Liverpool claw back to clinch victory at Selhurst Park
Liverpool squared off against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the early lunchtime kickoff on Saturday. In what was Jurgen Klopp’s 100th game in charge of the reds, Mohammed Salah ensured the travelling Kop were left
ecstatic with his 85th minute winner. The winning goal saw Salah’s goal tally hit 37 for the season in all competitions.
Mohammed Salah Nets 37th gol of the Season (LiverpoolFC.com)
Jurgen Klopp suffered his first defeat as the red’s coach at the hands ofthe eagles back in 2015. Additionally, the infamous 3-3 draw between these two sides towards the end of the 2013/14 season always looms over every time Liverpool play Palace at Selhurst park. However, this time around it was Liverpool who completed the comeback to snatch the three points and left Palace frustrated in their pursuit for survival in the Premier League. Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah netted second half goals after Milivojevic had put Palace ahead early in the first half. While
the referee, Neil Swarbrick, was in the spotlight as he decided not to show Sadio Mane a second yellow card for deliberate handball.
Wilfred Zaha was a threat from the start and often got the better of young Liverpool starlet Alexander-Arnold. Soon after kick off Zaha latched onto a header from Benteke and got to the ball first before being clattered by a
charging Karius. Neil Swarbrick wasn’t hesitant in awarding the penalty and Karius was lucky to escape with a yellow despite the Palace players appealing for a red. Milivojevic sent Karius the other way and slotted the
penalty into the bottom left corner giving Palace the lead. Sadio Mane equalised for Liverpool early into the second half. However, Mane was fortunate to remain on the pitch after he intentionally handled the ball
while having already been booked for diving in the first half. Needless to say Jurgen Klopp soon subbed off Sadio Mane in what was an odd
afternoon for the Senegalese star.
Christian Benteke, who has had a poor season with Palace so far, then wasted two amazing opportunities just minutes apart as he failed to put palace back in front after Mane’s equalizer. A failed lobbed attempt along with a shot over the bar left Benteke head in hands as he could’ve scored against his former club. Oxlade Chamberlain came on in the second half
and his cross in the 85th minute found Robertson. Andrew Robertson who had an impressive game squared the ball on the volley and found Salah who had no trouble slotting it past Wayne Hennessey in Palace goal.
Andy Robertson celebrates with the travelling Kop after Salah’s winner. (LiverpoolFC.com)
Liverpool suffered a major casualty in what was a dirty win at Palace. Adam Lallana who came on as a second half sub suffered an injury as he went down holding his hamstring after an attempted tackle. A stretcher was called for. However, a devastated Lallana ended up hobbling off without the pitch and was replaced by Dejan Lovren. Based on initial
assessment the England international faces 5-6 weeks on the sideline as he now faces a battle against time to make it into Gareth Southgate’s
England squad, which will travel to Russia in the summer for the World Cup. This comes as heartbreaking news for Adam Lallana who has
already suffered from an injury stricken season for the reds and now faces the risk of missing out on appearing at what may potentially be his last World Cup with the Three Lions.
Liverpool increased the pressure on Manchester United in the race for a 2nd place finish while also going 10 points clear of 5 th place Chelsea. On the other hand Crystal Palace remain in the fight to secure their place in
the Premiere League next season under ex-Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson. This win kicked off a season defining period for Klopp’s men
who face Guardiola’s Manchester City over two legs in the Champions League along with a trip to local rivals Everton. A busy 2 weeks to look
forward to for the Red Men indeed.
– Kaustubh Deshpande
31st March 2018