Liverpool took one step closer to securing their first top-flight title in 30 years after their 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield.
The Reds, who were looking to rebound after a drab performance against Everton on Sunday, were in complete control from the opening whistle. Liverpool dominated the proceedings, enjoying 74% possession and 21 shots to Crystal Palace’s 3.
Considering Liverpool had won just 2 of their last 7 matches in all competitions, Jurgen Klopp will be delighted by his side’s performance.
He will be especially encouraged by the injury-free, impressive returns of Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson, the brilliant performance of Fabinho, and the magnificent goals scored.
According to OptaJoe, Crystal Palace failed to record a single touch inside Liverpool’s penalty box, the first time that this has happened since this stat started being recorded in the 2008-2009 season.
From the start, it seemed that Liverpool wanted to prove a point after their uninspired performance in the Merseyside derby. Incisive passing and hesitant Crystal Palace defending allowed Liverpool to impose themselves early on, before a wonderful Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick broke the deadlock after 23 minutes.
The Reds kept their foot on the pedal thereafter, with Mohamed Salah reminding the public that he has no plans of giving away his Premier League Golden Boot. On 55 minutes, Fabinho one-upped Alexander-Arnold, firing an absolute missile into the corner from 30 yards out.
Sadio Mane’s 4th goal was the icing on the cake, slotting into the bottom right corner after a breathtaking through ball from Mohamed Salah. Liverpool will now be able to officially call themselves champions if Manchester City drop points against Chelsea tomorrow.
GK – Alisson: 7
Shame on the rest of the Liverpool team for making Alisson brave the heat today. Had a front-row seat to the dominant performance of his peers.
LB – Andy Robertson (Subbed after 84’): 8
3 months off didn’t seem to interrupt the Scottish left back’s form. Robertson provided an outlet on the left-wing early and often and had little defending to do.
CB – Virgil van Dijk: 8
So calm as always. Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew was completely isolated, allowing van Dijk to enjoy an easy shift. Displayed his wonderful passing range as well.
CB – Joe Gomez: 8
Again showed why he should be the long-term partner alongside van Dijk. Composed in handling the few threats that Crystal Palace and also looks increasingly comfortable linking with Liverpool’s midfielders to start the attack.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Subbed after 74’): 9
For most fullbacks, this could be the best game of their careers; for Alexander-Arnold, it’s just another day at the office. Scored an unstoppable free-kick to open the scoring and faced no threat on the opposite end after Zaha limped off injured in the opening stages of the game.
CM – Fabinho: 10
As good of a performance as you’ll ever see from a holding midfielder. Broke up any inkling of a Crystal Palace attack, played a lovely curling ball to set up Salah before half-time, and struck a ball as cleanly as you’ll ever see to add his name to the goal tally. Herculean performance.
CM – Jordan Henderson (Subbed after 64’): 8
As hard-working as always, the Liverpool captain’s energy was contagious. Struck the post in the first half and provided consistent support to Salah on the right wing. Was afforded a well-deserved rest with Liverpool comfortably ahead.
CM – Georginio Wijnaldum: 8
Popped up in dangerous positions on the left-hand side early on and demonstrated his hunger throughout. A few rusty touches, but always lively.
RW – Mohamed Salah: 9
Clearly wanted to make up for missing the derby on the weekend. Constantly sought to get his foot on the ball and—despite misplacing a few passes—bagged a goal before half-time. Looked even better after the break, setting up Mane with a marvelous through-ball and continuing to create more chances.
LW – Sadio Mane (Subbed after 84’): 9
Incredible performance from the Senegalese winger. Displayed his full range of attacking abilities by running in behind, taking players on, and linking up play. It would’ve been an injustice if he had nothing to show for the performance, but his late goal ensured this wouldn’t be the case.
ST – Roberto Firmino (Subbed after 74’): 8
So eager to orchestrate the attack. Constantly showing to the ball to initiate the attack and will be disappointed that VAR didn’t intervene to earn his side a penalty in the first half. His pressing also led to Fabinho’s goal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (64’): 7
Came in when the result was already secured and was thus afforded the luxury of playing worry-free. Drifted across the pitch restfully.
Takumi Minamino (74’): 7
Looks much more comfortable playing in Firmino’s false-nine role than on the wing. Linked up well with other attackers and could have scored if Salah’s square ball in stoppage time would have been slightly more accurate.
Neco Williams (74’): 7
Wonderful moment for the Welsh fullback, making his Premier League debut. A few moments where his decision-making could have been better, but still extremely lively. Played a beautiful through ball to Salah late on and almost scored in the dying moments of the game.
Naby Keita (84’): NA
Entered the frame late on. Not enough time to make an impact.
Harvey Elliott (84’): NA
Exciting that the 17-year old again makes an appearance for the Reds, but also didn’t have time to make his mark.