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Dublin: -2°C Tuesday 2 March 2021


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Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of this afternoon’s Premier League clash at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool are chasing a 30th unbeaten game and the chance to, at worst, preserve their eight point lead at the top of the table while Palace, who lost to Chelsea on the other side of the international break, are looking for a win that could move them up into the top half.

KICK OFF: We’re up and running.

TEAM NEWS: Here’s a reminder of how both teams line up:

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Tomkins, Cahill, van Aanholt, Townsend, Kouyate, Milivojevic, McArthur, Zaha, Ayew.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Mane.

2 mins – Palace certainly seem happy to allow Liverpool plenty of the ball in these opening few minutes.

4 mins – Early corner for Liverpool which Alexander-Arnold strolls over to take, but Kouyate clears for Palace.

6 mins – First major mistake from Liverpool as Alexander-Arnold turns back on the halfway line and tries to play it back to Alisson but badly overhits it and it goes out for a corner.

9 mins – Nice combo by Mane and Firmino, and the latter tees up Alexander-Arnold on the overlap, but as he cuts it back to Mane, Tompkins gets it in to make a timely intervention and block the shot.

12 mins – Lively from Palace as McArthur sets up Zaha, who tries to engineer some space with Alexander-Arnold in close attention, but it’s blocked behind for a corner and Liverpool clear.

13 mins – Andros Townsend wins another Palace corner but there was an infraction in the box and it’s a free out.

16 mins – Best chance of the game! Townsend pounces on a loose pass from Alexander-Arnold and turns it into a brilliant chance. It comes back to Kouyate and he spots Ayew running into space between two defenders, but he tries to flick it past Alisson off the outside of his boot rather than with a true strike. Wide, but that was a great chance.

21 mins – Palace have really come into this now. Ayew tries to hold the ball up in the box but van Dijk has his body position right and muscles him out of it and turns the ball behind for a corner. That’s Palace’s fourth corner of the afternoon, but Milivojevic doesn’t clear the first man.

23 mins – Van Dijk dives in on Kouyate and again, Palace will have a chance to test Liverpool’s aerial resilience. Milivojevic curls the ball in from deep and Tompkins loops a header up into the air and onto the top of Alisson’s crossbar.

24 mins – And now, at the other end, Tompkins has to be alive as Robertson flashes a low cross into the box. The Liverpool corner is punched clear by Guaita.

28 mins – Ward, Kouyate and Townsend play a nice little triangle on the edge of the Liverpool area but the resulting cross is cut out before it can find Zaha at the back post. It’s been largely Palace for the last 15 minutes here.

32 mins – Oxlade-Chamberlain does well to close van Aanholt and nick possession but the cross is cleared, and when Henderson volleys it back into the box, it drops comfortably for Guaita.

34 mins – Quick break in play here as Kouyate receives a bit of a treatment. He went up for a high ball against van Dijk, and the two them came down awkwardly, both rolling their ankles by the look of it. They’ll both be ok to continue.

38 mins – Cahill stretched in to nick the ball away from Oxlade-Chamberlain and turn it behind for a corner. Van Dijk gets up to win a free header but there’s not much power in it and Guaita gets there before Firmino.


DISALLOWED BY VAR! Crystal Palace 0-0 Liverpool

Drama at Selhurst Park just before the break as Milivojevic whips in a free and Tompkins heads it in at the back post. He’s clearly onside so it doesn’t look like the VAR check should take long, but it emerges that they’re checking for a push at the front post as the ball was delivered, and Jordan Aywe is deemed to have fouled Dejan Loveren. Disallowed!

45+2 mins – Into the second additional minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway.

47 mins – A Palace corner is cleared to the edge of the box and van Aanholt tries his luck with a volley which is dipping, but nowhere near enough.

48 mins – Oooooh. That’s probably Liverpool’s best chance of the game. It’s a smashing ball from Henderson to split the Palace centre-halves and find Mane but he can’t find the target.


GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Crystal Palace 0-1 Liverpool (Mane, 49′)

The leaders lead, and who else could it be only that man, Sadio Mane? It’s not the prettiest goal by any stretch of the imagination but he controls Robertson’s cross on his thigh and then scuffs it past Guaita, who flicks an arm at it but could have got a stronger touch. It bounces off one post, bobbles across the line, off the other and in, with van Aanholt too late on the scene to rescue the situation.

52 mins – Townsend stings Alisson’s palms with a drive from outside the box, which the Liverpool keeper palms up and over the bar.

53 mins – Twice, Oxlade-Chamberlain puts good balls into the Palace box, and twice, James Tompkins is the man there to head clear.

54 mins – Fabinho brings down Kouyate to stop a Palace counter-attack and it’s an obvious yellow card. That’ll rule him out of Liverpool’s game against Brighton next week.

62 mins – Nearly a second! Mane only needs to get the faintest touch on a whipped corner but he can’t, and Lovren arrives at the back post a split-second too late to turn the ball in.

64 mins — Liverpool sub: Divock Origi comes to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

70 mins — Crystal Palace sub: Joel Ward looks to have jarred his ankle there with a tackle on Origi. He goes off to be replaced by Martin Kelly, who needs no introduction to Reds fans.

71 mins – Another break in play now as Origi needs treatment for a head injury following a clash with Kelly.

74 mins – Zaha goes just a fraction too soon as he tries to engineer a chance for Palace. Offside.

75 mins – Ooooooh. Schlupp very nearly has Palace’s equaliser. Townsend tees him up at on the edge of the box and whistles in a low drive. Alisson must have got a touch as it’s a Palace corner.

75 mins — Crystal Palace sub: Christian Benteke is on to replace Jordan Ayew for the last 15 minutes.

78 mins — BENTEKE! Audacious stuff as he tries an acrobatic volley from 12 yards out and it’s just wide. Don’t think Alisson was getting there if it had been on target.

79 mins — Liverpool sub: James Milner is on to replace Jordan Henderson.

80 mins – Into the last 10 minutes now in Selhurst Park. A second goal would do wonders for Liverpool fans and their nerves, you’d imagine.


GOAL FOR CRYSTAL PALACE! Crystal Palace 1-1 Liverpool (Zaha, 82′)

Glad. All. Over.

Palace are level with just eight minutes to play as these opening chapters of the title race take another twist.

It’s a smashing finish by Zaha who lets the ball roll across his body before putting low into the far corner past Alisson.

Selhurst Park is loving it.


GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool (Firmino, 85′)

Wait a second! Liverpool are back in front. It’s probably one of the uglier goals they’ll score this season but that won’t bother them. Van Dijk scrambles the ball in the general direction of the Palace goal but when it’s not fully cleared, Firmino is there to finish it off. Palace were only level for a matter of minutes, and now all the noise is coming from the away fans. Another late goal for Liverpool.

89 mins — Liverpool sub: Joe Gomez replaces the goalscorer Roberto Firmino.

90 mins – There’ll be five additional minutes here. Five minutes for Palace to get their equaliser; five minutes for Liverpool to see it out.

90+1 mins – BIG CHANCE. It’s a poor corner but Townsend reacts quickest and clips it back into the box. Zaha takes it down with only Alisson to beat and the chance to snatch a point for Palace but it’s a wild swipe rather than a composed finish and he puts it over. That’s a cracking chance.

All over at Selhurst Park and Liverpool stay eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Just about.

That’s all we have time for as Roberto Firmino strikes at the death to take all three points for Liverpool. All eyes are now on the Etihad as Man City and Chelsea go head-to-head in a bid to keep pace with the leaders.

Thanks for reading.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly


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