Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool: Player Ratings
Selhurst Park has not been a happy hunting ground for Liverpool in recent times. The team from Merseyside is everyone’s pick to challenge Manchester City for the title, and could not afford to slip up on City which picked up its second win from as many games in the weekend.
Crystal Palace, on the other hand, have looked like a tough team to beat under Roy Hodgson, with their speedy wingers offering a consistent threat.
In the end, it was a tough match for Liverpool, as two late goals from James Milner and Sadio Mane at the end of either half sealed a hard-fought match for the Reds. Despite Zaha’s best efforts, Crystal Palace failed to conjure a clean chance on goal and provided little danger for Alisson’s goal.
1. HENNESSEY: 5/10
By far the busier of the two keepers. Could do little to save the penalty which was well hit, and was also rounded past by Mane for the second goal.
2. VAN AANHOLT: 6/10
Was energetic at times while bombing forward from deep.
However, a rash swing of the leg on Milner in the 41st min earned him a yellow card.
3. SAKHO: 5/10
Gifted the ball away in a dangerous area early on the first half leading to a chance for Liverpool. He also gave away the penalty, which Milner converted. He grew into the game later on though, as Palace looked to grab the equaliser.
4. TOMKINS: 5/10
Had a far less eventful night than his partner in the centre of the defence. He was helpless in preventing either of the goals and did not do much wrong.
5. WAN-BISSAKA: 6/10
An all-around energetic display from the fullback which would certainly not go unnoticed by Roy Hodgson. However, he received his marching orders in the 75th minute for taking down Salah who was through on goal. Interestingly, he becomes the first Palace player to be sent off since February 2016!
6. SCHLUPP: 6/10
Looked to use the channels well and spread the ball well to his wingers. An incisive ball by him put Zaha through in the first half. Subbed off in the 83d minute.
7. MCARTHUR: 5/10
An indifferent night for the veteran Scottish midfielder. Could not influence the match enough, nor suppress Pool’s midfield.
8. MILIVOJEVIC: 5/10
Similar to McArthur, had little impact on the match. It would be unsurprising if Roy replaces him with the far more creative Max Meyer against Watford.
9. TOWNSEND: 6/10
The highlight of his night was a vicious curling effort after cutting inside and hitting the post in the 24th minute. Looked tired later on, and was subbed off around the 78th-minute mark.
10. ZAHA: 7/10
Zaha was characteristically direct and dangerous on the night, with his pace and trickery constantly inviting fouls. There was always a sense of expectation from the crowd when he got in the final third. However, a lack of end product might be concerning.
11. BENTEKE: 3/10
A night to forget for the big Belgian. He offered no threat at all and lost possession numerous times. His torrid night was summed up by a wayward effort in the 65th minute when the ball almost found the corner flag. Subbed off rightly at the 70th-minute mark.
1. ALEXANDER SORLOTH: Brought on to be the target man that Benteke failed to be.
2. JOE WARD: Introduced to offer some cover at the back after Wan-Bissaka’s sending off, but could do little to prevent the second goal.
3. MAX MEYER: The diminutive German had little time to influence the proceedings.
1. ALISSON: 7/10
A comfortable clean-sheet for the Brazilian shot-stopper. Looked comfortable and safe on the ball, and made everything look easy– a breath of fresh air for Liverpool fans.
2. ROBERTSON: 6/10
Skied a decent opportunity inside the box fell to him fortuitously 34th minute. Otherwise, proved to a constant outlet on the left side of the pitch.
3. VAN DIJK: 6/10
Given how ineffective Benteke was in the match, the commanding Van Dijk had little to do throughout the contest. He looked assured nonetheless.
4. GOMEZ: 6/10
Made a good tackle on Zaha when he was seemingly put through in the 30th minute.
5. AA: 6/10
Trent delivered some good crosses into the box in the first half. Struggled at times to deal with Zaha’s trickery. Consequently, he picked up a yellow card for a challenge on him in the 52nd minute.
6. KEITA: 7.5/10
A brilliant turn and chipped through ball to Salah in the 22nd minute showed in one glimpse Keita's abundance of natural ability on the ball. He led the transition from defence to attack numerous times. He looks set to be a vital part in Klopp's setup.
7. WIJNALDUM: 6/10
Showed great stamina towards the end of the game to keep the ball moving in the midfield.
8. MILNER: 7/10
His confident and powerful penalty earned Liverpool the lead at the cusp of half-time. He was typically industrious and consistent. Milner came off for Henderson in the 66th minute.
9. MANE: 7.5/10
His pace and directness made him menacing throughout the match. Got his customary goal against Crystal Palace late into the match as he doubled Liverpool’s lead.
10. FIRMINO: 7/10
He was his usual expressive self in the first half, linking up well with his wingers.
11. SALAH: 8/10
Always the game-changer, even on a relatively quiet night. He earned his side a penalty after a swift turn inside the box. He also provided the assist for Mane’s goal. A man-of-the-match display from the mercurial Egyptian.
1. STURRIDGE: NA
Introduced in the 94th minute to waste time.
2. HENDERSON: 6/10
Henderson brought some grit and experience to the heart of the midfield. Solid display from the Englishmen.
3. LALLANA: NA
Replaced Keita with only a few minutes remaining in the game.