Thursday 23 February 2017

Here is how the players rated in Liverpool's classy win over Crystal Palace

Published 29/10/2016 | 20:09

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane

Liverpool again closed the gap on title rivals Arsenal and Manchester City with a 4-2 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

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Despite their latest errors in defence gifting the hosts unnecessary opportunities, they again proved they have one of Europe's finest attacks to go level on 23 points with their more established rivals at the top of the league, where only goal difference keeps them third.

The defeat was Palace's third in succession, but mid-table represents a promising position while their new-look team continues to gel. Goals conceded to Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino could have been complemented by more as their visitors excelled.

It was at the stadium where their most recent title challenge faltered that Liverpool dominated possession more impressively than any other team has so far this season.

Much has been written about the intensity of their pressing game, but as decisive as their movement was the way they continued to spread the ball when Palace defended in numbers.

Palace manager Alan Pardew had selected Chung-yong Lee over Andros Townsend in an attempt to restrict Liverpool's significant attacking threat. However, as has often been the case - and as it did in 2014 in that damaging 3-3 draw - the visitors' erratic defending threatened to undermine them more than anything their opponents offered.

CRYSTAL PALACE

Steve Mandanda – 5 out of 10

Made some terrific saves today, but sadly he let in four.

Joel Ward – 5 out of 10

He did the simple stuff well, but it was a quiet game by his standard.

Scott Dann – 6 out of 10

He is a great physical threat and good in the air. Done his job, but the attack of Liverpool was too much for him at times.

James Tomkins – 6 out of 10

He was an important element to the defence – he tackled well and his clearances saved his side at times.

Martin Kelly – 5 out of 10

Had a quiet game. Was clumsy in possession and failed to make a mark on the game.

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Yohan Cabaye – 6 out of 10

He was always looking forward when on the ball and his passing was faultless today.

James McArthur – 7 out of 10

Deserved his two goals today – good performance and made his possession on the ball count.

Joe Ledley – 5 out of 10

He done his job out there, but he was not as involved perhaps as much as he would have liked to have been. Should have done more.

Lee Chung-yong – 5 out of 10

For a man of such promise, he didn’t provide the goods today. When on the ball he made the right decisions, but aside from that he was quiet.

Wilfried Zaha – 5 out of 10

His pace and skill caused problems for the Liverpool defence from time to time, but he should have been more involved.

Christian Benteke – 6 out of 10

He was an aerial threat as always and he linked well with Zaha. However, he didn’t look threatening in front of goal.

LIVERPOOL

Loris Karius – 6 out of 10

He made a number of impressive saves, but caught got twice in the first half. Overall, he performed well and looked safe between the sticks.

Nathaniel Clyne – 6 out of 10

A solid display but failed to get into promising attacking positions which he has so often done this season.

Dejan Lovren – 6 out of 10

Showed character to head home after making am error for Palace's first goal. Needs to cut out careless errors

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Joel Matip – 7 out of 10

He has been a revelation for Liverpool and was solid again to today while also chipping in with his first goal for Liverpool

Alberto Moreno – 4 out of 10

He showed a lot of attacking promise, but his defending was his downfall. He was caught out of position on numberous occasions.

 Jordan Henderson – 7 out of 10

His vision was extraordinary as he put through numerous through balls that broke the Palace defence.

Emre Can – 6 out of 10

He scored a good goal and battled well in the middle of the park

Adam Lallana – 6 out of 10

Had a relatively quiet performance, but he done his job and his work rate was exceptional.

Philippe Coutinho – 9 out of 10

His awareness, vision and ability on the ball is faultless. He ran the show.

Sadio Mane – 5 out of 10

He attacked well, but his decision making was questionable at times.

Roberto Firmino – 7 out of 10

His goal was an example of his individual excellence and he battled well throughout.

Independent News Service

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