Liverpool went six points clear at the top of the Premier League after demolishing Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park. Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah scored two goals each, while Takumi Minamino, Sadio Mane, and Jordan Henderson scored one each on a magnificent afternoon for Liverpool in South London.
Minamino scored the first goal of the game in the third minute, his first Premier League goal for Liverpool. Mane cut the ball back to the Japanese player, who cleverly feinted past Cheikhou Kouyate before he slammed it past Vicente Guaita.
Firmino then set up Mane to drill one in the bottom corner, before running on to a cross from Andy Robertson, to calmly slot past Guaita.
After half-time, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson added a sensational fourth goal as he smashed a shot from the edge of the area past the hapless Guaita and into the corner.
Mohamed Salah then came on as a substitute replacing Mane, and scored twice for Liverpool after setting up Firmino's second of the game.
Salah's second goal of the game was magnificent as well, as he managed to curl one straight into the top corner from outside the box.
Here's how each Liverpool player fared in this game.
Liverpool Player Ratings vs Crystal Palace
Alisson Becker - 6/10
Alisson had a couple of saves to make off headers from set-pieces, and he managed to catch them both. He also had to make a couple of interventions as a sweeper when Palace got in behind the Liverpool defence.
Trent Alexander-Arnold - 7/10
Overall, Alexander-Arnold wasn't as consistent a threat as he'd have liked, but he still played a critical part in setting up three goals. He got his assist with a simple pass to Henderson, who drilled home a superb finish. He also played terrific passes to Mane and Matip, who set up Minamino and Salah respectively.
Joel Matip - 6/10
Matip started the game with a bit of a struggle against the pace of Zaha and Eze on the right side of the Liverpool defence. But some terrible play in the final third from Palace let him off the hook. He ended the game with an assist, after winning a header at the back-post which Salah diverted into the net.
Fabinho - 7/10
Fabinho was bullied by Ayew in the first half, who brushed him aside and made his way into the box. Ayew's pull-back pass looking for Zaha was awful, to Fabinho's relief. That one moment aside, Fabinho played really well, and made some crucial interceptions when Palace were pushing forward in the first half.
Andrew Robertson - 8/10
Despite the workload that he has had recently, Robertson delivered a typically relentless performance on the left flank. That assist for Firmino's goal was absolutely magical.
Jordan Henderson - 8/10
Henderson controlled the tempo really well in midfield for Liverpool, even if was somehow a little overzealous in looking for Mane a little too early. He finished the game with a superb goal, that gave Guaita absolutely no chance.
Gini Wijnaldum - 6/10
Wijnaldum was, as usual, solid but unspectacular. With some terrific performances being put in by those around him, he just needed to ensure that the ball was being kept moving in midfield, and that mistakes weren't being made.
Naby Keita - 6/10
Keita finally made his return to the Liverpool side, and will be happy to have gotten through the 90 minutes unscathed. He was sometimes a little lightweight and lost the ball in midfield, but grew into the game, and should even have had an assist with the through-ball he played for Minamino, who missed a sitter.
Sadio Mane - 7/10
Mane ended his goal drought with an excellent finish after receiving a great pass from Firmino. He also set up the opener that Minamino scored, with a superb cut-back.
Roberto Firmino - 9/10
Firmino looks back at his best again, and that is not good news for the rest of the Premier League. He took both his goals magnificently, and even played a great pass through for Mane's goal.
Takumi Minamino - 7/10
Minamino did so much good for his own confidence, with a goal in the third minute. He should have had another, whe nplayed through by Keita, but missed a sitter.
Mohamed Salah - 9/10
Salah spent just more than 30 minutes on the pitch, but still managed to finish the game with two goals and an assist.
Curtis Jones - 6/10
Jones was used as a substitute in this game to give Wijnaldum a breather.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - 7/10
In his first appearance of the season, he got himself an assist after playing the pass for Salah's world-class finish.Published 19 Dec 2020, 23:44 IST