It was a dramatic evening at Selhurst Park as 10 men Liverpool secured a hard-fought victory with a 1-2 victory. It was an out of favour Liverpool player, Christian Benteke who secured the win for the ‘Reds” as he scored the winning penalty. Earlier in the game, it was Firmino’s lacklustre play in failing to close down goalscorer Joe Ledley which led to Palace’s first goal. Ledley scored his first goal for Palace in nearly a year with a brilliant strike from the edge of the box but he was given room in doing so.
Liverpool’s search for an equaliser was ending in frustration for them in the opponent’s third. In the second half, however, this frustration led to James Milner committing a second offence and he was sent off for the same in the 63rd minute. It seemed like Liverpool again had bad luck riding on their back against their least favoured opponents during the course of the last two seasons. But against the run of play, Liverpool got back into the game after Palace third choice keeper surprisingly chosen over Julian Speroni in the absence of Wayne Hennessey made a costly error allowing Firmino to score.
The match seemed to head into a 1-1 draw but a controversial penalty decision in stoppage time for a foul on Christian Benteke for minimal contact by Damien Delaney gave the Reds a chance to secure a win. They grabbed this chance with both hands and Benteke himself scored the winning goal through a penalty.
Liverpool thus effectively secured victory and jumped to seventh place on the table. In spite of being a man down and that too an important one in James Milner, they fought with considerable vigour throughout this game and secured a positive result even if it may have come through controversial means.
Palace have thus continued their winless streak in the Premier League for 2016 and they will be kicking themselves for not making full use of this glorious opportunity. Even with a man down, they could not get past Liverpool and it is a concerning factor manager Alan Pardew. Crystal Palace will thus be fighting a relegation battle in the Premier League this time round and their goals of finishing in the top half of the table seems effectively dashed.
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