Liverpool had a brilliant start after which rode their luck as they sealed a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace, with a favourable Video Assistant Referee VAR intervention helping reduce Manchester City‘s lead at the top.
The Reds have returned to the Premier League action, taking the points but however indebted to a magical performance from their number one for ensuring they left with a win. More pressure is somehow exerted on Manchester City as Alisson saves the day with five points from Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Following the City‘s slip-up at Southampton on Saturday, Liverpool had a big chance to close the gap between them and the league leaders to nine points though they still have a game in hand. It was important that Reds started strong at Selhurst, then, and their opening score came in after the seventh minute, with Virgil van Dijk finding himself completely unmarked at the near post, allowing him to power in Andy Robertson‘s corner.
Liverpool should have had other minutes later, with Crystal Palace failing to clear and Robertson eventually bending a ball towards the back post, which Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was unable to convert. Opportunities kept coming, and after a brilliant reflex stop from Alisson to deny an offside Jean-Philippe Mateta, Liverpool found a big opportunity at the other end, but Fabinho skewed his effort way over the bar.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finally got the opportunity and scored the second goal during the FA Premier League match at Selhurst Park. Not long after it was 2-0, though, with Liverpool in incredible form as they suffocated Crystal, a flowing move that saw Robertson lay on his second assist of the afternoon as Oxlade-Chamberlain touched it down and hammered in.
Alisson was still needed to keep his side ahead, with the goalkeeper making two brilliant saves to deny Michael Olise and then Mateta to maintain the lead at half-time. The Reds almost surrendered their lead straight after kickoff, with Conor Gallagher heading just wide from Olise’s cross with Alisson pulling off another brilliant save from Odsonne Edouard’s backheel. However, with neither Van Dijk nor Joel Matip sharp enough as Mateta’s diagonal run found him through, and with a square to Edouard on, Palace clawed it back to 2-1.
Within half an hour, Palace supporters were berating their players as much as the officials, as perceived injustices and sloppy passing out from the back meant they turned into anything but fabled 12th man. Palace had almost five great opportunities but concentration, intent and execution were nothing short of woeful from the 2-0 through the mark.
Liverpool manager turned to Takumi Minamino for an immediate response, and he came on for the goal scorer Oxlade-Chamberlain, perhaps due to the Englishman having only just returned from an ankle injury. Liverpool was then awarded a very, very soft penalty late on as Vicente Guaita crashed into Diogo Jota, allowing Fabinho to step up and score his fourth in five games and seal the win.