Neither goal was particularly pretty, and nor was the performance, but Liverpool once again found a way to win, beating Crystal Palace 2-1.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool
Premier League (13), Selhurst Park
Mane 49′ (assist: Robertson)
As you’d imagine from a side managed by Roy Hodgson, Palace sat deep and organised, meaning Liverpool had plenty of the ball early on but little to show for it.
Indeed, it was Palace who had the best chance of a scrappy opening half-hour, with Jordan Ayew failing to hit the target after a poor ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold had given the hosts the opportunity.
VAR came to Liverpool’s rescue just before half-time when James Tomkins headed in from close range after a free-kick that was conceded by Alexander-Arnold out wide, but it was ruled out for a push on Dejan Lovren in the box.
Half-time ended in a stalemate, with Liverpool yet to have managed a shot on target.
Half time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Liverpool
- VAR disallows Palace goal just before half-time
- Fabinho booked; misses next league game, vs. Brighton
- Van Dijk and Mane Reds’ best players
- Another game without a clean sheet
- Man City play Chelsea in the evening kick off
Mane had a superb chance early in the second half after being put through by Jordan Henderson, but his placed shot was poor and off-target… a minute later, though, Mane’s scuffed shot stumbled over the line to open the scoring.
Roberto Firmino had the best chance to make it two, but his poked effort was tipped around the post by Guita in the Palace goal.
Palace offered little attacking threat, opting to bring on former Liverpool man Christian Benteke for the final 15 minutes in an attempt to change that – and he had an overhead kick as his first touch of the ball but thankfully his acrobatic effort went just wide.
And it was Benteke who created the problems that led to Palace’s equaliser in the 83rd minute, ending with Wilfried Zaha finishing past Alisson.
It meant another game without a clean sheet, with just two in the opening 13 league games of this season.
Once again, though, this Liverpool side found a way, any way, to win. Firmino hit home from close range off a messy corner in the 85th minute.
It was a nervy finish, with five minutes added time, but Zaha blasted a brilliant chance high over the bar and Liverpool held on for another vital three points.
TIA Man of the Match: Sadio Mane
Referee: Kevin Friend
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward (Kelly 70′), Tomkins, Cahill, Van Aanholt, Townsend, Kouyate (Schlupp 72′), Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew (Benteke 76′)
Subs not used: Hennessey, Dann, Meyer, McCarthy
Subs not used: Adrian, Keita, Salah, Lallana
Next Match: Napoli (home, Wednesday 27 November)