Man of the Match: Liverpool Star Shines Despite Woeful Result

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Liverpool 0-1 Crystal Palace: Who was Liverpool’s Man of the Match?

Alisson Becker

The only bright spot about this game was the return of the world’s greatest keeper, Alisson Becker. In the pre match reports, it was a genuine surprise to see the former Roma stopper drafted into this game from the start, yet in the aftermath and subsequent performances of the former title chasing reds, it is clear that every injection of brilliance was going to be needed to keep some form of title charge on track. Ultimately, it did not matter in the end, as the Merseyside giants succumbed to the pressures of elite level football and will now almost certainly drop into a final 3rd position in the Premier League’s final standings.

Despite the dreams of a fanbase embroiled in a in German managers love affair, this past seven days has seen the historic reds fall away from not one, but two competitions, yet I am still pushing for the positives within a season that should not have been even this successful.

Kelleher’s Disappointment

It is hard not to feel sorry for Caoimhin Kelleher, who was the deputy keeper that endured most of the brunt for the 0-3 loss to Atalanta on Thursday evening, with his falling out of the starting eleven. Despite having had the best run of his limited top-level career, the 25-year-old was only ever going to be keeping the number one jersey warm until his more senior colleague recovered from injury. I suspect that if all had gone well at Anfield this past Thursday (against the Italians), then no changes in goal would have been enforced by the reds illustrious head coach, however, circumstances meant that at least one big decision needed to be made, something that certainly kept the underperforming reds in the contest until the final whistle.

Photo: IMAGO

Palace’s Goal

The opening goal conceded was once more a perfect example of how not to defend the wide positions, let alone the central areas. With an inability to stop the cross or mark accordingly (inside the penalty box), a free close-range effort was made unstoppable by the Palace scorer and his lack of a marker. Multiple more chances arose through this painstaking game, which were either thwarted or controlled by the bearded man between the Anfield sticks. The game should not have been decided by a solitary away goal, given the firepower of the home team, something which should have seen the reds surge into a lead and far beyond the reach of a very limited south London outfit. What was in effect throughout, was the superb dependability of the returning Alisson Becker, a monstrous entity who allowed his mis firing stable mates every opportunity to correct their repeated mistakes.

They did not.

This regeneration will continue and certain parts will be replaced, whereas some will remain and become the bedrock of a new dawn. Liverpool was poor, but their keeper was not and was easily the man of the Liverpool match.

Next up Atalanta, where only fantasy can resurrect that quarter final scoreline…

Pre-match Prediction;

Liverpool 2 – 0 Crystal Palace

Steven Smith

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