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Thursday, April 18, 2024

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A night of ludicrousness to ensure Liverpool remain winless

Another below par performance.

An idiotic red card thanks to a headbutt.

More injury problems piling up.

Then an absurd pitch invasion to infuriate everyone even more for the cherry on top.

It was not a happy return to Anfield for Liverpool’s first home game of the season as they ended up drawing 1-1 to Crystal Palace failing to win their two opening matches of a Premier League season for the first time under Jurgen Klopp.

The issues began building up before the game with Jurgen Klopp having to contend with even more injury issues than against Fulham.

Thiago was obviously ruled out after the injury he picked up at Craven Cottage but as well as him Roberto Firmino was not involved in the matchday squad.

Jordan Henderson and Joe Gomez also felt like they had issues in the build-up to the game which led Klopp to saying he felt like there was a ‘witch in the building’ and also meant that Nat Phillips had to start.

Liverpool started the game on top and in the first ten minutes looked like they had bounced back from a woeful showing against Fulham with James Milner coming close to opening the scoring in opening minutes after Vicente Guaita flapped at a cross.

However the fast start was only that as Liverpool did not build upon that struggling to break Palace down.

Then on the 32nd minute the visitors took the lead after Eberechi Eze skipped past Fabinho like he wasn’t there and played Wilfried Zaha in on goal.

Zaha got in-behind Phillips with ease and slotted past Alisson to send the away end into oblivion.

All of a sudden a Liverpool side who were struggling to beat the low-block in front of them were a goal down, something that was all too familiar in Klopp’s early days in charge at Anfield.

The FA Cup and League Cup holders came ever so close to getting an equaliser in the first half when Harvey Elliott found Darwin Nunez with a clipped ball over the top but he mishit in shot and bounced off the post.

Not long after coming out of the changing rooms for the second half  Nunez was going back in after a an aggressive reaction which Liverpool fans haven’t seen since their last Uruguayan striker was leading the line.

Joachim Anderson was doing a good job keeping him quiet and also winding him up which clearly got to him.

Anderson pushed him accusing of him attempting to collide with him during a duel so Nunez made sure he collided with him this time abruptly turning round and headbutting him.

An easy red card which left Liverpool with no striker chasing a game with ten men.

Worryingly Klopp’s men seemed to step it up when Nunez departed but there was still something missing.

The build-up was slow, there wasn’t anyone making penetrating passes and the link-up between the ten on the field wasn’t really there.

Liverpool looked disjointed all over the field for one of the first times under Klopp and it was Luis Diaz who had to pull the rabbit out of the hat to make sure his side didn’t lose.

With half-an-hour to go he dribbled through several challenges cutting in from the left wing and smacked one in the bottom right corner from outside the box.

It was an unreal goal which unfortunately won’t be remembered so fondly due to the result.

Mo Salah and Fabio Carvalho came close to winning the game for The Reds who dominated on the stats, but it was far away from their usual standards.

Then someone, a Liverpool fan, decided to pitch invade in added time when an attack was building.

He ran towards to Klopp with a phone in his hand trying to get a selfie, the German gave him a rollicking and the senseless supposed supporter was escorted out the ground hopefully gaining himself a lifetime ban from Anfield.

It was an unpleasant night, and it is no way to start a season with two draws but it is only two games.

Four points dropped is significant at anytime in a campaign but there is plenty of time to make up for it with 36 opportunities ahead to put it right for the side who have made so many memories.

Next up another visit to Old Trafford, possibly time for another one of those memories.

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