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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Liverpool survive Crystal Palace onslaught to take three points: Could the title race be back on?

After an irresistible first half performance from Liverpool and a shaky second half display Jurgen Klopp’s side secured a 3-1 victory at Selhurst Park to potentially breathe some life into the title race.

Virgil Van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain strook in the first half to give Liverpool a comfortable lead.

Crystal Palace got right back into it in the second half thanks to Odsonne Edouard slotting home.

However, a late controversial penalty was given to Liverpool which Fabinho converted past Vicente Guiata.

So now The Reds are nine points behind Manchester City with one game in hand on their title rivals, also they still must play each other at The Etihad stadium

It will be a massive turn of events for Pep Guardiola’s side to slip up even more but now there will be more of a fight, more of a grapple, more of a battle for the prestigious Premier League title.

Liverpool were fast out of the blocks in the opening half an hour as they were all over Crystal Palace and their early pressure paid off thanks to a bullet of a header from Virgil Van Dijk in the 8th minute.

Andy Robertson from a corner placed it on the Dutchman’s head and he fired it past Guiata as he was left free as a bird in the box.

The pressure didn’t stop there as Palace couldn’t get out of their own half and Oxlade-Chamberlain nearly doubled the lead in double quick time however he couldn’t meet Robertson’s cross like Van Dijk as his effort went into the side netting.

However 20 minutes later the former Arsenal man did get Robertson his second assist of the game as he controlled another cross at the back post and fired the ball into the net to get back-to-back goals.

In the last 10 minutes of the first half Patrick Viera’s side decided to turn up and put the heat on Liverpool as Michael Olise had an effort straight at Alisson after a dreadful pass by Joel Matip.

Then shortly after Jean-Phillipe Mateta was played through on goal by Olise, who was a menace all game, and he went round Alisson.

He looked destined to get a goal back but somehow Alisson recovered to get a touch on his shot making it go wide for a corner. 

In the second half Liverpool looked a bit rattled and The Eagles built on their momentum, with Olise putting a cross on Connor Gallagher’s head which he put wide within the first minute of the restart.

Edouard had a backheel effort remarkably saved by Alisson from close range but ten minutes into the second half the Frenchman had his goal after some lovely play.

Jeffrey Schlupp played a ball in-behind the Liverpool defence as Mateta broke the offside trap and squared it to Edouard for an empty net

Shortly after Joachim Anderson had a speculative long range shot which was the wrong side of the post thankfully for Liverpool as Alisson was beaten.

He nearly was again as Olise had been got in-behind, which was Liverpool’s weakness throughout the game, and he tried to chip the Brazilian keeper who somehow managed to claw it round the post.

The side from London looked likely to get their much-desired equaliser but after the chip from Olise they struggled to make much more and in the dying embers of the game a controversial penalty was given to the away side.

An obscene pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold got Diogo Jota in on goal and the Portuguese could not get an effort on goal.

Jota and Guiata naturally come together seemingly innocently however VAR checked it and made Kevin Friend go over to the monitor.

He gave the penalty which nearly everyone disagreed with but the away end did not care and loved Fabinho tucking away the spot kick to secure the three points.

Those Liverpool fans will not stop believing, Jurgen Klopp will not stop believing and that crop of players will not stop believing.There is a title race here if Liverpool really want to make a fist of it.

READ MORE: Liverpool book their place at Wembley after Diogo Jota’s brace knocks out Arsenal

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