Liverpool didn’t make it easy on itself in a deceptive 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Andy Robertson had two first-half assists and Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Fabinho scored in the win that pulls the Reds within three points of Manchester City with a match-in-hand on the Premier League leaders.
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Odsonne Edouard scored Palace’s goal, assisted by Jean-Philippe Mateta, and the Eagles’ second-half performance made them good money for an equalizer before a late penalty let Fabinho restore the two-goal advantage.
Palace’s 24 points are nine clear of the bottom three and 11 back of the top seven.
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool final score, stats
Crystal Palace 1, Liverpool 3
Scorers: Liverpool — Van Dijk 8′, Oxlade-Chamberlain 32′, Fabinho 89′ (pen). Palace — Mateta 66′
Shot attempts: Crystal Palace 8, Liverpool 15
Shots on goal: Crystal Palace 5, Liverpool 7
Possession: Crystal Palace 43, Liverpool 57
Three things we learned from Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
1. Reds finishing, lapses won’t let dominance make it easy: Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy famously said, “What it takes to win is simple, but it isn’t easy,” and goodness, gracious, is that true for Liverpool. The Reds produce chance after chance after chance but finishing isn’t always at the required level — pretty understandable when Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are at AFCON — and the club seems to have 2-3 shocking lapses at the back per game. There were three on Sunday, but Palace only took advantage of one thanks to a pair of saves from Alisson Becker (one on a chance he helped make more dangerous).
2. Vieira wobbles Liverpool with second-half changes: The Eagles were all over Liverpool in search of an equalizer, and Alisson Becker finished the day with four saves including two big ones in the first 45 minutes. Palace was gritty and went from 35 percent first-half possession to 55% and six of the frame’s 10 shot attempts. Good stuff, but unrewarded.
3. Sliiiiiide to the left, criss-cross: Everybody clap your hands for Andy Robertson, because he’s been hearing about the page-turning season of right back Trent Alexander-Arnold all season. Jurgen Klopp gave Alexander-Arnold’s freedom to Robertson on Sunday, and it worked a treat against the Wilfried Zaha-less Reds. Robertson might’ve had three first-half assists another day — he did get two — and he was a red menace on the left side.
Man of the Match: Andy Robertson
No one man can have all that power
Virgil van Dijk’s day was a mixed bag, but the positive part of that mix was downright thunderous.
Unsure how you let this thumper occur in so much space, Palace, but my goodness.
Andy Robertson’s world
Sometimes Liverpool comes from the right, other times it’s Andy Robertson’s time to shine.
Robertson was cooking up cross after cross and had two assists on the day. He also cut inside on more than one occasion to keep Palace honest.
On a day that Wilfried Zaha could not live on Palace’s right or left, leaving Odsonne Edouard on one side and still-learning Michael Olise on the other, Robertson had himself a day.
French Eddy halves the deficit
Odsonne Edouard works hard to be in positions to capitalize on mistakes, something that Celtic fans saw a ton, and he was in the right spot to bring the Eagles within one on Sunday.
Palace had wasted a few chances to reap rewards from lax Liverpool, and this one helped the Eagles live for an equalizer over the final half-hour.