Three Goals, Three Points But Set Pieces Still A Problem
Liverpool recorded a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday after a powerful first half performance was followed by a slightly subdued second half. The Reds found the back of the net three times in the first half via Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and a Steven Gerrard penalty whilst Palace found a consolation goal in the second portion of the game.
As expected Jordan Henderson was deployed in the Lucas role but other than that Liverpool were set up in their recent format whilst Crystal Palace had forwards Chamakh and Jerome leading play for them.
Once again Liverpool started this clash in a very positive manner, the Reds this season have been very exciting to watch in the first 45 minutes but have often faded quickly in the second half. This was certainly on show Saturday as Liverpool quickly found the back of the net.
It was Luis Suarez's first game back at Anfield since the ban and after bringing his new born son Benjamin on the pitch before kick off, he was immediately causing problems for the Palace defence. The goal in particular is one to note for Suarez's critics because it indicated the level of commitment that the Uruguayan has.
Despite falling over in the box, Suarez still managed to fling a foot at the ball and turn his effort past Speroni. Under 15 minutes had past and Liverpool were already 1-0 up. This was a cracking start for Rodgers' side.
The early goal certainly seemed to fluster Ian Holloway's boys as they struggled to deal with the ensuing pressure from Liverpool. Shortly after the Suarez goal Liverpool had found themselves another by our other impressive forward Daniel Sturridge.
After a weaving run in the box Sturridge appeared to be angering some on lookers who were screaming for him to pass the ball but sometimes being selfish is exactly the right thing to do and he was spot on to take on this chance himself. A fine finish from the number 15 successfully doubled Liverpool's lead.
A period of 5-10 minutes in the first half saw Palace eventually put Liverpool under some pressure but it wasn't long before Liverpool had turned the tables again and found themselves being awarded a penalty.
I must admit I do feel it was a bit harsh on Crystal Palace and I personally don't think I'd of given the decision but in fairness I don't think Palace were going to pick anything up from this game anyway and at 2-0 up I'm not sure it had a massive bearing on the overall 90 minutes.
Liverpool's Steven Gerrard took the penalty awarded for a challenge on Raheem Sterling and the captain converted calmly and coolly as always putting Liverpool 3-0 up with just over five minutes left of the first half.
It was a perfect start for the Reds, they were creating lots of chances and had scored three goals via three different goalscorers. Some minor problems to deal with in defence were dealt with relatively easily and in all honesty it looked as though Liverpool would come out in the second half and turn this into an absolute rout, however that wasn't quite the case.
Some immediate substitutions in the second half saw Palace replace Jerome and Kebe with Gayle and Campana. After a quiet start from both sides Liverpool also decided to make some changes after the hour mark bringing on Luis Alberto and Daniel Agger in place of Sakho and Moses.
Luis Suarez was once again lighting up the Liverpool display in the second half, his partner Daniel Sturridge also appears to have a natural connection with the Uruguayan. Several times both men knew exactly where the other one was and even though there was no final product at this stage, the passing and movement was sublime.
At 75 minutes Raheem Sterling was put into the book for a foul on the edge of the box. The free kick taken by substitute Campana was met by the head of another substitute Gayle who headed the ball past Simon Mignolet.
It was frustrating for Liverpool fans to watch because we can't seem to deal with set pieces at the moment and to concede so late on from a set piece after playing so well was very annoying. Goal difference at the moment too is also quite important for the Reds and so it would have been very nice to have kept the clean sheet.
Towards the end of the match another chance from Daniel Sturridge had hearts racing but his shot bounced out off the post. And that was that, well, aside from Aspas coming on at 87 minutes and somehow managing to get himself booked!
I asked for your thoughts on the game and there were quite a few of you mentioning the set piece problem but the overall vibe was good, here's a couple of the best tweets below...
P.s. I can only apologise about the incorrect fixture information in the sidebar, Blogger will not allow me to edit my gadgets at the moment and until they fix the problem I can't correct it, sorry about that!
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