Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool
Premier League (22), Anfield
January 23, 2022
Goals: Van Dijk 8′, Oxlade-Chamberlain 32′, Fabinho pen 89′; Edouard 55′
Alisson (out of 10) – 10 – Man of the Match
The goalkeeper bailed Liverpool out on five different occasions, making two particularly key saves to deny Michael Olise.
Without his heroics, you honestly wonder what the scoreline would have been – Liverpool certainly wouldn’t have won.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
Alexander-Arnold has been a superb form of late, assisting four times in as many appearances, and he was again excellent for 45 minutes on Sunday.
The quality of his passing caught the eye, not least one outside-of-the-foot ball to Diogo Jota, and he looked a constant threat.
Defended resolutely when called upon, too, but like so many, much worse after half-time.
Joel Matip – 4
Matip kept his place at centre-back despite being withdrawn at half-time in midweek, but this was another really poor outing.
One dreadful pass gifted the ball to Olise, prior to one of Alisson‘s saves, and he didn’t look up for the physical battle.
Got worse as the minutes ticked by and didn’t look remotely fit. Why didn’t Ibrahima Konate start?
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Van Dijk has been somewhere close to his best again in recent weeks but this wasn’t his best performance in general.
The Dutchman set Liverpool on their way to victory with a bullet header at the near post, doubling his tally for the campaign.
He wasn’t always great defensively, though, not tracking Jean-Philippe Mateta for Odsonne Edouard’s goal and looking leggy at times.
Andy Robertson – 8
Robertson looks like a player back to his best, following an early-season dip in which Kostas Tsimikas was pushing him hard.
The left-back registered two more assists to his tally, taking his total for the Reds to 46, the second of which was a lovely floated delivery to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Wouldn’t swap him for anyone in Europe.
Fabinho – 8
He bit into tackles, used the ball in understated-but-effective fashion and finished off the scoring from the penalty spot at a time when the visitors were rocking.
Looks to have overcome Covid after a weary spell of form.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Henderson has been one of Liverpool’s most out-of-form players in the last month or two, struggling to find rhythm.
This was hit-and-miss again from the skipper, who was a key cog in the machine but was guilty of not pressing the ball enough during Palace’s spell of dominance.
Tested Vicente Guaita with a strike and also shot wide.
Curtis Jones – 7
Jones deservedly kept his place after some lively recent performances and he repaid Klopp’s faith in him.
The 20-year-old produced some lovely first touches in the opening minutes and provided a level of guile that can sometimes be missing from Liverpool’s midfield.
He worked hard and used his ever-improving physique well, too, and looks like a player ready to go up a significant gear.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7
Oxlade-Chamberlain started out on the right-hand side in the absence of Mohamed Salah, enjoying a fruitful afternoon.
He provided pace and movement against a tight Palace unit and took his goal with aplomb, showing patience before firing past Guaita.
That’s now three goals in his last four starts – he benefits more than most from a run in the team.
Diogo Jota – 6
Jota was again deployed slightly to the left in the Sadio Mane role, looking to add to his 14 goals this season.
This wasn’t necessarily the most eye-catching of games for the Portuguese, but he still caused problems with his speed and movement.
Went quiet in the second half and didn’t always choose the right option, but then fortunately won the penalty that killed off the game.
Roberto Firmino – 5
The Brazilian led the line in south London and this was a disappointing showing from him.
He found pockets of space between the lines in the first half, showcasing his usual tricks and flicks, but he was also guilty of sloppiness in possession and not offering enough attacking thrust.
Not the player he was a couple of years ago.
Takumi Minamino (on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 60′) – 5
Couldn’t get into the game at all, offered very little.
James Milner (on for Firmino, 90′) – N/A
Only on the pitch for a few minutes.
Joe Gomez (on for Alexander-Arnold, 90′) – N/A
Same as Milner.
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Tsimikas, Gordon, Williams, Morton
Jurgen Klopp – 6
Klopp was looking to go into the two-week break in positive spirits, following an encouraging week.
For 35 minutes, the boss got a magnificent performance out of his team, but he has to shoulder the blame for the manner in which they got sloppy.
This was so nearly another collapse in London – something that has happened too much this season – and Klopp now has an important two weeks refreshing his players and working on the defensive side of things.