The good, the not so bad & the history making Reds – Debating Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace

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Liverpool put Crystal Palace to the sword after piling on four unanswered goals, leaving fans in awe of the men in red once more.

A return to Anfield coincided with a return to form for Jurgen Klopp‘s side, with the Eagles unable to cope with the intensity on display.

Man to man, Liverpool were firing on all cylinders and stunning goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane moved the club to within two points of the title.

And as Trent and Klopp alluded to, it was a lesson in how to play behind closed doors – and we are all watching greatness unfold before us.

Here, This Is Anfield duo Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) and Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) are joined by Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) to discuss the incredible win and share their view on these history making Reds.

 

The good…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (C) celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mates captain Jordan Henderson (L) and Mohamed Salah (R) 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)

JOANNA: The boys are back.

What a feeling it was to celebrate not only one but four stunning goals in a display which was case and point for why Liverpool are where they are.

Fabinho was back to his barnstorming best, the return of Salah and Robbo ensured both flanks operated as they are designed and the defence was largely allowed to sit back and enjoy the show.

The intent was clear from the off and the fact Palace didn’t get a sniff was a testament to the pressure on display, and Hendo deserves a nod for his part in Fab’s goal.

Two more points. Incredible.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Sadio Mané scores the fourth goal past Crystal Palace's goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey 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)

HENRY: Wow, where do I start? That was a masterclass.

I honestly think it was Liverpool’s best home performance of the season, especially given the bizarre circumstances that the match was played in.

Some of the football was a joy to watch and to keep Palace out of the penalty area for the entire match sums up just how dominant the Reds were. The quality of their ball retention, as well as their invention, was a reminder of how special they are.

In terms of individual displays, like Joanna, I thought Fabinho was outstanding, and Liverpool’s best player. It’s rare for any player to register such brilliant goals and assists in the same game, let alone somebody not necessarily famed for doing so.

The front-three were as good in tandem as they have been all season. I thought Mane and Firmino came flying out of the traps, while Salah was the star man by the end. That fourth goal epitomised everything brilliant about them – Salah’s assist was genuinely special.

I heard someone say that if that was Bergkamp to Henry back in 2004, the goal would be replayed for decades! It’s true.

A word of praise for Neco Williams, too, who enjoyed a Premier League debut to remember, showing such confidence late on.

Palace never stood a chance – playing like that, barely anyone in the world could contain Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Neco Williams 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)

JONATHAN: Liverpool were just a joy to watch last night in what was a heartwarming display. It was one of the best performances of the season and it had Klopp’s DNA stamped all over it, right from the first to the very last whistle.

Right from the opening minutes of the game the derby seemed like a distance memory, as we swept aside Hodson’s team. From an attacking point of view, the pace of the passing, forward interchanging and the switching of the play was top class.

But for me, it was the other side of the game that demonstrated why Liverpool are worthy champions, the relentless pressing, the work ethic and burning desire to win every second ball, meant Palace didn’t even get a chance to breathe.

As Joanna said, Klopp summed it up perfectly afterwards “It was for sure the best counter-pressing football behind closed door ever. Exceptional”

Sky were mocked during the week for their pre-match promo which only included Liverpool, little did we know it was a scarily accurate reflection of how the match would unfold.

 

The really not so bad…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum during the pre-match warm-up before 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)

JOANNA: Honestly, nothing was bad at that performance. It was the best home display in some time and as Klopp said, it could only be described as “exceptional.”

It could have been a lot more than four but that’s grasping at straws.

Other than that, it would have been nice for it to have been the title-clincher as I’m not in the camp of City dropping points tomorrow as I’d like to see us on the pitch getting the points to win it.

HENRY: There was honestly nothing bad about the match, apart from the fact that the fans weren’t there to witness such a fabulous performance.

The only player who couldn’t really claim to have contributed was Alisson, but that’s only because he was never once called into genuine action.

If I’m being picky, Wijnaldum and Henderson missed four good chances between them, and Gomez had one lapse in concentration. That’s it.

Liverpool's Henrique Fabinho scores his sides third goal during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Shaun Botterill/NMC Pool/PA Wire/PA Images)

JONATHAN: Impossible to pick any negative points from last night near-perfect display.

I couldn’t help to think especially in the second half though just how rocking the atmosphere would have been with a full house at Anfield watching that display and knowing that we were potentially 24 hours away from the title. It would have been something else.

I’m been extremely, extremely critical but it’s a pity that the derby didn’t go our way at the weekend, last night’s performance would have been the perfect way to wrap up the title, but almost there!

 

And a word on the history-making Reds before it becomes official…

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)

JOANNA: It’s hard to put into words how special this side truly is. We’ve seen some things over the last decade and more and it really does make you appreciate what we are witnessing that little bit more.

You could make an argument for every player to be up there as the leading player in their position, and as a unit, there are few better. There is no picking a favourite because it’s nigh on impossible.

Almost five years ago Palace left Klopp feeling ‘alone’ and now both players and fans can’t shake the unwavering feeling that we’ve only just turned the corner onto ‘trophy avenue’.

The climate outside of the league table is not how any of us planned but soak up every last bit of this team and this season as we bring the 30-year wait to an end.

Jurgen Klopp first pump celebrates (Mike Egerton/PA)

HENRY: I know it’s said to death, not to mention cliched, but we really must not take this side for granted. They are the best in Liverpool’s history, in my opinion, even though I (admittedly) either wasn’t alive or old enough to see the great teams of the 1970s and 1980s.

This is a team that should, and will, be remembered, for being one of the greatest in English football history – they needed silverware to show for their efforts, and they are on the cusp of delivering the Champions League, Club World Cup and Premier League in the space of a year.

Remember when Klopp was a bottler?

Just look at the players and it’s clear to see why Liverpool have been so incredible in these past two seasons. Being as unbiased as I possibly can, I would say Alisson, Trent, Van Dijk, Robertson and Mane are the best in the world in their respective positions, while Gomez is an outstanding young defender, Henderson and Wijnaldum’s brilliance is evident, and Salah and Firmino are world-class performers. It’s an XI that will be remembered forever.

It may sound cheesy, but it has been a privilege to watch the Reds this season, and last season for that matter, and when they do win the title, I will afford myself a little cry.

I should finish by mentioning the man responsible for all of this: Klopp. He is a remarkable manager who has completely changed the fortunes of this entire football club. His man-management skills, quality in the transfer market and (hugely underrated) tactical brilliance have turned Liverpool into a force of nature.

Here’s hoping this is still only the beginning, and that an era of true dominance is on its way.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah 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)

JONATHAN: Not sure there are enough words to describe how good this side really are, one of the great modern-day teams, a team we are blessed to watch week in week out. A team we will bore our grandchildren to death with tales about how good they are.

It’s a topic for another day, right now we just to get the title wrapped up and celebrate, but even with a club with a history as illustrious as ours what Jurgen Klopp has achieved with this team has to go down as one of the club’s greatest achievements.

Special times. Breathe it in, suck it up, savour every last moment, its almost there!!

Liverpool Mishmash — the history of the Reds in one image.
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