Mohamed Salah hits double goalscoring landmark as Liverpool edge out Crystal Palace

Reds go top of Premier League after comeback win at Selhurst Park

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Mohamed Salah reached a double-scoring landmark on Saturday as Liverpool fought back from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace.

Palace, who went into the game with just one win in eight games, took the lead when VAR spotted Jarell Quansah's foul on Jean-Philippe Mateta and the French striker scored from the penalty spot.

However, the game turned on its head in two manic second-half minutes. First, Jordan Ayew was sent off after picking up a second yellow card in the 74th minute.

Just 98 seconds later, Salah had levelled the scores, albeit via a huge deflection off former Liverpool teammate Nathaniel Clyne.

It was Salah's 200th goal for the Reds – only Ian Rush (346), Roger Hunt (285), Gordon Hodgson (241) and Billy Liddell (228) have achieved that feat for the Merseysiders – and his 150th strike in the Premier League.

Substitute Harvery Elliott sealed all three points with a superb finish in the 91st minute that takes Liverpool top of the table, leapfrogging Arsenal by a single point with the Gunners taking on Aston Villa in the Midlands later on Saturday.

“The most important thing was that we won the game. It's a great feeling. I'm happy for the record and that we won the game,” Salah said.

With home games against Manchester United and Arsenal looming before Christmas, the Reds have a golden opportunity to cement their title credentials heading into the new year.

Regardless of Liverpool's position by the end of the weekend, Salah sees signs they can win the club's first title since 2020.

“I see the mentality to keep fighting until the end. We keep doing that. We have a new team now because there's six or seven players,” he said.

“We need to give them advice. They're learning a lot and they're really nice. We can do something special this year.”

Saluting the crucial contribution of substitute Elliott, Salah added: “He's a good kid. he's learning. I like to push him in the gym.

“He will have a good career. If he wants to speak then just come to me.”

Liverpool had struggled to find any rhythm in wet and windy conditions in south London.

Jurgen Klopp's side were fortunate not to fall behind when Jefferson Lerma's close-range effort forced a superb save from Alisson Becker, with the rebound hitting the post before it was hacked off the line by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Palace were awarded a penalty when Odsonne Edouard was bundled over Virgil van Dijk, but Will Hughes had clearly fouled Wataru Endo before passing to the forward.

Referee Andy Madley was told to consult the pitchside monitor and overturned his penalty decision.

For the first time in the league this season, Klopp's side failed to muster a single shot on target in a dismal first-half display.

Palace took the lead in the 57th minute as Quansah's challenge on Mateta was deemed worthy of a penalty after Madley checked the monitor.

To Klopp's bewilderment, VAR only intervened to prompt the decision several moments after the foul.

Liverpool were furious but Mateta was unfazed, barely taking a run-up as he dispatched the spot-kick past Alisson with ease.

But luck was on Liverpool's side as Palace forward Ayew was dismissed for a soft second booking in the 75th minute and within two minutes the visitors were level.

If the sending off had an element of good fortune for Liverpool, there was more to come as Cody Gakpo's cross was only cleared to Salah, whose shot from 10 yards took a wicked deflection as it flashed past wrong-footed keeper Sam Johnstone.

Liverpool finally had some momentum and their late siege produced a winner in the first minute of stoppage time.

Elliott took possession 30 yards from goal and swerved away from his marker before unleashing a superb strike that beat Palace substitute keeper Remi Matthews at his near post.

In the final seconds, Alisson had to save from Joachim Andersen to preserve Liverpool's victory.

Updated: December 12, 2023, 4:32 AM