News That Matters

Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace: Reds move within two points of league title

Trent Alexander-Arnold's free kick

Liverpool moved to within touching distance of their first title in 30 years as Crystal Palace were brutally dismissed behind closed doors at Anfield.

Manchester City must now win at Chelsea on Thursday to further delay the inevitability of Liverpool’s coronation as Premier League champions.

After the goalless Merseyside derby at Everton on Sunday, they shook off the cobwebs in their first home game since the campaign was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic to beat Palace with almost embarrassing ease.

Anfield may have been home to only around 300 people but Liverpool played with familiar intensity, although Palace’s cause was hardly helped by the early loss of Wilfried Zaha to injury.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was on target with a superb free-kick after 22 minutes and Mohamed Salah effectively settled the contest with a cool finish from Fabinho’s brilliant pass just before the break.

And Fabinho produced something even more special in the 54th minute when he drilled a magnificent rising right-foot finish past Wayne Hennessey from more than 30 yards.

Salah turned provider after 69 minutes with a slide-rule pass to Sadio Mane, who finished with precision as Liverpool’s superiority was stamped all over this game.

League table

Fabinho’s extra special night

Liverpool’s world-class attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Salah take most of the headlines – but no-one should underestimate the influence of Brazilian Fabinho.

The languid midfield man is the complete operator and showed all sides of his game in what turned into a stroll.

He ran midfield while demonstrating his class as a creator and goalscorer to simply underline the role he has played in Liverpool’s romp to the Premier League this season.

Fabinho’s pass to pick out Salah for Liverpool’s second goal was a masterpiece of touch and vision, while he again showed his potency from long range by flashing that stunning goal past the helpless Hennessey in front of a Kop populated by flags on what might be their last game before clinching the title.

Liverpool’s season has been a complete team performance and Fabinho, understated but hugely influential, has played his full part despite a lengthy absence through injury in the middle of the campaign.

Palace outclassed on painful night

Wilfred Zaha

Crystal Palace arrived at Anfield accompanied by talk of European qualification after a very solid showing under manager Roy Hodgson this season and their very impressive first ‘Project Restart’ win at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Palace had put together four straight Premier League wins but this was a harrowing night, not helped by losing Zaha, their most dangerous player, early on to an injury he appeared to pick up in the warm-up.

For all the good work Palace have done this term, they simply had no answer to Liverpool as they were ripped apart at regular intervals.

Taken in full context, this has still been a fine season for Palace, as they reside comfortably in the top 10.

Man of the match – Fabinho (Liverpool)

Fabinho celebrating Liverpool's third goal

‘It is a surreal experience’ – analysis

BBC football correspondent John Murray at Anfield

Liverpool were in the mood and that’s what Jurgen Klopp wanted to see.

A match behind closed doors at Anfield is just a surreal experience. Football is not meant to be like this. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was played out in front of a full and raucous Anfield, though – Liverpool played some fantastic football.

Ex-Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 Live:

Fabinho has been a good signing – it can take foreign players a while to settle. I can’t remember Jurgen Klopp buying anyone that hasn’t really done it apart from Loris Karius.

Goals, goals, goals – best of the stats

  • This was Liverpool’s 20th win at Anfield in all competitions this season (23rd home match), making them the first club in Europe’s big-five leagues to win 20 home matches in 2019-20
  • Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have now won more Premier League games against Crystal Palace (eight) than they have against any other opponent
  • Having kept four consecutive clean sheets prior to this defeat, Crystal Palace conceded as many goals against Liverpool in this game as they had in their previous six Premier League games combined
  • Liverpool extended their top-flight record to 23 consecutive home victories; the Reds have scored 67 goals in those 23 wins while conceding just 15 in reply
  • Liverpool have now scored 100+ goals in all competitions for a third consecutive season, the first time they have done so since 1986-87 (eight in a row)
  • Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick was his 30th Premier League goal involvement (five goals, 25 assists); since his debut in December 2016, this is more than any other defender in the competition
  • Mane became the 10th player to score in six consecutive Premier League appearances against a single opponent, and the second to do so for Liverpool after Mohamed Salah v Bournemouth.
  • Fabinho celebrated his 41st victory in what was his 50th Premier League appearance; only Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben, Ederson (all 42) and Aymeric Laporte (43) won more of their opening 50 games in the competition.

What’s next?

Liverpool could travel to Manchester City as champions on Thursday, 2 July (20:15 BST kick-off). Meanwhile, Crystal Palace host Burnley on Monday, 29 June (20:00 kick-off).

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - Blue

Footer - Blue

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-ArnoldSubstituted forWilliamsat 74′minutes
  • 12Gomez
  • 4van Dijk
  • 26RobertsonSubstituted forElliottat 84′minutes
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 64′minutes
  • 3Fabinho
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forMinaminoat 74′minutes
  • 10ManéSubstituted forKeitaat 84′minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Lovren
  • 8Keita
  • 13Adrián
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 18Minamino
  • 27Origi
  • 48Jones
  • 67Elliott
  • 76Williams

Crystal Palace

  • 13Hennessey
  • 2Ward
  • 24Cahill
  • 12Sakho
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 22McCarthy
  • 10Townsend
  • 8KouyatéSubstituted forMilivojevicat 66′minutes
  • 18McArthurSubstituted forRiedewaldat 66′minutes
  • 11ZahaSubstituted forMeyerat 15′minutes
  • 9J AyewSubstituted forPierrick Keutchaat 84′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Milivojevic
  • 6Dann
  • 7Meyer
  • 19Henderson
  • 36Tavares
  • 39Mitchell
  • 40Pierrick Keutcha
  • 44Riedewald
Referee:
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home74%
Away26%
Shots
Home21
Away3
Shots on Target
Home7
Away0
Corners
Home6
Away0
Fouls
Home7
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Liverpool 4, Crystal Palace 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 4, Crystal Palace 0.

Attempt saved. Neco Williams (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mamadou Sakho.

Attempt blocked. Neco Williams (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is blocked.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Luka Milivojevic.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Mamadou Sakho.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Joel Ward.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Naby Keita replaces Sadio Mané.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Harvey Elliott replaces Andrew Robertson.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Brandon Pierrick Keutcha replaces Jordan Ayew.

Foul by Fabinho (Liverpool).

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Fabinho (Liverpool).

James McCarthy (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Andrew Robertson (Liverpool).

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Takumi Minamino replaces Roberto Firmino.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Neco Williams replaces Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Joseph Gomez (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace).

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 4, Crystal Palace 0. Sadio Mané (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mohamed Salah following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Luka Milivojevic replaces Cheikhou Kouyaté.

Substitution

Substitution, Crystal Palace. Jairo Riedewald replaces James McArthur.

Attempt missed. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Liverpool) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Jordan Henderson.

Attempt missed. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Sadio Mané.

Attempt missed. Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Patrick van Aanholt.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 3, Crystal Palace 0. Fabinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Andrew Robertson.

Attempt missed. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Mohamed Salah following a fast break.

Foul by Roberto Firmino (Liverpool).

Joel Ward (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Second Half

Second Half begins Liverpool 2, Crystal Palace 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Liverpool 2, Crystal Palace 0.

Goal!

Goal! Liverpool 2, Crystal Palace 0. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Fabinho with a through ball.

Foul by Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).

goal

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

BBC Sport – Sport

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *