REPORT | Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace: Comfortable win sees Reds put both hands on Premier League trophy

Following a disappointing Merseyside Derby draw, Liverpool got back to winning ways at Anfield against old foes Crystal Palace thanks to goals from a returning Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho and Sadio Mané.

Jürgen Klopp made four changes from the side that took a point at Goodison. Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Gini Wijnaldum and Salah all returning to the XI, with Takumi Minamino and Naby Keïta returning to the bench. Joël Matip and James Milner were left out of the matchday squad through injury.

Unlike at the weekend against Everton, the Reds were at it from the get-go, pressing high, linking well and forcing the Palace defence back immediately. In fact, Klopp’s men looked sharper and more like their old selves, with the ball fizzing around the pitch as they searched for the inevitable opener.

The pressure eventually paid off in the 22nd minute when Jordan Ayew made an unnecessary on Virgil Van Dijk on the edge of the area giving Liverpool and Trent Alexander-Arnold a golden opportunity to open the scoring.

Questions will be raised over Wayne Hennessey’s positioning, however, the young right-back couldn’t have placed his effort any better, expertly curling the ball around the Palace wall and into the back of the diving goalkeeper’s net. 1-0 Liverpool.

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Following the goal, the Reds continued to push and were finally able to breach the Palace rearguard for the second time in the 44th minute.

A cute dink over the top by Fabinho took the Palace backline out the game and set Salah through on goal. The returning Egyptian took the ball on his chest before smashing it over the advancing goalkeeper and into the back of the net to double Liverpool’s lead heading into the break.

Despite leading 2-0 at half time,  Klopp’s side could have arguably had two penalties, with Gary Cahill manhandling van Dijk in the box before proceeding to impede Firmino in the area moments later with his arm.

The Reds started the second phase of player in a similar vein to that of the first half, pushing high and in search of more goals.

It didn’t take long for the Reds to find a third through one of the most unlikely of sources, Fabinho.

The Reds continued to play the ball outside the Palace area before passing to Fabinho who wound up from distance. Similarly to his strike against Manchester City earlier in the year, the Brazilian hit the ball hard and true, with the effort akin to a guided missile, arroweing into the corner of the Palace net. 3-0 for the home side after 55.

The third goal only seemed to encourage Liverpool further with the Reds clinching their fourth in the 69th minute through Mané.

An inch-perfect first time through ball from Salah set the Senegalese wideman through on goal behind the advanced Palace backline. Once he was away there was no catching him, and as he entered into the box Mané opened up his body and curled his effort around the sprawling Hennessey. 4-0 Liverpool.

With the four-goal cushion, Klopp used the remaining minutes of the contest to give Premier League minutes to youngsters Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Takumi Minamino and Naby Keïta also getting a run out.

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Liverpool are next in action on July 2 where they are able to officially clinch the Premier League title by simply avoiding defeat against Manchester City at the Etihad.

In fact, the Reds may already be crowned league champions prior to the fixture as Manchester City require a win against Chelsea on Thursday night to keep the fight alive.

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Matthew Ramirez

Podcast regular and match reporter. Gibraltarian of many opinions and defender of Jordan Henderson.

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