Liverpool is coming home with three points after a very tough road game against Crystal Palace. A last second first half goal from a penalty and a goal in the last seconds of the game scored against a 10 man opponent is all Liverpool could get against a tough Crystal Palace team …but they got the most important thing by getting the three points.
It was not a classic or at times not even pretty to look at offensively, but it was hard fought and exactly what Liverpool needed. It showed how the Reds have changed, both physically and mentally compared to last season. A defense that is much more organized and stronger physically backed by a goalie who gives confidence not only by the saves he makes but by the poise he shows in his game. A midfield that works hard with blue collar players like Milner and has the flair to help the attack and create with a player like Keita enforced by being able to bring a player like Henderson to provide new energy. All this complementing an attacking line that shows that even on their day off, they can be deadly and effective.
The most important thing to take away from the game was how the changes made in the latter part of last season and additions from the offseason was able to change the result of a game like this. In many ways, this was a typical Liverpool away game from last season. Difference was the result. A game that would have been a 1-1 or 2-2 draw last season was a resounding win that brought three points back from an away fixture that will trip up quite a few of the top tier teams. Crystal Palace has a good roster with dangerous players who can cause a headache to any defense and they are very organized in defensively with the ability to shut out opponents. Liverpool just got a very valuable win and we will hopefully look back at this game with even more joy as we watch our rivals lose points in the same fixture.
Liverpool did not look great but was able to secure the three points which is a key to a championship team. Winning even when not playing well is crucial for a team trying to stay at the top and the Reds showed that this is something they are prepared to do. They showed poise and maturity when holding on to a one goal lead, keeping possession and making Crystal Palace work hard to win the ball back. They kept the pace of the game under their control and dictated the game overall.
We definitely got some key ref calls go our way in this game but all were the right call at the end of the day so I would consider those calls earned. Salah’s penalty was a clear foul inside the box and the red card was so clear, even Hodgson could not argue it. Liverpool fought hard and matched the intensity of the home team. The quality difference overall determined the end result via these deserved calls.
Here are some other quick takeaways from the game
- Alisson is worth every penny. More than his saves, I am impressed with his poise and ball distribution.
- TAA has to hang out with Milner more and get better at crossing the ball. He has been pretty solid on defense overall but his crosses in the first two games have been extremely disappointing. He is still a kid though and just scary to think how good he can be as he improves certain aspects of his game like that
- VVD is a beast making everyone around him better. He looks like a man playing with boys
- Gomez is making a good case to stay as VVD’s partner and I love their chemistry demonstrated by a hug VVD gave Gomez after the game. It was not just a regular hug but one you would give your little brother for sticking up for himself. Great to see
- Keita can be a monster in this league. I think as he gets more used to the Premier League, he will only become more dangerous.
- Milner is not human but even he was showing tired legs as he came out. How great is it to have a player of Henderson’s quality come in the game to finish off the game.
Here comes the next challenge for Liverpool which is following up a successful victory with another one at home, a game that would be considered “easier”. This week we showed that we are ready to take the next step and scrape away three points from a tough away battle instead of just one. It is now time to show we can stay consistent at home.
Every win is three points… on to get the next three…