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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 4 April, 2020


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AFTER THE INTERNATIONAL break both of these sides are coming into the game on the back of losses – Palace going down 1-0 to Man United last day out while Liverpool were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea.

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Good afternoon! So here we go again, Liverpool back at the scene of last May’s meltdown that was the key factor in their missing out on a first Premier League title thanks to a 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park. Can Brendan Rodgers’ side banish those demons and come away with a much-needed win today? Or will yet more pressure be heaped on the manager?

Team news is in:

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Kelly, Delaney, Dann, Ward; Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Puncheon; Chamakh, Gayle.

Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson; Gerrard, Allen, Lallana; Coutinho, Sterling, Lambert.

No Mario Balotelli for Liverpool due to a hamstring strain meaning Rickie Lambert gets his chance up front. Liverpool fans, if your side loses today do you think Brendan Rodgers should go or do you trust in the man that led you to second place in the league last season? Let us know in the comments below.

Neither team is coming into this game in great form. Palace have picked up just one point in their last five Premier League matches while Liverpool are looking to end a run of three straight losses in all competitions.

Liverpool look like they’re going to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lambert up top on his own in front of Coutinho, Lallana and Sterling. Judging by the comments section so far there are mixed feeling towards Lambert. Is he just not good enough or has he not been given enough of a chance yet?

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Selhurst Park Source: Adam Davy

It’s a very wet day in London today. The groundsmen there earlier trying to drain some of the excess water off the pitch.

In case you’re interested, Lewis Hamilton has made a superb start to the final Grand Prix of the season, surging into first place straight from the start. Covering it all here.

The players are on the pitch. Sounds like a great atmosphere at Selhurst Park as usual – flags, mascots and cheerleaders, certainly different to most Premier League grounds.

“Come rain or shine: be loud, be proud, be PALACE!”

The stadium announcer with a rallying call for the home fans there.


And we’re off!

GOAL! Crystal Palace 0-1 Liverpool (Lambert, 2′)


Wow! A whirlwind start to this game has seen Liverpool take an early lead courtesy of Rickie Lambert. A sublime pass from former Southampton team-mate Adam Lallana landed right on the foot of Lambert who took a touch before sliding it under Speroni.


Since the goal Palace haven’t looked to be too affected and are attacking the visitors. Bolasie looks to be the main outlet on the left-wing. Twice already he’s streaked by Manquillo, today playing at right-back with Glen Johnson switching to the left.


Joe Allen is opting for a change of attire thanks to a cut behind his ear that’s stained his bright yellow jersey with blood. That won’t be washing out.


Sterling is playing right up top with Lambert, rather than wide. The two have linked up well a few times already. Lambert is looking very comfortable in the role, could he keep Balotelli out of the team when the Italian returns to fitness?


In case you’re wondering, it’s taken approximately 10 minutes for the Palace fans to remind Liverpool of their collapse last May.


GOAL! Crystal Palace 1-1 (Gayle, 17′)


It’s that man again, Dwight Gayle! Yanick Bolasie was afforded too much time 25 yards from goal, his shot struck the post and Gayle tapped in from six yards to pull Palace level.


Despite Liverpool taking the lead Palace have probably been the better team so far, looking a lot more of a threat going forward. The pace of Gayle and Bolasie is causing a lot of problems for the Liverpool defence.


Allen is back on with a fresh bandage and a fresh, nameless and numberless jersey. Shades of Richard Dunne is Russia three years ago…


Lambert unceremoniously pulls down Bolasie, purely out of frustration, but avoids the wrath of Jon Moss’s card book.


Gerrard pings in a dipping free-kick that finds the head of Lambert but the goalscorer can only head over the bar.


From a dreadful clearing header of Manquillo’s Bolasie picks up the ball on the left of the box and tries and curling, swerving, spinning shot but Mignolet tips around the post for a corner. The resulting cross comes to nothing and Liverpool clear their lines.


A neat passing move from Liverpool sees Lallana played through but his touch lets him down and the ball trickles out of play. His blushes were saved by the linesman’s flag but the replay shows that he in fact wasn’t offside, so his blushes return.


Ireland defender Damien Delaney has exited the pitch and walked straight down the tunnel with a knee injury. He’s replaced by Brede Hangeland.


A Crystal Palace attack breaks down and Liverpool counter with the ball at the feet of Allen. He plays in Sterling on the left but the winger hesitates, allowing the Palace defenders to get back and he’s muscled off the ball.


Here’s a picture that no Liverpool fan wanted to see: Dwight Gayle celebrating another goal against Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Crystal Palace v Liverpool - Selhurst Park Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Liverpool are coming into the game a bit more in the last five to 10 minutes. Coutinho has dropped a little deeper and is finding more space after doing so. He’s just won a free-kick that was cleared, allowing Palace to counter-attack. The speed of the home side’s attack really is something to behold. Bolasie and Gayle work a nice one-two allowing the winger to shot from close range but Mignolet saves.


