Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Six things we learnt from Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 1

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Dwight Gayle loves to score against Liverpool

Gayle has scored nine goals in his short Premier League career; today’s equaliser for his side was his fifth against the Reds. A great reaction finish from the 5ft 9in centre-forward showed Neil Warnock exactly why he has a case to start games ahead of Fraizer Campbell, who remained on the bench. His celebrations didn’t quite echo last year’s late equaliser, yet the former Peterborough striker’s goal will give him added confidence ahead of the busy upcoming Christmas schedule.

Rickie Lambert has a point to prove

Lambert’s brilliant controlled finish inside two minutes was not that of a striker who has spent the majority of the season warming the bench. The ex-Southampton man showed Brendan Rodgers the type of threat he poses; he potentially could have had another two more goals with two headed chances drifting just over and wide. Something for Rodgers to ponder when Mario Balotelli returns to fitness?

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Steven Gerrard needs to take note from Mile Jedinak

The Australian outshone the Englishman on the pitch with his menacing style of play in the battle of defensive-midfielders. Strong, reliable and all-round leadership ensured the Liverpool veteran was left to stand, ball-chase and admire. Add to that comparison the way Jedinak curled home a delightful free-kick – the same thing Gerrard had struggled to do all match, sending it time and time again hurling over Julian Speroni’s cross bar.

 

Palace still have that famous Pulis spirit

Battling back from 3-3 in May, credit was given to the way Pulis motivated his team’s fight-back. Palace didn’t let themselves go 3-0 down this time but still showed tremendous courage to battle back to take all three points. Liverpool lacked the hunger to see the game out having gone a goal up and Palace’s team spirit meant that mentally they were in control of the Merseyside club; something that a side of Liverpool’s calibre should not be allowing to happen.

Rodgers is struggling

In his press conference, he looked a broken man. Admitting that he takes full responsibility for the disappointing result and confessing that his team’s confidence is “not high at the moment” is a brave thing to do. The Reds need to make changes and fast. A squad that possesses the ability of quality individual players should have dominated a weaker Palace side having taken such an early lead.

Yannick Bolasie can run, very fast

The DR Congo international scored two in midweek as he helped his side qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations tournament. Today, he assisted Joe Ledley’s goal and received the man of the match award. His ability to dribble the ball from one end of the field to the other at speed is one of the best in the league and caused a constant threat to Liverpool’s full-backs. Palace wouldn’t have looked as threatening to score if it wasn’t for the winger’s strong, tricky runs today.

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