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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021


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FT: Liverpool 4-0 Palace 

It’s all over, Liverpool snap back into gear with an astonishingly one-sided win. 

After three decades, Liverpool fans are now measuring out their wait in days. 

Thanks for following, bye! 


Now Williams wins the ball on the edge of the box, jinks inside, and shoots for the corner…but sees his effort saved by compatriot Hennessey. 


Salah’s shot in the box is blocked but the ball falls perfectly for Williams, whose shot is blocked behind for a corner by Sakho. 

Palace get the corner clear.


Palace have only additional minutes of torture here. 


Salah is picked out in loads of room in the box, but his attempted pass across for a Minamino tap-in is cut out by Henenssey!


The corner is poor, but Elliot follows it up by winning another. 

It’s played short for Keita, who shoots…and forces another corner. 


Liverpool win a corner, which Harvey Elliot will take. 


Minamino rolls a low cross across the area that James McCarthy does well to intercept. He clears, but as I type that, Liverpool win the ball back. 


Another double change for Liverpool – Naby Keita and Harvey Elliot replace Mane and Robertson. 

Jordan Ayew is off for Palace, replaced by Brandon Pierrick. 


And still Liverpool hem Palace into their box. Salah tries to find Minamino in the box but he miscontrols, and the chance is lost. 


Liverpool have had this game won for almost an hour at this point, but they have not slackened their pace one bit. 

They are still pressing ferociously, and Palace cannot hang onto the ball for more than a couple of seconds.


Liverpool make a double change: Neco Williams makes a Premier League debut in place of Trent Alexander-Arnold, while Takumi Minamo comes on for Firmino. 


GOAL! Liverpool 4-0 Palace (Mane) 

And Liverpool have a fourth, a quintessential goal created and finished by the front three. 

Mane wins the ball in the Liverpool half, passes into the centre circle for Firmino, who spins the ball right for Salah, who plays the ball in behind the Palace defence for Mane. 

Mane, unsurprisingly, slots the ball into the corner. 



Oxlade-Chamberlain gets involved straight away, and flights a shot narrowly over. 

Palace make a double switch: Kouyate and McArthur off for Milovojevic and Riedewald. 


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on for Liverpool, replacing Henderson. 


Liverpool are still playing the game with their foot on Palace’s throat, and Salah curls a shot narrowly wide of the post. 


Wijnaldum should make it four. Mane picks him out centrally, six yards from goal, and he pokes the ball right at Hennessy. 


GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Palace (Fabinho) 

Blimey, what a strike by Fabinho. He picks the ball up 30 yards from goal and lashes it into the corner. 

He has been terrific all evening, and it’s crowned by a magnificent goal. 


Palace finally get the ball…and then lose it as Meyer is dispossessed on the edge of Liverpool’s box by Fabinho. 

Liverpool break, and Robertson elects to shoot from distance, and the ball whistles over the bar and into the stand. 


Sakho continues his comedy routine by playing a blind – and short -backpass for Hennessy from the edge of the box, which the goalkeeper has to sprint and slide to reach ahead of Firmino. 


Endless waves of Liverpool attacks. The latest sees a Henderson cross cut out by Cahill. 


Lovely football again from Liverpool, but the move is thwarted in the box as Firmino is penalised for a push on Cahill. 


Robertson slings a low cross into the box which Sakho is about to clear but then allows the ball to pass – one of the 300 people in the ground shouted ‘away!’ – and so the ball goes on to Salah, but he skews his effort wide. 

He and Sakho exchange wry grins. 



We are underway once again, with Liverpool attacking the vacant Kop. 


Players took a knee ahead of kick-off here, as we’ve seen across all games since the resumption.

liverpool-v-crystal-palace-premier-league-anfield Source: Phil Noble/NMC Pool/PA Wire


HT: Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace 

Liverpool are absurdly dominant, and have snapped back to the intensity they had before the lockdown. 

They are coasting this, and are edging ever closer to the league title. 

We’ll be back in a few! 


Two minutes to be added on at the end of the first-half. 


GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Palace (Salah) 

Liverpool score their 100th goal of the season! Fabinho lofts the ball into the box for Salah, who cuts in from the left, controls the ball on his chest, and slots it beyond Hennessy! 


Palace get a sight of goal. Gomez miscontrols the ball and Meyer picks it up, runs at van Dijk and flashes a shot narrowly wide of Alisson’s left-hand post. 


Liverpool play a long ball for Mane that Hennessy rushes out to intercept, but he heads the ball right to Salah, whose attempted first-time lob is skews off his boot and harmlessly wide. 

For a moment, it looked like he might repeat what he did to Ederson here a couple of years ago. 


Liverpool don’t relent, and Wijnaldum curls another tame shot in the box wide of the post.


VAR says no penalty. 

The ball clearly hit Cahill’s raised arm, but it was at extremely close range. 


Liverpool are roaring for handball in the area, as Firmino’s attempted flick over Cahill’s head is blocked. 

