Liverpool 1-2 Crystal Palace: Benteke brace halts Reds' top four charge

Christian Benteke scored twice against his old club as Crystal Palace came from behind to beat Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, leaving the Reds' top four chances in a much weaker position as Palace won their third consecutive game at Anfield.

Coutinho gets things up and running

A slow start to the game was lit up by Philippe Coutinho, the little Brazilian netting his fourth goal in five appearances to hand the Reds the lead.

Some trickery and invention with the ball saw Coutinho helplessly hauled down around 25 yards out from goal, presenting himself with a free-kick that he beautifully curled away from Wayne Hennessey and into the bottom corner.

Penalty appeals at each end followed, James Milner going down under little pressure from Jason Puncheon, not enough contact for the referee to even consider. Benteke too, missed out for a similar 'dive', the referee booking him.

Benteke ghosts in to haunt Anfueld

It was Benteke who would get the next goal though, muting his celebrations as he bit the hand that used to feed him by netting at the Kop End.

Dejan Lovren was largely to blame, guessing wrong as to the direction Yohan Cabaye was going from a ball over the top, allowing the Frenchman to get in-behind and guide a perfect cross into Benteke's path, the Belgian not needing a second invitation to fire past Simon Mignolet.

That seemed to put fire in Liverpool's belly for the second-half, in particular Coutinho, as the Reds started much improved.

A mazy dribble from the Brazilian allowed him to beat four men going itno the area, admirably staying up in the face of a kick from James Tomkins, a decision he may have regretted as his shot was blocked. Lucas fired over on the volley from the following corner.

Lucas' attacking skills, or an expected lack of, were being showcased more as Liverpool dominated possession. He was unlucky though, when a fantastic defence splitting pass narrowly evaded Roberto Firmino on the way into Hennessey's hands.

Firmino did manage to get on the ball when good work from Emre Can and Coutinho allowed him to pick it up on the right-side of the area. A solid effort from the forward flew just wide, but Can was frustrated he stood unmarked and un-passed to at the back post.

Liverpool weren't completely in control, Cabaye missing a chance to add a goal to his assist when he turned Lovren inside the area, firing over the bar.

They certainly weren't in control when they went behind, Benteke adding a second as Liverpool defended horribly from a corner. One flick and he was in, and he easily nodded in.

Jürgen Klopp bemused the home fans as he waited until past the 70th minute to make a change, one he was forced into as Dejan Lovren went off holding his head.

Marko Grujic and Alberto Moreno eventually joined Trent Alexander-Arnold in coming on, but those substitutions were in vain as a Philippe Coutinho shot fired over the bar was the best Liverpool mustered in the closing stages.