Liverpool moved one step closer to a long-awaited title by defeating Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday, leaving them in a position to be crowned champions should Manchester City lose points at Chelsea on Thursday.
It would always be a challenge for Palace to take something from Anfield, and that became even more difficult when Wilfried Zaha was forced out due to an injury in the 15th minute. Jurgen Klopp’s team was not in a good mood as they they got ahead just eight minutes through a brilliant free kick by Trent Alexander-Arnold. Other goals from Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane ensured that the Reds’ night was comfortable.
All eyes on Merseyside will now focus on West London ahead of the defending champions’ journey to Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool looked so comfortable on the ball, allowing them to dictate the play. They were also able to dominate when asked defensively. After a rather meek display against Everton, the Klopp men offered a reminder of why they are the chosen champions.
– What did you miss? The latest from Europe’s top leagues
– Soccer is back! Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN + (US only)
It’s about picking nits in this section when Liverpool play as well as they did, but there were a couple of incidents where player concentration seemed to decrease. There were also some pretty good scoring opportunities that were missed, so they could have had even more goals to their name.
Manager rating 10
8 – Klopp decided to play a side of strength and that decision paid dividends as his team cruised to victory. They were in complete control, so he didn’t have to do too much once the action started. He gave the youth a few minutes towards the end, which should benefit their development.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10 = Better, Players submitted after 70 minutes do not get a rating)
GK Alisson, 6 – It is difficult to give the Brazilian a higher score, as he was not really challenged all night.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 8 years old – He showed off his charming technique for scoring Liverpool’s first game with a free kick. He also put up some dangerous crosses and defended himself.
DF Joe Gómez, 8 – He slipped that could have led to danger, but Max Meyer let him go. Apart from that, the England international was solid when asked.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 8 years old – The Dutch international is so dominant at the heart of Liverpool’s defense, and he was no different in this game. He also got the free kick with which Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring.
DF Andrew Robertson, 8 years old – He showed his usual effort. I ended up getting help, even if it was a simple pass to Fabinho, rather than one of his signature crosses.
MF Jordan Henderson, 7 – With no fans in the stadium, the Liverpool captain can be constantly heard demanding more of his teammates, even when things are comfortable. A typically reliable sample.
MF Fabinho, 9 years old He played a brilliant ball to help Salah on Liverpool’s second goal. The Brazilian then scored the third with an absolute long-range rocket. He rarely seemed stretched and protected the defense well when necessary.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 – The rhythm appeared in the first minutes and he missed the goal with two good opportunities. However, he made a pretty good overall contribution to the comfortable victory.
FW Mohamed Salah, 9 years old – He scored second for Liverpool to bring his tally to 15 goals in 15 Premier League home games this period, showing just how clinical the Egypt international is, then played on an excellent pass to help Mane.
FW Roberto Firmino, 7 – It’s another home league game without a goal for him, but Firmino provided some classy touches and played an integral part in the fourth goal.
FW Sadio Mane, 9 years old – He showed intention from the beginning and was brilliant to watch. He took his deserved goal convincingly to make the score 4-0.
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 6 years old He replaced Henderson in the 64th minute and was well placed, but did nothing particularly eye-catching.
DF Neco Williams, N / R – He relieved Alexander-Arnold in the 74th minute and won the game brilliantly. He almost got a goal.
FW Takumi Minamino, N / R –He also appeared in the 74th minute, for Firmino, and showed intelligence with some of his runs and passes.
DF Naby Keita, N / R –He didn’t have much to do after replacing Robertson in the 84th minute.
FW Harvey Elliott, N / R – He entered Mane in the 84th minute and put in some good crosses.