Liverpool ride their luck against Crystal Palace to close gap on Manchester City

Klopp's side win 3-1 at Selhurst Park but are rescued by string of saves by goalkeeper Alisson

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Liverpool reduced the gap on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table to nine points after a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Goals from Virgil Van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain put Liverpool in control in the first half but Patrick Vieira’s side fought back and reduced the deficit through Odsonne Edouard at the start of the second period.

In the end, it took a string of saves by Alisson Becker to earn the win with Fabinho adding a contentious penalty late on to confirm the victory, which keeps the title race alive after City dropped points when they drew with Southampton on Saturday.

Palace were overwhelmed at the start of the game at Selhurst Park and Liverpool's pressing without the ball - and passing with it - clicked straight into gear.

The first goal came after just eight minutes when Andrew Robertson’s corner was powered home by Reds defender Van Dijk.

It was a poor goal for the hosts to give away and they could not handle Liverpool in the opening exchanges with Oxlade-Chamberlain firing off target twice in quick succession.

Patrick Vieira’s team were still were still chasing Liverpool shadows and things went from bad to worse after 32 minutes.

After Liverpool switched play in rapid fashion, Robertson spotted the late run of Oxlade-Chamberlain into the area and picked out his team-mate with a superb crossfield ball.

The midfielder, back after an ankle injury, controlled on his chest and rifled in with aplomb to put Jurgen Klopp's side firmly in control.

Palace finally joined in the action though and they started to cause problems towards the end of the half but Michael Olise was denied by Alisson before the Brazilian got the faintest of touches to thwart Mateta.

Half-time failed to interrupt the Eagles’ momentum and Conor Gallagher should have halved the lead straight after the restart but headed wide with the goal gaping after superb play by Olise.

Minutes later and Olise was involved again as Alisson saved a close-range back heel from Edouard.

Palace did finally get on the scoresheet in the 55th minute.

This time Mateta beat the offside trap to collect Jeffrey Schlupp’s excellent through ball and unselfishly squared for his strike partner Edouard to tap in for his sixth goal of the season.

The big moment arrived with seven minutes left when Andersen sent Olise away and his lobbed effort was brilliantly tipped wide by Alisson, who clattered into the post.

Minutes later and Jota went through one on one, but missed his kick and then collided into Vicente Guaita.

After referee Kevin Friend had waved away appeals, VAR called for the official to have another look and he duly pointed to the spot. Fabinho tucked away the penalty with a minute left.

Meanwhile, Arsenal missed out on a chance to return to the top four after they were held to a goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium by bottom-club Burnley.

At the King Power Stadium, Danny Welbeck scored a late equaliser to earn Brighton a battling point after Patson Daka had put Leicester into the lead.

Updated: January 23, 2022, 4:41 PM
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