Crystal Palace made the long journey to the north-west to Merseyside where they met Liverpool fresh from their trip to Hoffenheim in Germany.
|Henderson||Yellow Cards||Puncheon, van Aarnholt, Benteke|
The Expat Eagle’s Verdict
Liverpool beat Crystal Palace, ending The Eagle’s attempt at winning for a forth season in a row at Anfield.
The first half was a dull affair in which neither side impressed, but the visitors were much improved over their previous outing last weekend verses Huddersfield.
After the break Liverpool were much improved which ended up with Sadio Mane scoring in the 73rd minute. Luka Milivojevic stuck out a foot to prevent a pass across the Palace 18-yard box but only managed to prod it towards Wayne Hennessey’s goal. Mane reacted first and fired it past the Palace keeper.
Palace manager Frank de Boer surprised most Palace fans by dropping Jairo Riedewald from the team completely, starting James Tomkins. Andros Townsend started in place of the injured Wlfred Zaha.
Perhaps most surprising was the absence of any recognised striker on the bench. In last weeks defeat Freddie Ladapo was on the bench and while he might not be Premier League material he is the only option we have open to us at the moment.
The first half was a slow affair with Palace much improved in defence but still without any bite in attack.
Towards the end of the first half Mane had a good chance from six-yards out but should have done better, while Roberto Firmino drew a fine save from Hennessey. Simon Mignolet was also called into action to deny Jason Puncheon.
In the second half Roberto Firmino fired a shot over before Klopp had seen enough and introduced Salah.
After Mane score in the 73rd minute Salah went close to doubling the lead shortly after, heading a ball straight at Hennessey.
As you may know by now that I like to give credit where it’s due and had it not been for Wayne Hennessey Palace would have shipped 4 or 5 goals in the second half. Many, including myself, criticise Hennessey but today he was outstanding in keeping us in the game.
As Palace pushed for an equaliser Scott Dann was pushed up front to play as a striker next to Benteke which made us a bit of a laughing stock.
Yes, fair enough, we’d used all three substitutes at this point but even if we hadn’t we didn’t have a striker on the bench. The only player who had any attacking intent was Lokilo, a winger.
It is quite baffling that 10 months after Connor Wickham sustained a serious knee injury that we still have not signed another striker. The signs do not look good and whoever we sign will join knowing they will be back up to Benteke so that limits the type of players who would join us.
The only players who would join Palace to sit on the bench are players on the way up, so not Premier League ready. I don’t think any players warming benches at other clubs would be prepared to take a step down and warm our bench.
Either way, it is highly unlikely we’ll be signing someone to truly replace Benteke, he costs far too much money in wages not to be a starter but how we play at the moment sees him far too isolated.
Verdict: A much improved defensive performance possibly masked by Wayne Hennessey’s performance but still toothless going forward.
|Liverpool (433)||7.12||Crystal Palace (3421)||6.66|
Pass Success %
Aerials Duel Won
Top 3 Performers (Crystal Palace only)
|Tackles Won||Headers Won||Clearences||Interceptions|
|van Aarnholt – 4
Loftus-Cheek – 4
3 players -3
|Benteke – 6
Tomkins – 2
Dann – 2
|Dann – 11
Fosu-Mensah – 4
Tomkins – 4
|Fosu-Mensah – 5
Tomkins – 5
van Aarnholt – 5
|Fouls Committed||Most Fouled||Passes (not Gk)||Passing Accuracy|
|Benteke – 5
Puncheon – 2
6 players – 1
|Loftus-Cheek – 4
Benteke – 2
McArthur – 2
|Milivojevic – 31
Dann – 23
Benteke – 23
|Townsend – 89.5%
Milivojevic – 87.1%
Tomkins – 81.3%
|Dribbles||Crosses||Shots||Shots (On Target)|
|Loftus-Cheek – 3
Townsend – 2
|Kaikai – 2
Ward – 2
2 players – 1
|Milivojevic – 1
Benteke – 1
Puncheon – 1
|Puncheon – 1|