Jan 19 (Reuters) – LIVERPOOL 4 CRYSTALPALACE 3
Premier League leaders Liverpool recovered from a poor first-half display as they came from behind to beat battling Crystal Palace 4-3 in a thrilling goalfest at Anfield on Saturday.
The win, secured by late goals from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, moves Juergen Klopp’s side seven points clear of Manchester City, who face bottom club Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
Palace took a shock 34th minute lead, against the run of play, when Andros Townsend slotted home a fine pull-back from Wilfried Zaha.
Liverpool equalised 47 seconds after the interval when the ball looped high into the area where Salah skilfully converted with the outside of his left foot after Virgil van Dijk’s long-range effort was blocked.
Suddenly Liverpool were buzzing and it was no surprise when Brazilian Roberto Firmino put them ahead, collecting a pass from Naby Keita and beating veteran Palace keeper Julian Speroni with a slightly deflected low shot.
But Palace were not about to roll over and they fought back to level at 2-2 in the 65th when James Tomkins was left unattended to head in a Luka Milivojevic corner.
Speroni, Palace’s 39-year-old third-choice, then gifted Liverpool a goal when his one-handed waft at a harmless-looking James Milner cross fell for Salah to tap in after 75 minutes.
Milner was sent off in the 89th for a second yellow card after a late challenge on Zaha before Mane added the fourth for the hosts with a solo strike in stoppage time.
There was still time for Palace to strike again with Max Meyer beating Alisson Becker with a low shot which the Brazilian keeper would have expected to save.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Ken Ferris)