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    Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace Match Report


    Sadio Mane finally broke Crystal Palace's resistance with a emphatic strike 17 minutes from time to earn his Liverpool side a thoroughly-deserved three points at Anfield.

    The Senegal international was presented with the match-winning chance courtesy of Luka Milivojevic's unfortunate ricochet, which he duly converted ruthlessly past the onrushing Wayne Hennessey from eight yards.

    The home side had dominated for most of the afternoon but were thwarted by a stubborn Palace defence as The Eagles looked to bounce back from a 3-0 mauling against Huddersfield on the opening weekend of the season.

    James Milner and Joel Matip were the recipients of early opportunities as the home side tried to take an early lead, with Milner's effort lacking the pace to trouble Hennessey and Matip unable to convert Andrew Robertson's pinpoint cross from three yards out.

    The impressive Robertson was one of five Liverpool players to start for the first time this season, with Ragnar Klavan, Joe Gomez, James Milner and Daniel Sturridge taking their places in Jurgen Klopp's refreshed side.

    Sturridge was unable to fully make the most of his rare opportunity despite a moment of brilliance midway through the first-half when he weaved past two Palace defenders before attempting a speculative effort from 25 yards.

    Mane and Roberto Firmino also came close before the break to giving The Reds the breakthrough, with Mane failing to find the required contact to convert another Robertson cross and Firmino unable to beat Hennessey from a long-range pile-driver.

    Despite Liverpool's dominance throughout most of the match, it was the visitors who created two of the afternoon's best opportunities as Jason Puncheon nearly gave The Eagles a surprise half-time lead when his drilled-strike was palmed away by Simon Mignolet.

    Former Reds striker Christian Benteke was then guilty of missing a guilt-edged chance to punish his former employers when he fired over from eight yards after Ruben Loftus-Cheek had presented him with a golden opportunity.

    Liverpool made the most of the reprieve they were given by finishing the match by far the stronger team, with Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum both having efforts blocked by a determined Palace rearguard minutes before the visiting defence was finally breached.

    As the chance to win the match presented itself to Mane, when the ball was inadvertently diverted into his path, he made no mistake by stabbing home past Hennessey from eight yards in clinical fashion.

    The margin of victory could have been even greater if the impressive Hennessey had not tipped Andrew Robertson's long-range strike over the crossbar after substitute Dominic Solanke and Firmino had earlier efforts blocked.

    The result meant that Liverpool ended the weekend in sixth position, on four points, with 19th-place Palace one of five teams to have lost both their opening two games of the season.

    Liverpool will now switch their attentions to Wednesday's crucial Champions League qualifier against Hoffenheim, where the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah and Emre Can are expected to return to their starting XI.

    Palace, who were chasing a fourth successive league win at Anfield, return to action on Tuesday when they entertain Championship side Ipswich Town in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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