Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Liverpool: Elliott Saves The Day

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Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Liverpool – Premier League Player Ratings

Match day sixteen began for the reds, after a winning Wednesday’s trip to Bramall Lane, where Liverpool defeated Sheffield United 0-2. The short injury lay off for Alisson Becker ended early, therefore, his manager did not hesitate to put his world class keeper back between the sticks. Jarell Quansah started in place of the rested Ibrahima Konaté, whereas the injured Alexis Mac Allister was replaced by Ryan Gravenberch. Kostas Tsimikas returned to his left back position (ahead of Joe Gomez), whilst Darwin Núñez forced a recall in place of Cody Gakpo.

Alisson Becker – 9.0

A surprise return would have boosted the away team’s confidence, with his elite level attributes keeping the reds in the game. A magnificent close range stop forced the ball onto the post and denied a certain goal, which showed why he was eagerly ushered back into the side. A further variety of saves were crucial to secure all three points and he, Mohamed Salah, and Virgil van Dijk, are now the key components of this side. No chance with the penalty.

Kostas Tsimikas – 6.0

The more conventional left back option who had an average game where he struggled to truly impact proceedings. needs to be more aggressive in the final third, especially as a provider from wide. Had a solid game defensively.

Trent Alexander Arnold – 7.0

The vice captain looked jaded and in need of a rest, as despite the odd moment of good passing, the England star was widely underwhelming. Being moved into the middle after the break made sense, yet a more defined position in this team needs to be unearthed for the playmaker.

Jarell Quansah – 6.0

A return to the first team for the ultra talented youngster, with Ibou unable to play twice in a week. His inexperience showed in giving away the penalty, as he engaged into a tackle that should have been avoided. Was largely untested and in control of his game before that, however, his age and stature in the squad means a January defender must be attained.

Subbed – 57

Virgil van Dijk – 9.0

The captain and leader of this team, who received the highest of praise from his manager this week. He was man of the match in the midweek game and carried on that trait with a superb showing of dominance today. The man that may end the season as the Premier League’s player of the year will be lifting silverware for his manager, if this run of unbelievable form continues. The Dutch master allows an often malfunctioning system to work, by being brilliant and unmatched.

Man of the Match

Dominik Szoboszlai – 6.0

The Hungarian skipper is close to burn out and should not even travel to Belgium in the week. His early season form raised the bar and expectations on the new signing and despite still being far better than his predecessor, the former RB Leipzig man is still underperforming right now.

Subbed – 74 mins

Wataru Endō – 5.0

The Japan captain deserved to start, however, with so much possession of the ball in the first half, his ball winning talents almost became redundant. The decision to take him out of the game was the correct one, which again points to the need for an all around holding midfielder.

Subbed – 45 mins

Ryan Gravenberch – 6.0

The Dutch midfielder is still playing within himself and struggling to really impact these vital games. His size and ability to attack teams should see him revel against these types of opponents, yet he just seems unable to explode. It looks like Curtis or Harvey could inch ahead of him for United next Sunday. Should start in the week.

Subbed – 57 mins.

Luis Díaz 5.0

The Colombian flyer is failing to ignite and his continuing average form is becoming a genuine concern. Looked too predictable in his desire to continually cut inside and was handled easily by some rather limited defenders.

Darwin Núñez – 6.0

The Uruguayan raging bull came straight back in, after his chaotic cameo in midweek produced the games second goal. This game against a low and stubborn block does little for the usually explosive striker, who could not get going.

Subbed – 74 mins

Mohamed Salah – 7.0

The Egyptian King is in sporadic form of late, however, he will start every league game until he heads off to the AFCON in January. His ability to get on the scoresheet or assist remains vital, and today he showed why he stays in the team. The goal was scruffy, but a milestone that got his team back in the game.

Subs;

Joe Gomez – 7.0 (on 45)

Came on to offer energy and purpose and the next iteration of this team has to see him as the right back. A great half of football.

Cody Gakpo – 6.0 (on 57)

Came on to relieve pressure and offer new energy. Created bits and pieces yet does not seem to have a go to position in this team at the moment.

Ibrahima Konaté – 6.0 (on 57)

A great asset to bring on and raise the defensive level, though was a little slow when he started out.

Curtis Jones –  6.0 (on 73)

A vital squad player that raises the energy level and assisted the first goal.

Harvey Elliott – 9.0 (on 73)

Perhaps the best impact sub this club has seen within the Premier League era, who should get a starting chance on the left wing. A great match winning goal and superb Street Fighter celebration.

Jürgen Klopp – 8.0

The German manager went with his strongest eleven, with a desire to end the contest as Premier League leaders. The deep block was a tough nut to crack and to win was all that mattered.

The stubborn Crystal Palace backline is something that requires ingenuity and interplay, which his team was struggling to achieve. The choice to move Trent into the middle at half time made sense as the possession stakes were so one sided. The removal of his young defender and final flurry of substitutions changed the game and he is reacting well in game. Needs more defenders and a destroyer that can pass, as not all problems will be solved tactically.

Top of the league.

Pre-match Prediction;

Crystal Palace 1 – 3 Liverpool

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