Crystal Palace 3, Liverpool 3
Selhurst Park, London (Att: 25,261)
Liverpool scorers: Allen (18′), Sturridge (53′), Suarez (55′)
Crystal Palace scorers: Delaney (79′), Gayle (81′, 88′)
Liverpool set up with a diamond midfield with Sterling at the tip, and Sturridge back in the side for Coutinho who wasn’t quite fit.
A game of attacking football from Liverpool left the defence exposed at times, and Crystal Palace ruthlessly took advantage of this during a 12 minute period towards the end of the second half.
Lucas and Suarez looked to be tiring in the second half, but instead Brendan Rodgers brought off Sterling. Many have said Liverpool were too gung-ho, but being even more attack minded and bringing Coutinho on for Lucas could have been the way to go in this game. It would have provided more energy in midfield in both attack and defence.
Yannick Bolasie and substitute Dwight Gayle enjoyed much joy on the counter attack, as Liverpool’s full-backs, and occasionally even Steven Gerrard were high up the pitch looking for goals.
Simon Mignolet – 6
Decent game despite the scoreline.
Glen Johnson – 5.5
Good in attack, but struggled in defence. Difficult to single out any of the back four as there was little organisation and at times not much cover in front of them. They weren’t half bad, they were all bad.
Martin Skrtel – 5.5
As with Johnson, often seemed to lose his man and was struggling to recover his position.
Mamadou Sakho – 5.5
Jon Flanagan – 5.5
Steven Gerrard – 6
Great ball to Sturridge for his goal, and took the corner from which Joe Allen scored. Occasionally abandoned his deep lying duties as the team looked for more goals, but should have stayed to support the defence.
Lucas Leiva – 5.5
Hasn’t got the legs to fill in for Henderson, but did a decent job until he was required to work hard towards the end of the game. Should have been brought off instead of Sterling.
*Joe Allen – 7.5
Liverpool’s best player on the night, not just for his goal but for the calm head he displayed which others lacked. Worked well up and down the pitch throughout. Stole around the Palace defence to the back post to head a goal from a corner.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Another good performance in the centre of the park, and was unlucky to be substituted when other players looked to be tiring. Played a great return pass to Suarez for his goal.
Daniel Sturridge – 6.5
Looks to still be recovering his fitness, but was a danger when he got the ball in attacking areas, and was rewarded with a goal which deflected off a defender on its way through.
Luis Suarez – 7
Looked off colour and appeared to be sick in the warm up before the game. Despite this he still showed his usual invention, and managed to get on the score sheet after a good exchange with Sterling.
Philippe Coutinho – N/A
Victor Moses – N/A