error gifts McArthur equaliser minutes later
- Croatian heads home to atone for mistake
- McArthur makes it 2-2 with header from close range
- Matip next up to score with another headed effort
- Firmino dinks Liverpool to a clear victory on 71 minutes
In a great atmosphere at Selhurst Park, both sides played out a close-fought opening, with this reflected by goals at either end before the 20-minute mark.
Firstly, Moreno’s excellent run behind the Palace defence saw him able to lay the ball on for Emre Can to divert home past Steve Mandanda, before an error from Dejan Lovren gifted James McArthur an equaliser shortly after.
Lovren made up for his mistake less than three minutes later, however, powering a bullet header beyond Mandanda to reclaim the lead.
But Liverpool didn’t stay in front for long, and it was McArthur again who was there to level the scores, heading home following great work from Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha.
The Reds remained on top, however, with Philippe Coutinho drawing an incredible save from Mandanda with a close-range header and Sadio Mane hooking it over when it was easier to score, but Joel Matip as on hand to make it 3-2 before half-time with a header of his own.
The second half began in the same vein, and Loris Karius was required to make two stops early after the interval, one to deny Benteke with a powerful drive on the turn.
Minutes later, Mandanda was on hand to stop efforts from Mane and Adam Lallana, before referee Andre Marriner waved away two penalty calls from the home side.
Quiet for most of the evening, Roberto Firmino made his mark with under 20 minutes to play, with the Brazilian latching onto a perfect through pass from Jordan Henderson and dinking the ball over Mandanda.
The Reds enjoyed some more promising openings as the clock ticked down, with Coutinho firing an effort into Mandanda’s palms, but Marriner called time with the score a comfortable 4-2.
TIA Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho
Referee: Andre Marriner
Crystal Palace: Mandanda; Ward, Dann, Tomkins, Kelly; Ledley (Puncheon 73′), McArthur (Campbell 86′); Lee (Townsend 66′), Cabaye, Zaha; Benteke
Subs not used: Hennessey, Fryers, Delaney, Flamini, Campbell
Liverpool: Karius; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Moreno; Henderson, Lallana (Wijnaldum 76′), Can; Mane (Klavan 90+2′), Coutinho (Origi 89′), Firmino
Subs not used: Mignolet, Randall, Lucas, Sturridge