Reviewed by Will Eldridge (Twitter: @willgeorgejourn)
Crystal Palace lost at home to a rampant Liverpool, as six goals were shared unevenly at Selhurst Park.
Klopp’s side arrived at Selhurst Park needing a win to draw level with table-toppers Manchester City and second-placed Arsenal. While Pardew’s men were after some much needed points, to avoid slipping further down the league table.
However, it wasn’t a good start for the London club. Germany international, Emre Can started the goal rush in the opening period – after converting Alberto Moreno’s low cross into the back of the net from 12 yards. The lead lasted for just two minutes, as James McArthur took advantage of a woeful clearance from Dejan Lovren, to beat Loris Karius to the bouncing ball and head in from the edge of the penalty.
Liverpool were back ahead in the 22nd minute, when Lovren made up for his costly mistake to power in a header from six yards out – catching the flat-footed Scott Dann by surprise. The scores were level again in the 33rd minute when McArthur grabbed his second of the game, heading into the top right corner from a Wilfried Zaha cross from the right.
Klopp’s side were not done with the scoring and they went in at the break 3-2 ahead, when Joel Matip’s bullet header from six yards out beat the despairing Steve Mandanda. It could have been more for the Reds in the first half, but Philippe Coutinho’s close-range header was superbly tipped on to the post by the Palace keeper.
In the second period, Christian Benteke’s turn and shot in the box was saved smartly by Karius. The Eagles were also denied two penalties in the space of a few seconds, with Zaha going down easily in the box, before Benteke collided with Matip.
Liverpool were able to score the decisive goal in the 71st minute, when Jordan Henderson produced a defence-splitting through ball to send Roberto Firmino in on goal – with the Brazilian dinking a lovely finish over the on-rushing Mandanda.
Crystal Palace boss, Alan Pardew:
“The first half was difficult on the sideline. We talked about putting them under pressure but in the first period we did not start well.
“We worked hard and defended well but we should have put more pressure on Liverpool. But they are a good team. Two set plays though, that is not us.
“We have to tighten up on that area. Our centre-backs are good but they got done. It is something we have to work on.
“In the second half, the game hinged on key moments. There were some penalty decisions which I thought were tight. We had a tight one last season with the same referee.”
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp:
“In the first 15 minutes we were not really at 100% then in half an hour we created chance after chance. It was a close game and a deserved win at the end. I’m a very happy man.
“The defensive error we made for the first goal is because we are not at the limit of our concentration. The aggressiveness was not there at the start of the game. But I saw a lot of wonderful things offensively.”