Liverpool 4-0 Crystal Palace: Winners and losers from Reds’ Anfield rout

The Reds’ performance against Roy Hodgson’s Eagles was virtually flawless. OLIVER LAWRENSON picks out Liverpool’s winners and losers from the game.

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The Reds produced a ruthless performance on Wednesday night to brush aside Crystal Palace and are now within touching distance of becoming Premier League champions for the first time in three decades.

Each player contributed positively in some way to the resounding result, but four displays in particular caught the eye.


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Winners

Fabinho

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The Brazilian was back to his outstanding best with a performance Liverpool fans had become accustomed to before his ankle injury. A faultless display that was topped off by a scintillating 30-yard strike leaving Wayne Hennessey with no chance of saving.  

He continuously nullified any threats before they began, leaving the likes of Jordan Ayew and Andros Townsend isolated up top for Crystal Palace. His assist for Salah’s goal was a sumptuous floated ball leaving Patrick van Aanholt completely defenceless to the Egyptian’s advances behind him.  

The break seems to have helped the former Monaco man to rediscover his form, with highlights of this returning against Everton in the last outing. This performance however was a true technical masterclass and showed why he is an important part of the Liverpool puzzle and considered one of the best holding midfielders in the world. 

Andrew Robertson

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Impeccable. It was like he had never stopped playing. Robertson continued were he had left off pre-lockdown with an outing which continues to make fans wonder how we managed to get this man for next to nothing in today’s football market. 

Continuously bombing down the left side of the pitch, he caused havoc for Joel Ward and Andros Townsend for the full 90 minutes. Neither could stop the Scottish internationals pursuit to join the attack. 

Against Everton, it was clear to many that Liverpool lacked any attacking threat down the left without Robertson. Today’s performance further emphasises his importance to this team and continues to push his name into the best left back in the world conversations.

Mohamed Salah

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Another who did not feature at the weekend but who showed his undeniable world-class talent once again. Many pundits focused on the lack of cutting edge without the Egyptian on Sunday. Against Crystal Palace he dominated the entire right-hand side. 

Surprisingly it was a night of fewer chances for Salah considering the amount Liverpool created, however when the chances did come to him, he took them exceptionally. His finish for the second goal was collected and dispatched in a cool, calm and composed manner that was as perfect as the overall team performance.  

His high intensity press, precision passing and general unselfish play was a pleasure to watch. The highlight, aside from his finish, was the assist for the fourth goal. A beautifully manufactured first time through ball to Sadio Mané gave the winger the ideal opening to round off the scoring. It was another standout performance for the Egyptian king to add to his ever-growing portfolio. 

Neco Williams

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What a way to make your Premier League debut. After coming on with twenty minutes left for the outstanding Trent Alexander-Arnold, Neco Williams proceeded to continue the good work the Englishman had laid the ground work for.  

A neat and tidy start was ideal for the Welshman to grow into the game and, even when Salah started to tire with 10 minutes remaining, he took over the right-hand channel. Several surging runs from the teenager spawned a number of chances created for the front three, whilst he was narrowly close to scoring a goal of his own, stinging the fingers of Wayne Hennessey on both occasions. 

This has been a breakout season for Neco Williams so far, showing Jürgen Klopp that he is a reliable option moving forwards if Alexander-Arnold is unable to play for any reason. He has continually impressed and tonight is another exciting showing that can only benefit him and his development moving forwards.

Losers

Takumi Minamino

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It may seem harsh putting Minamino down here but he struggled to make a significant impact on the game. With the previous fixture across Stanley Park, it was clear that he is putting in significant effort to get up to speed with the English game, but lacked the physicality needed at this moment. This shortcoming was on show again here with Crystal Palace defenders muscling him off the ball too easily at several points and a general sloppiness to his play. 

After Sunday’s venture on the wing, he was back in more familiar surroundings. The Japanese international did look a lot more comfortable in the false nine position after coming on for Roberto Firmino. His positional awareness was excellent and something Klopp will want to utilise more moving forwards. This awareness should have grabbed him a goal, but Salah’s pass was saved by Hennessey. 

The former Salzburg player is a work in process and many of us need to remember that moving forwards. Like it took Robertson and Fabinho time to adapt, he should be given adequate time before being judged extensively. Most likely it will be next season before we see the best out of the forward.

But this was an opportunity in his favoured central role to catch the eye in a game where all the pressure had evaporated. Very much an opportunity missed for the Japanese.


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