Crystal Palace vs Liverpool result: Five things we learned as Roberto Firmino leads Reds to seven-goal rout

Palace 0-7 Liverpool: Goals from the opening minutes to the last as the Reds ran riot at Selhurst Park

Karl Matchett
Saturday 19 December 2020 14:27
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Liverpool absolutely hammered Crystal Palace in the PremierLeague on Saturday, running out 7-0 winners with an incredible display of finishing.

The Reds made a fast start as Takumi Minamino cleverly found space in the box and netted his first-ever goal in the competition, inside three minutes.

Palace grew in stature thereafter and missed a host of big chances, before the Reds scored an opportunistic second to wrest back control, Sadio Mane producing a great turn and finish. A fantastic flowing move then saw Roberto Firmino score a tremendous third before the break to essentially settle the match as a contest.

PLAYER RATINGS: Who impressed at Selhurst Park?

It was a procession after the break and the high-class goals kept coming, with Jordan Henderson, Firmino again and two from sub Mohamed Salah all piling on the misery for Roy Hodgson’s side.

Here are five things we learned from the game at Selhurst Park

1. Palace profligacy

They ended up on the wrong side of the hammering of the season so far, but Palace could easily have been ahead at half-time if not for wastful finishing.

Luka Milivojevic tried a lob with Alisson out of his goal, before we then saw Jordan Ayew producing a dummy five yards from goal with nobody behind him and the same forward having a clear run on goal and opting to pass to Wilf Zaha - but putting the ball behind him with no defender in close attendance.

Ayew then headed straight at Alisson from a free-kick and Jeffrey Schlupp did the same from a corner - with all this coming inside the opening half-hour, all this coming at 1-0.

Minutes later Mane span and fired in the second and the game was gone by half-time.

2. Much-needed scoring boosts

Liverpool’s first-half goalscorers, Minamino and Mane, are rather different in terms of both style and standing within the senior squad - but both were on a level playing field in terms of needing to find the back of the net.

The Japan international had already scored three this season, not bad for his intermittent game time, but this was actually his first strike in the Premier League since joining the Reds very close to one year ago.

Recent games have come in midfield for him, but a return to the front line was met with tremendous work-rate, some nice link-up play and his all-important first personal celebration.

Mane has no such worries usually, but he had been on his longest run without a goal for the Reds - nine matches without finding the net. Palace came at the perfect time, then: this was his seventh match in succession against them where he ended up on the scoresheet.

3. High-quality finishes

In contrast to Palace’s wayward shooting, Liverpool players appeared to put football magnets in all four corners of Vicente Guaita’s goal.

Minamino’s opener was a well-worked goal with a good finish, but each goal in turn seemed to bring new levels of confidence, class and unerring strikes.

Firmino’s finishes were in contrast to his struggles in front of goal earlier in the season, while Salah and Henderson both picked out the top corner with first-time hits.

Guaita produced some fantastic stops against Spurs only a couple of games ago - and a horror moment for the goal - but he simply didn’t get anywhere near any of these strikes at Selhurst Park.

4. Front three firing

They didn’t all start but Liverpool’s regular strike trio all found the net - plus squad member Minamino.

The relevance for he and Mane is noted above, but for the other pair it was also pertinent: Firmino hadn’t scored in back-to-back games since last December, while a late brace for Salah sends him clear in the race for the Premier League golden boot.

He’s two clear of Son and Calvert-Lewin, who play later in the weekend.

5. Six clear and the chase is on

Palace won’t be overly concerned in the longer term about the game or their mid-table position in the Premier League.

But for Liverpool it’s far more relevant: the scoreline eradicated the bad memories and goal difference from the defeat at Aston Villa earlier in the season, and sent the Reds six points clear ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.

Away results had not been impressive for some time for Jurgen Klopp’s team, but this thumping puts all those draws behind them in emphatic style.

Players coming back to fitness, a full week until the next game and going top, then clear, ahead of the chasing pack and it is looking like a very merry Christmas for Kopites.

This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri - Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.

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