Mohamed Salah scores as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-1
Liverpool entered the match in third place with 63 points from 31 games after thrashing Watford 5-0 before the international break. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace came in at 16th place with 30 points from 31 games after beating Huddersfield town 2-0.
It was clear from the beginning the effects of coming off the international break. Both teams seemed lethargic with most of the passes centered in the middle of the field. In the eighth minute, Wilfried Zaha looked certain to score Palace’s first goal, but Loris Karius deflected the ball out for a corner.
Karius was once again in the center of the action as he brought down Zaha inside the box. Luka Milivojević scored his ninth goal of the season from the spot to put Crystal Palace on top of Liverpool in the early stages.
Throughout the first half, Liverpool dominated having 76% possession to Palace’s 24%. The Reds also had 12 total shots, four of which were on target to Crystal Palace’s two total shots that were both on target. However, both teams failed to capitalize on any chances.
The second half started with a more lively pace, with both Liverpool and Palace having chances in the first two minutes. Sadio Mané saved Liverpool from their blushes in the 49th minute after great teamwork allowed James Milner to let a pass inside the box which Mané emphatically scored. His goal was the Senegalese 15th goal across all competitions this season.
Christian Benteke had two golden chances to put Palace ahead, but mysteriously missed both of them keeping the match even. Though Liverpool had less possession in the second half than in the first half, Liverpool had more quality chances. The best chance came in the 77th minute, but Salah wasn’t able to turn it home with former Liverpool man Mamadou Sakho clearing the ball.
Just five minutes before full-time, the ‘Egyptian King’ calmly slotted home Liverpool’s second goal of the match from Andrew Robertson’s assist. The winner was Salah’s 37th goal across all competitions this season for the Reds. With it, he ties Didier Drogba with most goals scored by an African in one season of the Premier League with 29 goals.
The result puts Liverpool temporarily into second place with 66 points from 32 games, while Crystal Palace remaining in 16th place. Liverpool will turn their focus back to the Champions League as they take on Manchester City on April 4th. Crystal Palace will take on Bournemouth in the next round of the Premier League on April 7.
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