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Dublin: 13 °C Sunday 27 May, 2018


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Good afternoon and welcome to The42‘s live minute-by-minute coverage of Liverpool v Crystal Palace at Anfield.

I think it’s fair to say that neither of these sides had the opening weekend they would have wanted – Liverpool proving their own worst enemies once again in a 3-3 draw at Watford, while Palace were routed by Premier League new boys Huddersfield.

Plenty of wrongs to be made right this afternoon, so.

Kick off is at 3pm.



Jurgen Klopp rings the changes, with Daniel Sturridge back in the starting XI and Mo Salah on the bench. No Trent Alexander-Arnold, but there is a debut for Andrew Robertson.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Robertson, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Firmino, Sturridge.


Wilfried Zaha and Jairo Riedewald are both out, so Andros Townsend and James Tomkins start for Palace.

Crystal Palace: Hennessey, Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Tomkins, Ward, Milivojevic, Puncheon, Van Aanholt, Loftus-Cheek, Townsend, Benteke.

For the first time this season, You’ll Never Walk Alone rings out around Anfield.

KICK OFF: We’re up and running.


Wayne Hennessy comes and claims the cross as Liverpool threaten for the first time. Comfortable.


Nervy moments for the Palace defence as Robertson sends over a cross. It’s just too high for Sturridge, but van Aanholt swipes at his clearance initially and nearly puts Palace into even more trouble.


Nice passage of play from Palace as they try to free Benteke in between Liverpool’s high line, but Matip wins the footrace against the former Reds man and tidies up.


Little bit lazy by James Milner as he dangles a leg into the tackle and clips Andros Townsend. As good as a corner, this…


Liverpool breathe. Free header for Tomkins but he couldn’t get the direction or power on it, and it floats wide.


Hennessey scuffs his clearance along the ground, but fortunately, it goes to a team-mate rather than an opponent.

Milner attacks down the left and decides to go it alone, but the Palace keeper has his body behind the ball and takes the sting out of it.


OHHHH! HUGE CHANCE! Liverpool really should be 1-0 up. They take a quick free on the left, Robertson sends in teasing cross that has Hennessey scrambling. He misses it completely, leaving Matip to head into an empty net. It’s awkward though and although he connects, he can’t steer it on target.


Jason Puncheon is the first man into Kevin Friend’s notebook for a late challenge.


Milivojevic lines up a free about 25 yards out but drives it straight into the Liverpool wall.


(As you might be able to guess, not a huge amount going on at either end at the moment.)


Daniel Sturridge buys himself a yard or two with some nice footwork. There aren’t too many options ahead of him, so he takes the shot on himself, but it’s way off the mark.


Neither side really keeping the ball for long enough to manufacture anything meaningful. Mignolet and Hennessey could nip out for a few minutes and they wouldn’t really be missed.


Another quick Liverpool free, another great cross from Andy Robertson, and another great chance for the hosts that slips by. This time it falls to Sadio Mané, but he can only get a brush of the studs on the ball from six yards out rather than any meaningful connection.


Sturridge wins the debate and the right to hit a free from the edge of the area. It doesn’t clear the wall though.


Palace make Mignolet work as Loftus-Cheek finds Puncheon on the overlap out left. He gets his shot away cleanly but it’s easily batted away by the Liverpool keeper.


Gomes has a chance to put Palace under some pressure but Dann reads his intentions well and cuts out the low cross.


Into first half stoppage-time. We’ll all need the break.


SECOND HALF: We’re back underway. Hopefully something happens in this half.


Again, Dann has to be sharp to snuff out the Liverpool attack. Firmino tries to pull the ball back to where Sturridge has peeled away, but Dann turns it behind for a corner.


Mane tries to get on the end of a loose ball but Hennessey is alert and races out to gather.


Chance here for Liverpool. Matip wanders forward and is clipped by Fosu-Mensah on the edge of the box. Five-man wall for Palace. It’s about 20 yards out…


Milner this time – clears the wall, and clears the crossbar. Hm.


HALF-CHANCE! Palace can’t really clear their lines from a corner and when the shot comes back in, Hennessey spills it before the flag goes up for offside.


WHAT A CHANCE! Christian Benteke should have Palace in the lead at Anfield – but he’s skied it! Brilliant stuff from Loftus-Cheek who traps a long ball and then roasts Klavan. His cut-back is perfect, but Benteke puts it over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Big let off for Liverpool.


That wasn’t too far away either! Roberto Firmino comes back in on his right and lets rip. It’s always rising though and so it’s just high and just wide of Hennessey’s goal.


A bit better for Liverpool but still no breakthrough. Henderson forces Hennessey to get down low to push his shot out of the corner, and then Robertson blasts a shot over the bar.


SUBSTITUTION: Sturridge is called ashore, and Mo Salah is on to replace him.


I’m still here, don’t worry – just not much going on.


Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Premier League - Anfield Liverpool's Roberto Firmino has a shot on goal blocked. Source: Martin Rickett


Salah jumps underneath a cross and there’s a half-hearted appeal from about a dozen people in Anfield. Van Aanholt used his strength to ease Salah out of position, alright, but nothing that you could call a push.


Booking for Jordan Henderson for clipping Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

The away fans make their voices heard with a chorus of “You’re just a sh*t Steven Gerrard.”


Mane, Wijnaldum, and Mane all have chances to break the deadlock in quick succession as the ball pings around the Palace area. The first two efforts are blocked, and then Mane’s tame effort is no bother to Hennessey. Still 0-0, as if you needed reminding.


Liverpool sub: Solanke on for Wijnaldum.

Flag 72Mins

GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palce (Mane, 72′)

It’s not particularly pretty, by any stretch of the imagination, but Liverpool lead – and it’s Sadio Mané!

He drives in from the left and after the ball ricochets off a couple of Palace legs, and nick off Solanke, Mané slots past Hennessey.


Palace have their first corner of the game. Don’t look now, Liverpool fans.


Oh, Palace take it short, and it comes to nothing. Given Liverpool’s love of the set piece, that wouldn’t have been my chosen route.


Another Palace corner, and they take it short again! This time, though, they do get the cross in and Mignolet does well to come and claim.


Good effort from Salah. He outjumps Fosu-Mensah at the back post and gets a good connection on the ball, nodding it into the ground. Hennessey is able to deal with it though.


Liverpool break and Hennessey delays for a second before coming out to clip the ball away from the onrushing Mane. It falls to Firmino – he can’t quite lift it high enough though and the Palace keeper is back in position in time to stop it.


Oooooh. Hennessey launches a free into the Liverpool box, it breaks off Dann, and falls to Kaikai who thumps a shot that stings Mignolet’s palms. The whistle had already gone though – I think it might have come off Dann’s arm in the build-up.


CHANCE! Great chance for Solanke to make the points safe but Hennessey is equal to it. Nervy final few minutes await at Anfield.


Four additional minutes to be played.


Salah! That could have been a beauty for the Reds. He tries to curl it into the far corner from the edge of the box but Hennessey gets across to claw it away.


One last chance for Hennessey to launch the ball into the Liverpool area…

Liverpool free – that should be that!

So that’s it – it wasn’t pretty but Liverpool have their first win of the new season thanks to Sadio Mané.

Attention now turns to Wednesday night and the second leg of their Champions League playoff against Hoffenheim.

For Palace, it’s nought for two to start the season, and they’ll know they had chances to come away with a point or better – Christian Benteke’s miscue the most costly of all.

Thanks for reading and for commenting.

About the author:

Niall Kelly


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