Crystal Palace 3, Liverpool 1
Selhurst Park, London (24,862)
Liverpool scorer: Lambert (2′)
Crystal Palace scorers: Gayle (17′), Ledley (78′), Jedinak (81′)
Simon Mignolet – 6
Made a couple of good saves, but still looks uncertain at times. Palace targeted him by placing two players in front of him at set pieces.
Javier Manquillo – 6.5
Coped well against Yannick Bolasie despite have little support when Crystal Palace were on the counter attack.
Martin Skrtel – 4.5
We know what to expect from Skrtel now, and he’s not good when exposed one on one. Was asleep for the first Palace goal as Gayle waited for the rebound whilst he watched the ball.
Dejan Lovren – 4.5
We heard the Croation speak of being a future captain of the club in a pre-match interview on Sky. At the moment he’s lucky that he even stays in the squad. Much improvement needed, but his positional sense looks beyond repair and he’s not as commanding as Skrtel.
Glen Johnson – 4.5
Switched to left back but his performance level remained the same. Poor at tracking runners, sluggish in possession and rarely offers a forward pass in build-up play.
Steven Gerrard – 4.5
Showed his usual class with a couple of good deliveries at set pieces, one of which should have seen Lambert head home at the far post. His performance in general play, especially without the ball, was worryingly poor, and it looks like his days as a regista in such a fragile team should come to an end.
Adam Lallana – 6
Played a great left footed pass from his position in central midfield to set up Rickie Lambert for Liverpool’s goal. Not athletic enough without the ball to cover for Gerrard as Henderson and Can might, but was one of the better performers on the day.
Joe Allen – 6.5
It was no surprise that Crystal Palace scored with Allen off the pitch receiving treatment for a head wound. He ran and closed down well in defence, and was neat and tidy on the ball, not merely playing the easy pass.
Philippe Coutinho – 6
Was poor in the first half but showed some great moments of skill and grew into the game in the second. When he does come into a game he looks on a different wavelength to the rest of the Liverpool side.
Raheem Sterling – 5.5
A rare outing up front, but didn’t seem comfortable in the position on this occasion.
Rickie Lambert – 6.5
Scored a well taken goal to give Liverpool the lead, and the striker his first for the club. A couple of neat touches in build-up play followed the goal, but was fairly anonymous for the rest of the game, missing a couple of headed chances along the way.
Fabio Borini – N/A
Emre Can – N/A