Benteke's last minute penalty gives Liverpool victory over Palace

Benteke's last minute penalty gives Liverpool victory over Palace
photo: vavel

FT: Unfortunately, that's all we've got time for this afternoon. I've been Oliver Emmerson, taking you through Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool. The match report will be on the site within a few minutes, but for now, keep in touch with the second Premier League game of this afternoon, West Brom - Manchester United.

FT: It looked like it was going to be another frustrating day against the Eagles for Liverpool, with Joe Ledley's goal having put them on the back-foot, and things got even worse when James Milner got sent off. However, Alex McCarthy's mistake gifted Roberto Firmino an equaliser, before Christian Benteke sent the away fans wild with a last minute penalty. 12 league games without a win for Palace, who might just be looking over their shoulders a little.

FT: That's it! Down to 10 men, behind on the scoresheet, Liverpool turn it around to win 2-1 with the last kick of the game! It's their third straight league win, heartbreak for Palace.

Full-time: Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool (Ledley, Firmino, Benteke)

90+4: GOAL! Benteke sends McCarthy the wrong way, Liverpool have won it!

Penalty to Liverpool! Benteke taken down in the area by Delaney, the referee initially says no, but the linesman overrules his decision. Is it the right decision? Hard to tell. Benteke to take...

90+3: Benteke gets an effort on target, checking back and shooting after Coutinho gave it to him, but McCarthy pushes the ball away strongly.

90: Four minutes of added time! Will we see a winner?

88: Final change for the Reds, Kolo Toure replaces Roberto Firmino.

87: Off the post! An absolute cracker of an effort from Moreno, cannons off the post. He catches his shot beautifully from range, McCarthy is well and truly beaten, but the woodwork denies him.

86: Alberto Moreno goes into the book, a fairly needless challenge on Zaha. Nothing comes from the free-kick though, a cross sails wide of the goal. Palace have lacked some control in midfield since Cabaye went off, they've had nobody to release their talented attackers.

81: Two changes for Palace, one man coming on who has a history of success against Liverpool, Dwight Gayle. He's on for Adebayor, whilst Sako replaces Ledley, the latter a very attacking change.

80: Close! Benteke almost scores with his first touch! Lovren flicks it into his direction at a corner, the Belgian does well to keep his effort on target, but it's straight at the 'keeper.

79: An interesting change for Liverpool, Christian Benteke given the nod to come on ahead of Daniel Sturridge. He's on for Origi.

74: It's going to be a very interesting end to the game, for sure! Pardew and Klopp will currently be wondering whether to stick or twist. The home manager might feel that his side should still go and get the win against 10 men, whilst Jurgen Klopp still has Daniel Sturridge to come from the bench.

72: Nightmare for Alex McCarthy! The ball is played back to him, and he slips as he kicks the ball, straight to Firmino. Still, the Brazilian has work to do, and shows great composure to slot the ball home.

GOAL! Firmino equalises for Liverpool!

70: Change for Palace, Mutch for Cabaye.

68: More good play from 10-man Liverpool, Firmino puts Lallana in behind before Jedinak turns his cross out for a corner. Only problem is, the referee gives a goal kick.

65: Firmino finds some room on the edge of the area, but his left footed strike is down the throat of McCarthy.

62: Red card! Milner sent off! So silly from the midfielder, who takes Zaha down in Palace's own half as he looks to counter-attack. A second yellow, and Liverpool are down to 10. Can and Sakho at centre-back now, as Lovren moves to right-back.

61: Klopp makes his first change, Flanagan off for Coutinho, who makes his 100th appearance for the club. Milner to right back.

56: Liverpool have responded brightly to going behind, Firmino and Origi having shots blocked, but there are still no clear cut chances being created. Palace can now set up a low defensive block, something which the Reds have struggled against on numerous occasions this season.

48: Early pressure in the second half has paid off for the hosts. A corner drops to Souare, who has a shot blocked in the area, before a cross is missed by everyone, only for the ball to fall for Ledley. The Welshman, who hasn't scored for a year, drills the ball into the bottom corner!

GOAL! Joe Ledley puts Palace ahead!

45: Back underway.

An eventful first half, in which both teams looked threatening, Emmanuel Adebayor going the closest to scoring with a header that hit the bar. Palace have probably shaded it, with Bolasie and Origi looking the two most influential attackers on the pitch. You'd expect to see the likes of Coutinho and Sturridge at some point in the second half for the Reds.

Half-time: Crystal Palace 0-0 Liverpool

43: An extended spell of pressure from Palace sees them win successive corners, but Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho are both alert to the danger, each putting in clearing headers.

40: Milner the next player to go in the book, rightly so for a poor challenge on Yohan Cabaye, ill-timed.

37: Scott Dann, looking for a second goal in as many games against Liverpool, meets Cabaye's free-kick with a header, but it's a fairly routine stop for Mignolet.

33: James Milner takes, but the ball is deflected off Bolasie and flies over the bar. McCarthy breathes a sigh of relief, as the deflection completely wrong-footed him.

32: A chance for Liverpool at Firmino is fouled by Cabaye just outside the penalty area. However, the Reds haven't threatened much this season from this type of area, so it'd be a surprise should they take the lead.

30: A peach of a strike from Divock Origi lands on the top of Alex McCarthy's net, after he was given it by Emre Can. It's real end-to-end stuff at Selhurst, but you'd probably say that the home side have shaded it so far.