The referee says no, and the VAR have kept shtum so far…


Fabinho violates the tenancy agreement of Trent Alexander-Arnold Territory by taking the free-kick and whipping it over the bar. 


Liverpool win another free-kick, Ayew fouls Fabinho. 

It’s in an area of the field recently rezoned by Liverpool City Council as Trent Alexander-Arnold territory. 


Palace literally can’t get the ball. They are being absolutely monstered here. 


Off the post!

Liverpool are relentless, zipping the ball about and stretching the Palace defence out of shape. 

Robertson draws a foul on the left, and his whipped free-kick is only half-cleared by Hennessy. Henderson meets the rebound on the volley, and smacks his effort off the post! 

Palace scramble the ball clear for a corner, which van Dijk heads over. 


The players take a drinks break immediately after that goal, and now we resume. 


GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Palace (Alexander-Arnold) 

Alexander-Arnold curls the free-kick into the top corner, and Liverpool are off. 

What a strike! 


Palace get the corner away…but it comes right back at them, and Ayew shoves van Dijk on the edge of the box. 

Liverpool have a free-kick, with a queue of players making their case to take it. 


It’s all Liverpool, but Palace are swarming the box and defending doughtily. 

Now they have a first corner to defend. 


Liverpool look much, much sharper than they did at Everton on Sunday. 


Liverpool go direct in response: Mane traps Alisson’s kick on his chest and plays an audacious back pass for Firmono, who curls a shot into the corner which Hennessy comfortably gathers. 


McCarthur lands a long-range shot into the Kop. 


Jordan Ayew is fouled and it allows Palace a chance to make the change – Zaha is off for Meyer. A big blow. 


Worrying news for Palace, as Wilfried Zaha is limping. 

Max Meyer is being readied on the sideline, so his day may be done already. 


Mane stands a cross to the back post onto which Henderson arrives, but he skews his volley high into the Anfield Road stand. 


Wijnaldum flashes a volley wide! Lovely Liverpool play ends with Henderson whipping a cross deep into the box which Townsend makes a hames of, deflecting the ball back into the six yard box. 

The ball breaks off Salah to Wijnaldum, who skews a volley wide from six yards. 


Kouyate takes Fabinho out in the air and Liverpool win a free-kick, which they take quickly. 

Still Liverpool jab and move, but they’ve yet to find a way through the Palace defence. 


Liverpool settle into a groove quickly, and are popping the ball about with vigour. Palace have everyone behind the ball already. 


Tonight’s referee is Martin Atkinson.


Players and referee take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and we’re underway! 

Now You’ll Never Walk Alone is played over the speakers, as the cameras pan over the empty stands. 

To think this is likely Liverpool’s final home game before they win the league, and it’s happening to silence, is deeply, deeply eerie. 

Unlike at a few other grounds, the Anfield PA is silent ahead of kick-off. 

Now the bland Premier League theme – which is usually drowned out – is blared out as Liverpool arrive. 

Crystal Palace amble out onto the pitch, and Liverpool will follow shortly. 

At an empty Anfield, the Kop is still festooned with flags and banners. 


liverpool-v-crystal-palace-premier-league-anfield Source: Paul Ellis/NMC Pool/PA Wire


Elsewhere this evening… 

There were four Premier League games earlier this evening, here’s how they finished up: 

Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield United 

Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa 

Norwich 0-1 Everton

Wolves 1-0 Bournemouth


A reminder that Liverpool can’t win the title tonight. 

If they win tonight and Man City don’t beat Chelsea tomorrow night, however, they’ll be crowned champions. 

If both Liverpool and City win over the next two days, Klopp’s side will wrap it up with a draw against City on Thursday week. 

Team News 


Liverpool are pretty much at full-strength tonight, as Mo Salah and Andy Robertson return having missed Sunday’s Merseyside Derby. Joe Gomez partners Virgil van Dijk in Joel Matip’s absence as Gini Wijnaldum starts in place of Naby Keita. 

 Crystal Palace

Here’s the Palace team, featuring Wilfried Zaha and Irish international James McCarthy. 

Evening all – today we were meant to be in Bilbao, watching Ireland/Successful Playoff Opponent face Spain in the European Championships.

Liverpool were meant to be champions by this point too, but hey, the best-laid plans and all that….

Liverpool can’t win the title tonight but they can take a giant stride in that direction. At the moment they need five points from their remaining eight games to seal a first title in 30 years, though if they win tonight and City slip up at Chelsea tomorrow night, Liverpool will head to the Etihad tomorrow week as champions.

Liverpool have a remarkable Premier League home record: they have won every league game they’ve played at Anfield this season, and haven’t lost a league game at home since losing 2-1 to Crystal Palace in April, 2017.

Palace are tonight’s opponents, mind, and Roy Hodgson would likely delight in complicating Liverpool’s coronation, given his wretched spell at Anfield a decade ago.

Kick off at Anfield is at 8.15pm, and team news follows next…

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney


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