Crystal Palace 1-3 Liverpool: Reds cruise to victory at vociferous Selhurst Park
(Photo by Marc Atkins - Getty Images)

Liverpool claimed all three points at Selhurst Park on Sunday in a must-win game in their battle to the summit with Manchester City.

Two Andrew Robertson assists in the first half were helped along the way by a controversial penalty from Fabinho in the remaining 10 minutes to give the Reds a statement victory. 

The victory puts Liverpool in second and condemns Crystal Palace to yet another drop in points in the new year.

  • The Match

Having come into the game without a Premier League win in the new year, Patrick Vieira had hoped for his Crystal Palace to return to winning ways when Wembley-bound Liverpool came to town.

But the Frenchman's hopes and optimism quickly diminished in the first half, when two Andrew Robertson assists condemned the Eagles to a two-goal deficit before the break.

For the most part, the attacking engine of Palace was reduced to spectatorship in the first 20 minutes, with Virgil Van Dijk opening the scoring, latching onto the end of a trademark Liverpool corner.

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From then on, it was one-way traffic at Selhurst Park, other than a few golden opportunities for the home side.

Jean-Phillipe Mateta found some space in the box following a square ball from Michael Olise, but with Palace's first clear-cut opportunity of the half inviting a shot, the Frenchman blazed it over.

Liverpool remained persistent, finding joy on both wings, and eventually produced a second goal in the 32nd minute.

It was Robertson again who paved an opening for the Liverpool attackers, providing a tantalising ball to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The former Arsenal midfielder chested his pass down and slotted the ball underneath Vicente Guaita.

The home side did find a lease of new life and energy at the close of the half, but they were unsuccessful in their converting precious chances.

On the brink of halftime, Mateta again found some wriggle room, beating Alisson, but dragging his effort wide of the post from a tight angle after rounding the Brazilian goalkeeper.

  • Second half

The home side picked up from where they left proceedings at the genesis of the second segment, conjuring two glaring opportunities within minutes of one another.

Conor Gallagher's glancing header following a Michael Olise cross came to nothing, while Odsonne Edouard's backheel in a scramble among the Liverpool box minutes later failed to find the net in a sea of red defenders.

But the French striker would soon pay dividends and make up for his miss in the 54th minute. 

Jean Phillipe-Mateta found some space on the break to carve the usually resilient Liverpool defence in half, and with Edouard following closely beside him, Mateta chose to gift his compatriot an easy goal to inject life into Palace's dreams of a 2022 Premier League victory. 

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Though the decibels rose and Palace found freedom in abundance, the game seemed to slowly fade. But that was only until the 83rd minute.

Michael Olise, who has become Croydon's new star boy of late, attempted a speculative chip shot from afar, nearly beating Alisson and levelling things for Palace.

Straddling back with urgency, Liverpool's shot-stopper kept things as they were, with the Reds keeping their lead intact. 

Moments later, though, the game was decided by a VAR call that saw Vicente Guaita's questionable foul on Diogo Jota in the box given as a penalty for the visitors. 

Stepping up to bury the game, Fabinho made no mistake in sending the Palace goalkeeper diving out of reach, sealing all three points for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. 

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