Liverpool take up residence at the top of the table with their victory over Crystal Palace, but in order to stay in first, the Reds will be looking to West Brom to get a result against Arsenal on Sunday. As for Palace, well, they may be looking fondly back on life in the Championship.
In the 10th minute, Cameron Jerome missed a great chance to put Crystal Palace in front, flicking his free header wide of Liverpool’s goal. To say the visitors rued that miss chance would be like saying it’s a bit chilly in the winter up in Alaska.
Just three minutes later, Luis Suarez put Liverpool ahead — and, ultimately, the game out of reach. The Uruguayan got on the end of a ball from Jose Enrique and spun his way into the area, twisting and turning past the Palace defenders. Despite Suarez very nearly losing his balance, his shot found the bottom corner of the net.
It took just three more minutes for Daniel Sturridge to double the Reds’ lead. Sturridge gave chase to meet a long diagonal ball, easily stripping the Palace defender. Julian Speroni could do nothing to stop his left-footed shot from a difficult angle. This just in: Sturridge and Suarez leading the Liverpool line make for a very formidable opponent.
Liverpool’s third came courtesy of a Steven Gerrard penalty. Dean Moxey brought down Raheem Sterling with a clumsy challenge and the referee pointed to the spot, despite it appearing as though Sterling may not have actually been inside the area at the time of the challenge. Still, Stevie G took it coolly, rolling his shot into the corner of Speroni’s net.
Palace did manage to get one back in the end, but it was truly a “consolation” goal. Liverpool had switched off, allowing the visitors to score from a free kick. Substitute Dwight Gayle got his head on the end of the kick and glanced the ball past Simon Mignolet. But considering the sprightliness of Gayle’s performance, one of the few bright spots for a dreary Palace, perhaps Holloway should consider putting him in from the start.
Liverpool Starting XI: Mignolet; Toure, Skrtel, Sakho (Agger 67); Henderson, Enrique, Gerrard, Sterling, Moses (Alberto 66), Sturridge (Aspas 88), Suarez
Substitutes: Jones, Ibe, Wisdom, Ilori
Goals: Suarez 13, Sturridge 17, Gerrard 38
Crystal Palace Starting XI: Speroni, Ward, Mariappa, Delaney, Moxey, Jedinak, O’Keefe, Puncheon, Kebe (Gayle 46), Jerome (Campana 46), Chamakh (Bolasie 68)
Substitutes: Price, Inniss, Guedioura, Phillips
Goals: Gayle 76