LIVERPOOL 3-1 CRYSTAL PALACE
Liverpool ensured a return to the top of the Barclay’s Premier League with a comfortable victory against Palace at Anfield.
Three first half goals from Daniel Sturridge, his seventh in the League, Luis Suarez and a penalty taken by Captain Steven Gerrard after Raheem Sterling was fouled in the box, gave Liverpool a commanding lead at the interval.
The Anfield faithful were hoping for more of the same in the second half, but Brendan Rodgers’ side were content to play the ball around at the back without threatening the opposition goal.
Its a recurring theme this Season: Liverpool playing really well in the first half of games then failing to perform in the second halves.
Indeed, we have only scored once in the second half of games all Season.
Liverpool were duly punished for their casual play in the 77th minute when Raheem Sterling gave a away a foul and Dwight Gayle headed home, unmarked.
The goal was really only a consolation for Ian Holloway’s side but it is a cause for concern for this Liverpool side as the International break returns.
Man Of The Match: Jordan Henderson
Liverpool play Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace at Anfield today.
The game offers Brendan Rodger’s men a great opportunity to consolidate 2nd place in The Premier League against one of the weakest sides in the division.
You can have a bet on a big home win for Liverpool with bwin sport with even Ian Holloway himself mockingly saying he would be happy to lose 10-0 just to be playing at Anfield, mind-games there I reckon.
Liverpool will have to do without their Brazilian defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva who picked up his 5th yellow card of the Season against Sunderland last Sunday.
The big question is who will replace him in this key position?
In a poll I ran earlier in the week:
45% said Jordan Henderson
28% said Luis Alberto
16% went for Kolo Toure, while
10% said Daniel Agger.
Brendan Rodgers, being the pragmatist that he is will most likely play Henderson alongside Steven Gerrard in the centre of midfield with young Andre Wisdom coming in as a right-wing back.
For what its worth, here is my take on the result against Palace: