Benteke nets a brace and a Palace win in Anfield return 

Liverpool’s challenge for a Champions League spot took a major hit after losing 2-1 at home to a Benteke inspired Crystal Palace. 

Benteke has now scored five league goals as an opposition player at Anfield. He managed just four Premier League goals there during his season with the club

I’m not sure what was harder to witness, Benteke delivering the killer-blow twice, or Sakho looking very happy celebrating the win. Surely another reason Klopp will not want him back at the club next season!

Benkete scored in either half, as Palace mounted a brilliant fightback having witnessed Philippe Coutinho’s fine free-kick giving Liverpool the lead.

Palace have now triumphed on their last three league visits to Anfield – the first team to achieve that feat since Chelsea in October 2005.

Game stats

  • Liverpool lost at home in the Premier League after opening the scoring for the first time since May 2015, also against Crystal Palace (1-3).
  • Sam Allardyce won his first Premier League match at Anfield as a manager, in what was his 14th attempt with the fifth different club.
  • Since Philippe Coutinho made his Premier League debut in February 2013, only Yaya Toure (14) has scored more goals from outside the box than the Brazilian (13).
  • Coutinho is the fifth Brazilian player to score 10 or more goals in a single Premier League season after Gilberto Silva, Juninho, Robinho and team-mate Roberto Firmino.
  • Christian Benteke has scored five goals in his previous three Premier League games at Anfield as an opposition player.
  • Benteke (11) is one of only four players to register 10 or more away goals in the Premier League this term (Alexis Sanchez 13, Sergio Aguero 12 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic 10.

The game

On a day when one of their former players put on a striking masterclass, Liverpool’s shortcomings in front of goal will be acutely felt.

Klopp’s side racked up 72% possession, however only managed just one shot on target in more than 90 minutes of play. To say we dominated was an understatement! We did a lot of good things during the game, but the end product was missing. Regardless of what you think, that’s the most important thing in football.

Ask an Arsenal fan and compare their thoughts to that of a fan of a club that Mourinho has managed. I’m not comparing Klopp with Mourinho, far from it. Klopp is creating something special, that’s obvious for all to see. We just seem to be missing the knack of delivering that killer blow regardless of well stylistically speaking we are playing!

Hats off to Coutinho and his amazing 30-yard strike, what a superb free-kick which was his 10th Premier League goal of the season. But, lets be honest, Wayne Hennessey had very few scares whilst in goal!

It was obvious his defence we well drilled and performed out of their skin at times. Frequently crowding Coutinho when he threatened to weave a little bit of magic in the second half.
Without Mané, it’s now Stop Coutinho and you Stop Liverpool!

A woeful mis-hit by Emre Can after good approach work by James Milner and Roberto Firmino summed up Liverpool’s performance in the final third. Surely something has to change? Will it be addresses in the transfer market?

Benteke – the difference

Benteke proved his worth as Palace had just seven shots on goal and three on target – but that was all they needed. All opportunities were more clear-cut than ours. His sharpness in front of goal was the glaring difference between the two sides and he deserves all the plaudits after this display. He really showed why Rodgers spent all that money to bring him to Liverpool in the first place!

His first was a well-taken strike high into the net from Yohan Cabaye’s low cross, his second a poacher’s header from six yards after some lax Liverpool defending at a corner.

Manager’s Comments

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp:

“I have no idea how Crystal Palace are in the situation they are. We knew it was difficult. We were dominant, you cannot create 20 chances in a game like this, you have to work and that is what we did.

“We scored a fantastic goal and more interesting situations and then out of nothing let them score. After you could see their confidence grew and in the second half we were dominant.

“They had counter-attack threat but again out of nothing we gave them an opportunity from a corner. The decisive one we missed the ball at the front post.

“It is frustrating, disappointing of course. Everyone thinks the Champions League has slipped through our fingers but we have one more month to stay positive. We have to try everything to squeeze everything out of this season.”

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce:

“Some goals you can’t stop and that one we couldn’t stop. But the recovery from that is good. Out of possession we frustrated Liverpool today so much that they had little opportunity to have a clean shot on goal.”

“Liverpool were only as good as we allowed them to be. They had a lot of possession as did Chelsea and Arsenal. We did more with our possession than Liverpool and that is why we won.”

“We finished our analysis with how many goals Liverpool have conceded from corners. We showed that it might not be the first ball in but the second or third if we make runs in the right areas.

“It is a big result today, it makes life so much easier.”

Liverpool stay in third place, however they have played two games more than Man City, Man Utd and Arsenal. When we play our next game against Watford on Bank holiday Monday we could potentially be 5th! This would be awful and demonstrates the importance of games like this. It mustn’t happen again, well this season anyway! 

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