Another long range effort, this time from Ward, is saved by Mignolet. Another Formula One update: Hamilton has one hand on the title with 15 laps to go, thanks to a nightmare race from Nico Rosberg.


HALF TIME - The last action of the first period sees Bolasie terrorise Manquillo for the umpteenth time but his shot flies over the bar. I’ll be back in a few minutes, time for a cup of tea.

Some half-time thoughts: Crystal Palace have been the better team so far and deserve to be level, if not ahead.

Javi Manquillo won’t be able to sleep tonight for nightmares involving Yannick Bolasie and his blistering pace.

And finally, that Coral ad that comes on during the football is the most annoying ad on the television.

“What’s the catch?”




Second half - We’re back underway and Bolasie has got a cross into the box already.


Joe Allen jersey update: he’s moved onto his fourth of the day. This one has his name on number on the back though.


After a foul on Sterling Gerrard goes for goal with the free-kick but his effort flies high and wide amid a splash of water from the rain-soaked pitch.


A lot of Liverpool possession ultimately leads to nothing when Gerrard’s shot is blocked. Palace go on the counter attack but Skrtel brings it to an abrupt end with a deliberate foul on Chamakh. A deliberate foul that earned him a yellow card.


Quick interplay between Coutinho and Lambert on the edge of the box plays Sterling in. His cross is blocked and Liverpool get a corner but a foul on Speroni as the ball came into the box breaks down the attack.


Sterling cuts in side and lays it up for Gerrard to strike but the soaking wet ball slices off his soaking wet boot and flies wide of the soaking wet Speroni in the soaking wet goal.


Lewis Hamilton has been crowned Formula One World Champion in Abu Dhabi. That’s the end of those updates for the day.


Big call! Chamakh turns Manquillo on the edge of the box and is brought down. He fell inside the box leading to claims for a penalty but Jon Moss ruled that the infringement took place outside the area and awards a free-kick. Manquillo is booked and Jedinak fires the free-kick into the stand.


Palace are enjoying a good spell in the last few minutes. The latest chance comes from a Jason Puncheon cross that just eluded the head of Bolasie at the back post.


Chamakh picks up the ball with his back to goal, spins and attempts a shot but it’s blocked. Palace recycle possession and its laid out to Bolasie on the wing. He tries to go past Manquillo but knocks it too far ahead and runs out of pitch.


Palace got away with one there! A low cross from Johnson finds the hands of Speroni but he spills it. Luckily for the home side Scott Dann was on hand to lump clear.


A lovely jinking run from Coutinho allows him to find Sterling on the edge of the box. He plays it wide to Manquillo but the full-back somehow manages to hit a shot so off target that it went out for a throw-in.


Fabio Borini has been introduced for Adam Lallana. Borini has gone up front to partner Lambert with Sterling pulling out wide. Emre Can has also come on to replace Joe Allen. Liverpool are looking very dangerous in the last few minutes.


The trend of the game so far has been Liverpool enjoying a lot of possession but not really creating too much with it. Palace are looking to hit on the break. It must be a recipe for another goal, but for who?


James McArthur has come on to replace Puncheon for the hosts.


GOAL! Crystal Palace 2-1 Liverpool (Ledley, 78′)


Well, who’d a thunk it? There’s been another goal. Fantastic work from the man of the match Bolasie on the right wing led to him beating Johnson and squaring to the unmarked Ledley who smashed home from the penalty spot.


GOAL! Crystal Palace 3-1 Liverpool (Jedinak, 82′)


Well Palace have gone and taken this game by the scruff of the neck, surely they’ve won it now. A stunning 25 yard free-kick from Mile Jedinak flies into the top corner.


I suppose in a lot of ways it sets up for a comeback like last May but the opposite way around…


Gerrard tries his luck with a free-kick from the edge of the area but he can’t mirror Jedinak’s exploits and it flies over.

Barry Bannan has replaced Bolasie.


Looking again at the foul that led to Palace’s third goal it was a bit of a harsh call. Skrtel did have a hand full of Gayle’s jersey but the feeling was mutual with Gayle tugging on the defender’s shirt at the same time.


Corner for Liverpool.


Leads to nothing. On second look Hangeland clearly fouled Skrtel as the ball was coming in. He wasn’t even looking at the ball.


As the clock ticks towards stoppage time does it look like Brendan Rodgers might be coming towards the end of the road? Liverpool fans, is it time for him to go?


We’ll have four minutes of stoppage time.


FULL TIME - It’s a fourth loss in a row for Liverpool and another bad day at Selhurst Park. They’ll be hugely disappointed after going ahead just 90 seconds into the game but the three points were full deserved by Palace. Wednesday’s game away to Ludogorets was always an important one for Liverpool, now it’s absolutely crucial.

So that’s it from me, a vital win for Palace that lifts them out of the bottom three and yet more misery for Liverpool. It’s now their worst start to a league campaign for 22 years; after 12 games they sit just four points above the relegation zone. If the pressure wasn’t already on Brendan Rodgers it is now, Wednesday’s game in Bulgaria could be do or die for the Northern Irish man.

Over and out.