John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, Liverpool, 1988 (Picture by Ross Kinnaird EMPICS Sport)

Liverpool 9-0 Crystal Palace: 8 scorers, Aldo’s goodbye & the Reds’ biggest-ever top-flight victory

As Liverpool prepare to face Crystal Palace this weekend, we’re reminded of a classic when the Reds thrashed the same opposition by a mammoth scoreline.

In the modern era, the Reds have won a handful of games by a 6-0 scoreline. Back in 1999, they even put seven past Southampton.

But the record win in England’s top flight for Liverpool came a decade earlier, with the 9-0 hammering of Crystal Palace at Anfield, just under three years before the old First Division became the Premier League.

Just a few months on from the heartache of Hillsborough and the emotional experiences of both winning the FA Cup and losing the league title in the final seconds, the Reds were back on the path toward championship success.

Kenny Dalglish‘s side would go on to win the title at the end of the 89/90 campaign—and it remains Liverpool’s last league triumph.

(l-r) Ronny Rosenthal, Ian Rush, Ronnie Whelan, Alan Hansen and John Barnes (All Action/EMPICS Entertainment)

That was still a long way off when Palace travelled to Merseyside in September, with the Reds having won twice and drawn twice in their opening league fixtures.

Any fears of witnessing a first defeat of the season were almost immediately wiped away; Liverpool started fast and netted twice in the opening 15 minutes—but it was in the second half when the goals were really racked up.

All told, the Reds’ nine goals were scored by eight different players, with the unlikely figure of Steve Nicol the only man to net twice on the night, starting and ending the scoring.

In between, Steve McMahon and Ian Rush scored in the first half, while after the whistle five more Reds found a way past the hapless Perry Suckling in the Palace goal.

Gary Gillespie, Peter Beardsley, substitute John Aldridge—who came onto the pitch for the precise reason of taking the penalty and thus scored with his first touch—John Barnes and Glenn Hysen all took turns to net on a memorable Anfield evening.

The goal of the game perhaps came early on, with McMahon’s outstanding chip from range a spectacular effort, but there were plenty of fine team efforts on show too.

Aldridge’s spot-kick was memorable in itself for being his final goal before leaving Anfield, transferred to Real Sociedad for just over £1 million.

John Aldridge Liverpool

It’s perhaps forgotten over time that Palace themselves had a penalty in the game, but Geoff Thomas failed to beat Bruce Grobbelaar.

The three midweek points taken at Anfield that night sent Liverpool to the top of the table—on goal difference, unsurprisingly after that result—and they’d end the season in the exact same position.

Another Anfield night to live on in folklore, another trophy in the cabinet—and now another game against Crystal Palace to look forward to.

It might not be the same scoreline on Saturday, but this Liverpool side continue to show they might finally be the ones to end the long wait for the league title.

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