25: Close! The game had slowed for a few minutes, until a sloppy pass from Origi brings danger to the away side. Zaha weights his pass perfectly to Cabaye, who strikes into the side netting from the edge of the area. Half the ground thought it was in!

15: The home fans scream for a penalty as Adebayor's rabona cross strikes Sakho, but on his chest. There's been an electric start to this game, and you'd predict that a first goal isn't too far away.

11: Off the bar! Adebayor beats Lovren in the air to meet a cross from the lef, and crashes a header off the woodwork. So close! Up at the other end, Origi turns Dann on the counter, and is dragged down by the defender, who gets a yellow card.

10: An early yellow card for Jordan Henderson, who clips the heels of Bolasie as he gets away down the left wing. That comes just seconds after the skipper had a shot blocked by Souare, following good work by Firmino to set him up. Adebayor looks to catch Mignolet out at his near post, but the Belgian is equal to it.

7: Great save! Liverpool are caught on their heels as Palace counter-attack well, Adebayor laying the ball off to Bolasie in the area, but Mignolet gets out brilliantly to make an excellent stop.

3: Yannick Bolasie has caused Liverpool huge amounts of trouble in recent years, and will be looking to do so again today. He picks up a dangerous position in the centre as the ball is played into him, but a smart challenge from Sakho relieves the pressure.

1: Ward overlapping early on, looking to trouble Moreno, but the Spaniard defends well, getting his body in front of the ball before back heeling it to Emre Can.

0: Kick-off, we're underway!

The players are out walking onto the pitch, on a cloudy afternoon at Selhurst Park. Will there be fireworks today? Not long until we find out!

Just under 15 minutes until kick-off now, any predictions? Send them into @VAVEL on Twitter! Personally, I think Palace's recent record against the Reds will give them motivation for this, and they'll win 2-1 for their first victory of 2016.

No Clyne, Sturridge or Coutinho in Liverpool's team, which indicates that Jürgen Klopp is thinking about the game against Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday. Jon Flanagan could face a tough test against Yannick Bolasie, whilst Alberto Moreno starts at left-back after some recent criticism. Despite there being no Sturridge for Liverpool, Christian Benteke still doesn't get a start, Divock Origi preferred up front.

Alan Pardew has been forced into a couple of changes due to injury, with Alex McCarthy and Emmanuel Adebayor replacing Wayne Hennessey and Connor Wickham. Club legend Julian Speroni gets a rare place on the bench.

On the Liverpool bench; Ward, Toure, Clyne, Allen, Coutinho, Sturridge, Benteke.

And the Crystal Palace substitutes are; Speroni, Kelly, Mutch, Lee, Gayle, Sako, Chamakh.

Liverpool XI: Mignolet; Flanagan, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can; Milner, Lallana, Firmino; Origi.

Crystal Palace XI: McCarthy; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Zaha, Jedinak, Cabaye, Ledley, Bolasie; Adebayor.

We've got some team news!

Just as if it looked like being a new dawn for the L4 side under Klopp, Palace struck again, at Anfield earlier this season. Scott Dann scored a late winner from a corner, heading in for a 2-1 win against his boyhood club, a defeat which Klopp admitted he was still angered by weeks later.

During the following season, the demons didn't fade, Palace winning the home fixture 3-1, before again facing Liverpool on the penultimate weekend of the season. It was Steven Gerrard's final Anfield appearance, and they firmly spoilt the party, winning 3-1 again as Jason Puncheon ran the show.

It's fair to say that Palace have had Liverpool's number in the past couple of years, tormenting the Reds on numerous occasions, stretching back to the penultimate game of the 2013/14 season. 3-0 up at Selhurst Park at half-time, Luis Suarez and co were pegged back to eventually draw 3-3, leaving their title hopes all but banished. 

The Reds do come into the game on something of a high, having battered title contenders Manchester City 3-0 at Anfield on Wednesday. Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and James Milner were amongst the goals, as Klopp's men treated the home crowd to a polished performance. That helped banish some demons of four days previously, as Liverpool lost to City on penalties in the Capital One Cup final.

Liverpool have been inconsistent throughout the season, having changed managers after the sacked Brendan Rodgers was replaced by Jürgen Klopp. However, Europa League football is still a possible aim, as a win today would move them up to seventh in the league, with the Reds still having a game in hand on those above them.

Palace's form in the league is so bad, that they haven't actually taken three points from a game since December, when they edged out Stoke City 2-1 away from home. Whilst they have won three times in the FA Cup since then, they've struggled hugely in the league, and conceded a last minute equaliser against Sunderland on Tuesday, just as it looked like they were turning things around.

After finishing last season strongly under Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace started well this time around, and flirted with the European places during the opening months of their campaign, often placed around sixth place. However, a dreadful downturn in form since the new year has seen them plummet down the table. They currently sit 15th on 33 points, but will move up to 13th if they claim all three points this afternoon.

There's much to be said about the recent fixture history between these two teams, but we'll get to that in due course. To start with though, let's take a glance at where these two teams find themselves in the Premier League, and at their recent form.

Good afternoon, and welcome to VAVEL UK's live minute-by-minute commentary of today's Premier League fixture between Crystal Palace and Liverpool. It's North - South as the Merseysiders travel down to Selhurst Park, where kick-off is set for 1:30PM BST. Until then though, we'll build up to the game and get that all important team news, so keep with us!

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