Liverpool pulled it out of the fire on a controversial lunchtime at Selhurst Park and in the process, made a giant step towards guaranteeing their place in the top four.
Mohamed Salah’s 37th goal of a campaign that defies description gave them a 2-1 win six minutes from time but Crystal Palace will wonder how on earth Sadio Mane,cheap nfl jerseys from china who equalised after Luka Milivojevic’s 12th minute penalty, was not sent off by referee Neil Swarbrick in the second half after one of the clearest second yellow card offences this season will produce.
Palace were within a whisker of opening the scoring eight minutes in. Wilfried Zaha, controlling a long James McArthur pass and holding off Trent Alexander-Arnold, found himself up against Loris Karius but the goalkeeper stood up superbly and deflected his shot over.
Four minutes later, a similar break brought greater reward. Zaha, running on to Christian Benteke’s flick at a slightly wider angle, knocked the ball past Karius but was brought down as the pair met. It was a clear penalty; Karius was booked and Milivojevic converted his ninth goal — and seventh penalty — of the season.
Liverpool controlled possession but openings were scarce. When Mane appealed for a penalty of his own after turning past McArthur, he was rightly booked for an obvious dive. Just before the half-hour he was frustrated again when his back-post header was ruled out for offside. By the interval the visitors were camped in Palace’s half but only another Mane header, tipped away by Wayne Hennessey, really threatened an equaliser.
It had been a forgettable half for Mane but four minutes after the break, he found his bearings. His finish from James Milner’s driven cross was sharp but from Palace’s perspective, all too simple. Liverpool continued to apply pressure; Salah looped a volley wide but when Palace did attack, they never looked secure.
That was summed up when Benteke missed two golden chances in quick succession, blazing horribly off target both times after Andros Townsend had twice exposed sloppy defensive play. Mane was then inexplicably not booked again nfl cheap jerseys after being penalised for grabbing the ball in search of a free kick, Karius compounding Palace’s frustration by saving Patrick van Aanholt’s set-piece.
Jurgen Klopp immediately moved to replace Mane with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It was an end-to-end affair now but Liverpool’s 11 men found a winner. Salah, keeping his composure brilliantly after Andrew Robertson had drilled across goal, applied the finish and left Palace shaking their heads.