5 Talking Points from Liverpool vs Crystal Palace
Liverpool show poise and resolve again
Key to any championship run is the overall maturity of a team. The Reds have shown over and over again that they are able to stay poised and keep working relentlessly to reach their goal. Even when facing a deficit, the team stuck to their plan and did not panic. On a day where the defense struggled to keep up with the overall pace of Crystal Palace, the goals were there to save the day and snatch the all-important three points. Most impressive was how the team attacked with poise even when playing from behind.
Milner struggles at right back
Crystal Palace looked very dangerous when attacking from Milner’s side. In Milner’s defense, this is perhaps the worst matchup he could have faced when playing RB. Zaha is a threat to any defender especially if they lack in pace as Milner did. Milner did not get enough help on that wing and was caught between controlling Zaha’s pace and preventing from cutting in. He finished the game with a deserved red card from two yellows, one for a desperate challenge to stop Zaha, the latter in another situation he just was not fast enough to get to the ball in time. Hard to fault Milner as he was put in a tough position and he gave it his all as you would expect him to. Klopp surprised everyone on Friday by making it sound like there was a chance Trent could be out there today a day after it was rumored that he was out for a month. With Milner not available, the Reds will hope Trent to be healthy for the next game or might have to look at one of the youngsters to play as right back
Salah dives again?
Salah went down fairly easily in the first half perhaps and you can see that it is frustrating his opponents. There was initial contact from Sakho but Mo went down a split second later perhaps recalling the tap on the heel he just got and it was fairly waved off causing a scuffle among some of the players afterward. You can tell opposing players are getting frustrated with Salah as he gets smarter about not always just absorbing the contact he gets from defenders inside the box. He has earned quite a few penalties this year and in all fairness, they were all pretty clear penalties. Either he realized that he is being too nice to defenders by trying to stay up or he was shown opportunities where he can earn a penalty instead of trying to play through illegal challenges. Defenders are getting frustrated as this makes Salah even a bigger threat now where he is very quick in small spaces and knowing he can go down with a slight contact makes defenders think twice before going in which gives Salah more time and space, two things no defense wants to give a quality striker. Salah has to be careful though and not make a name for himself going down too easy though as it must cost him some actual penalties in the future. It is a fine line and one that every deadly striker face at some point. Two great goals again for Mo though showing why he is now a two season wonder… A great finish on a tough ball in the first goal and just following a ball in the second.. would a Crystal Palace defender be able to get to that ball if it was not for Salah? We will never know as Salah made that run to make sure it is not even a possibility. He is deadly
You need luck to win titles
Every game makes me a bigger believer that this is our season. Even though they were deserved, the Reds had luck on their side today. Another odd VVD assist, a deflection on Firmino goal, goalie directing the ball back to his goal on the third. You make your luck in football by playing hard but you still need those moments where everything falls in to place. Like a ball bouncing off a crossbar in the 96th minute, a shot deflection landing at the feet of a deadly scorer etc. This is our season!! and we are three points closer to proving that
Back to you City!
Liverpool does it again and extends the lead to 7 points. Pressure shifts back on to City to keep pace. The pressure of keeping up with getting the three points will increase every week as time keeps running out on City with every passing week. No game is easy in the Premier League and facing a Huddersfield team looking to make a fresh start is not a slam dunk.