Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace: Reds back to their best – and two points from the title

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Liverpool blew away Crystal Palace with a 4-0 win at Anfield on Wednesday night, to put themselves within two points of the title, and perhaps one day from glory.

Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace

Premier League (31), Anfield
June 24, 2020

Goals

Alexander-Arnold 23′ (assist – Van Dijk)
Salah 44′ (assist – Fabinho)
Fabinho 55′ (assist – Robertson)
Mane 69′ (assist – Salah)


Unlike in the derby, Liverpool started with real fluency on their return to Anfield, with their one-touch play slick as every player looked to get on the ball early, almost resulting in a Gini Wijnaldum opener within the first eight minutes.

Palace were dealt a blow before the quarter-hour mark as Wilfried Zaha was forced off through injury, and soon after a brilliant long pass from Joe Gomez allowed Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to interchange and test Wayne Hennessey.

For all of the Reds’ brilliant buildup, the opening goal came from a set-piece, and it was perfect free-kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold, from a difficult area, that curled over the Palace wall and beyond the reach of Hennessey for 1-0.

Jordan Henderson then hammered the post on the volley, with Virgil van Dijk unable to turn home the rebound as Liverpool kept up the pressure against an increasingly deep away defence.

They had their second before the break, with a cracking pass over the top from Fabinho helping Mohamed Salah beat the offside trap, taking it down to power past Hennessey for a two-goal lead.

HT: Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring the first goal, from a free-kick, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Liverpool recapture form after understandably slow return in derby
  • 100-goal mark breached for third season in a row; first time since 1987
  • Reds now two points from the title, with Man City next up on July 2
  • If City lose or draw at Chelsea on Thursday night, the title is already won

Liverpool opened the second half with the same bluster as they closed the first, with Andy Robertson blasting over from range after space opened up for him on his return to the side.

Fabinho, who was back to his best in the middle of the park, made no mistake when he found himself in a similar position minutes later, picking up the pass from the left-back and thundering a strike into the back of the net.

It was plain sailing from there, and Klopp used the opportunity to utilise his substitutes’ bench, first sending on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and then Liverpool were 4-0 up as a sumptuous first-time pass from Salah saw Mane through to place it into the bottom corner.

An unassailable lead prompted a Premier League debut for Neco Williams, while Takumi Minamino came on in a more natural role than his right-wing berth in the derby, replacing Firmino as the No. 9.

The intensity didn’t drop, but perhaps there was an element of mercy on their hapless opponents as the Reds surged to an easy win.

It is one that takes Jurgen Klopp‘s side just two points from the title, but a failure to win for Man City away to Chelsea on Thursday night would clinch it without having to play another game.


TIA Man of the Match: Fabinho

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold (Williams 74′), Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson (Keita 84′); Fabinho, Henderson (Oxlade-Chamberlain 64′), Wijnaldum; Salah, Mane (Elliott 84′), Firmino (Minamino 74′)

Subs not used: Adrian, Lovren, Jones, Origi

Crystal Palace: Hennessey; Ward, Sakho, Cahill, Van Aanholt; Kouyate (Riedewald 66′), McCarthy, McArthur (Milivojevic 66′); Townsend, Zaha (Meyer 15′), Ayew (Pierrick 84′)

Subs not used: Henderson, Dann, Mitchell, Tavares

Next Match: Man City (A) – Premier League – Thursday, July 2, 8.15pm (BST)

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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