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Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool scores the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on October 5, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Karl MatchettFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2016

Liverpool went to the top of the Premier League with a confident and vibrant first-half display, which gave them a deserved 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield Saturday.

After an opening spell where Liverpool dominated possession in the Palace half, Victor Moses had the first clear opening after a Jose Enrique cross found him unmarked. A poor first touch meant the chance was lost, but Liverpool didn't have long to wait for their next chance.

After the Reds worked it down the left again, a cut-back found Luis Suarez, who, despite slipping to the ground, managed to fire beyond Julian Speroni to open the scoring.

Just two minutes later, Daniel Sturridge rifled in a shot that tested the keeper, and within another 60 seconds, he had extended Liverpool's early lead. The English forward twisted and turned on the left side before rifling a wonderful low finish inside the far corner.

At that stage, it looked as though the front two were going to score every time they went forward, but Palace came back into the game with two close calls. First, Jimmy Kebe weaved his way into the area but missed the chance to shoot before Mamadou Sakho almost swiped a deflected cross into his own net.

Liverpool were in no mood to let Palace have a sniff of the points, though, and Raheem Sterling won a penalty, which Steven Gerrard duly converted to extend the lead to 3-0.

Sturridge, Suarez and Victor Moses, who hit the crossbar, all went close to a fourth before the break.

Goal: Liverpool 2-0 Crystal Palace - Daniel Sturridge has now either scored/assisted 16 goals in his last 11 PL games

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 5, 2013

The second half started in similar fashion, with Liverpool making all the running and Suarez in particular looking a real danger.

It quickly became a much more low-tempo affair, though, with Liverpool content to control the game and the scoreline and rest a little inside their own half.

Palace were afforded more time and possession as a result, and their increased pressure paid off when a Campaña free-kick cross was flicked in at the near post by Dwight Gayle to make the score 3-1.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31:  Dwight Gayle (L) of Crystal Palace celebrates scoring his penalty during the Barclays Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park on August 31, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/G
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

That in turn forced the Reds to up their game again, and the final chances of the game fell their way, notably with Sturridge striking the inside of the post with a first-time finish from Suarez's cut-back and a late counter-attack, which should have ended with a better cross from Jose Enrique.


Key Player Grades

Luis Suarez: A

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on October 5, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A real danger right from kickoff, he already looks extremely sharp after his long absence and made it three goals in two league games since his return. Suarez was arguably the best player on the pitch with his movement and linkup play and was unlucky not to add to his tally for the match.


Mile Jedinak: D

Jedinak was never really able to get hold of the ball in space or with time, and the occasions he did break forward, he was hurried and sloppy in possession instead of taking his side further up the field. He had a big job to help Palace's shape but was easily overrun and wasted a few shooting opportunities from range.


Daniel Sturridge: B+

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates with Raheem Sterling after scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on October 5, 2013 in Liverpool, England
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Once again, he and Suarez linked up very well on a number of occasions. The second goal of the game was important after Palace had a few chances of their own, and it was a terrific solo goal from Sturridge. His great form continues for the season.


What's Next?

After seven league games, Liverpool are on top of the Premier League table with 16 points. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have won just once all season and are 19th with three points. They will drop to the bottom if Sunderland can overcome Manchester United in Saturday's late kickoff. After the international break, Liverpool travel to Newcastle United, while Palace entertain Fulham at home.


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