HomePremier LeagueLiverpool 0-1 Crystal Palace: Premier League title race takes shock twist as...

Liverpool 0-1 Crystal Palace: Premier League title race takes shock twist as Eze goal gives Eagles win

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Eberechi Eze’s 14th-minute winner gave Crystal Palace a shock victory at Anfield as Liverpool missed the chance to move above Arsenal and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table.

Playmaker Eze punished generous defending by slotting in from Tyrick Mitchell’s cross to condemn the Reds to a second home defeat in four days and badly damage their hopes of ending Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge by winning a second top-flight title of the German’s reign.

Wataru Endo hit the crossbar with a first-half shot as Liverpool pursued an equaliser but home goalkeeper Alisson and Palace counterpart Dean Henderson both made exceptional saves in a game full of chances.

Liverpool remain third, two points behind Manchester City and level with Arsenal, who play their game in hand at home to Aston Villa on Sunday (4.30pm BST).

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Liverpool should have won on their way to a 2-2 draw at Manchester United last Sunday, but few would have envisaged a Palace side beaten by Manchester City a day earlier coming away with three points, let alone becoming the first side since Fulham in March 2021 to win at Anfield with a clean sheet.

Klopp had vowed his players would respond following their surprise 3-0 home defeat to Atalanta in the Uefa Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday, only for his players to make another poor start and fail to find a way past the inspired Henderson.

The away side had scored the opening goal in three of Liverpool’s previous four home games, and Palace would have gone further ahead soon after Eze scored but for a last-gasp intervention by Andy Robertson to hook Jean-Philippe Mateta’s finish off the line with the ball looking destined for the back of the net after the in-form forward broke clear.

Henderson brilliantly thwarted Luis Diaz and – from point-blank range – Darwin Nunez, while Diogo Jota had a shot cleared behind when it seemed easier to score.

Curtis Jones also blazed wide when he raced clear on goal and Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who returned after 10 weeks out, produced a spectacular stop of his own to deny Mateta.

Liverpool v Palace: Reds beaten

Klopp appeared to say “wow” after Palace scored and that will have been the word on the lips of Arsenal and City’s players and fans.

The figures suggest Liverpool should have scored five goals across their two consecutive defeats. Their wastefulness against midtable opponents leaves their challenge conclusively out of their hands with six league games remaining.

There was another note of concern to compound Liverpool’s misery when Conor Bradley went off injured two minutes into the second half, Trent Alexander-Arnold replacing the youngster on a day when victory had felt imperative.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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