Crystal Palace vs Liverpool player ratings: Who impressed as Reds ran riot at Selhurst Park?

The Premier League champions flexed their muscles to stay top of the table

Andrew Gamble
Saturday 19 December 2020 14:23
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Liverpool's latest homegrown defensive stars

Liverpool crushed Crystal Palace to move six points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 7-0 win at Selhurst Park.

Takumi Minamino, starting in place of Mohamed Salah, scored his first Premier League goal inside two minutes before Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino added to the score before half time.

The Reds added a brilliant fourth in the second half, with captain Jordan Henderson capping off an exceptional performance with a fine finish before Firmino added his second and Salah scored twice after coming off the bench.

Palace threatened to score and upset the champions on a number of occasions, but were ultimately let down by their final ball.

The result sends Liverpool six points clear at the top of the Premier League, while Palace are languishing in 12th following the heavy home defeat.

Crystal Palace

Vicente Guaita – 5. He could do nothing about Minamino’s strike, but Guaita had a nervy moment after half an hour when clearing straight to Henderson with his feet. Got a hand on the fifth, but should shoulder little blame.

Nathaniel Clyne – 5. The former-Liverpool fullback was overwhelmed by the likes of Mane and Robertson down the left-hand side, and struggled throughout.

Cheikhou Kouyate – 4. The midfielder-turned-defender showcased why he is not fully adapted to the position as he was completely dominated by the champions, who seemingly targeted both him and Clyne.

Gary Cahill – 5. The veteran defender, who celebrated his 35th birthday today, was robbed of possession early but he settled down and was slightly more comfortable than Kouyate. Not a birthday to remember.

Patrick van Aanholt – 4. The left-back dealt with the threat of Alexander-Arnold well early in the game, but he was ultimately dominated by Liverpool’s attackers.

Jeffrey Schlupp – 5. The winger made a piercing run inside the opening 10 minutes but was denied when looking for Zaha, and that was as good as it got for Schlupp.

Luka Milivojevic – 5. His delivery from set pieces almost led to goals for Palace, but he was uninfluential in the midfield battle.

James McArthur – 6. McArthur never stopped running and won the ball a few times, but gave it away in equal measure.

Eberechi Eze – 6. The young winger constantly had his head up and played positive football, but it wasn’t his day today.

Wilfried Zaha – 5. Palace’s star player looked dangerous going forward, but his final ball let him down on a number of occasions. Anonymous in the second half.

Jordan Ayew – 5. The striker should have shot when he left a cutback, and his awful pass to Zaha spurned a golden chance to set up an equaliser. His free header from a Milivojevic free kick was right at Alisson.

Substitutes:

James Tomkins – 5.

Michy Batshuayi – 6.

Jaïro Riedewald – 6.

Liverpool

Alisson – 7. The Brazilian goalkeeper, named to the World XI for 2020, showed fine awareness to race out of his area and shut down Palace attacks.

Alexander-Arnold – 7. He was wasteful in possession throughout the game, but showed why he was named in the Fifa World XI on a number of occasions.

Joel Matip – 7. The centre-back made a crucial intervention to deny Zaha a chance after good work from Schlupp, and he looked solid all afternoon.

Fabinho – 7. The Brazilian denied Ayew a goal when Zaha crossed dangerously, turning it behind for a corner.

Andrew Robertson – 8. The Scottish wing-back was fantastic yet again, and was a constant menace as Liverpool crushed Palace. His pass to assist Firmino was exquisite.

Jordan Henderson – 9. His goal ensured that there would be no repetition of ‘Crystanbul’, and he took it excellently. The Liverpool captain dominated the midfield in one of his best performances of the season.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7. The Dutch midfielder combined well with Henderson to dominate the midfield, and he dropped deep to allow Robertson to get forward at will.

Naby Keita – 6. He helped Liverpool dominate early, but he was wasteful in key moments, particularly on the break.

Takumi Minamino – 7. The Japanese forward scored the first Premier League goal of his career with a neat bit of control before firing into the corner. He could have scored another in the second half, but this was a promising outing.

Roberto Firmino – 9. The Brazilian striker took his goal excellently, with a perfect first touch followed up by a fine outside of the foot finish. He took his second in similar clinical fashion, clipping it over Guaita.

Sadio Mane – 9. The winger brilliantly assisted Minamino inside the first few minutes of the game, and took his goal expertly well with a brilliant turn and finish into the corner. Mane showed his class in the build-up for the Henderson goal as well, and he was the best player on the pitch.

Substitutes:

Mohamed Salah – 9. Came off the bench and assisted Firmino nicely before heading in a goal of his own from a corner. The Egyptian added a sublime second with a curled finish.

Curtis Jones – 6.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6.

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