Soccer

Landmark goal for Mohamed Salah as Liverpool fight back at Crystal Palace

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his 200th Liverpool goal (PA)
Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his 200th Liverpool goal (PA) Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his 200th Liverpool goal (PA)

Mohamed Salah’s 200th goal for Liverpool inspired a second-half comeback as the Reds secured a 2-1 victory over 10-man Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Jurgen Klopp’s men got off to a lacklustre start in south London, failing to register a shot on target in the first half, while Jefferson Lerma came within inches of an opener for the hosts.

Palace went ahead through Jean-Philippe Mateta’s 57th-minute penalty, but their positive momentum came to a halt when Jordan Ayew was shown a second yellow and Liverpool levelled thanks to Salah a minute later.

Harvey Elliott secured all three points in the first minute of second-half stoppage time and the Reds clung on to the result despite Palace pressure that saw Joachim Andersen denied a late leveller.

Crystal Palace v Liverpool – Premier League – Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace v Liverpool – Premier League – Selhurst Park Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott celebrates at the final whistle after scoring his side’s winner (Adam Davy, PA)

Palace were still looking for just their second home league victory of the season after a disappointing 2-0 midweek loss to Bournemouth, and the visitors were on the attack early when Konstantinos Tsimikas fired wide of Sam Johnstone’s left post from 25 yards.

There was little to excite either side as the clock ticked past the 10-minute mark, the Eagles unable to make anything of their first corner before Salah sent a cross into the arms of the Palace keeper.

Liverpool looked more likely to break the deadlock, but it was Palace who came within inches of an opener shortly before the half-hour mark.

Jordan Ayew’s cross found Lerma at the back post where an outstretched Alisson was able to palm the ball off the upright where it dropped down dangerously again before Trent Alexander-Arnold scrambled in to clear.

Palace were initially awarded a penalty when Virgil van Dijk barged into Odsonne Edouard, but after a lengthy pause to consult VAR, referee Andrew Madley ruled Will Hughes had fouled Wataru Endo in the build-up and the Reds were instead awarded a fortunately-timed free-kick.

The Reds applied pressure but had little to show for it after the first period, while the home support – who booed their side off the pitch three nights ago – recognised the Eagles’ efforts with a burst of applause.

Both managers made changes to start the second half, Hodgson bringing on Mateta for Edouard, who had taken a knock, and Klopp swapping Endo for Joe Gomez.

Though VAR had rescinded the hosts’ first spot-kick, they were more favourably rewarded after the restart, when Jarell Quansah made contact with Mateta.

Play was initially waved on, but Madley was eventually advised to turn to the monitor after a lengthy review and ultimately pointed to the spot, where the substitute fired the hosts to a 1-0 lead with a composed finish.

Crystal Palace v Liverpool – Premier League – Selhurst Park
Crystal Palace v Liverpool – Premier League – Selhurst Park Referee Andrew Madley checks the VAR monitor during the game (Adam Davy, PA)

Palace’s much-needed positive momentum was quickly quashed when Ayew fouled substitute Harvey Elliott and was sent off with his second yellow on 75 minutes and Salah sent a deflected strike past Johnstone a minute later after pouncing on a loose ball inside the area.

There was more bad news for the Eagles when Johnstone was forced off and replaced by Remi Matthews, who could do nothing to deny Elliott who rifled past him to complete the comeback.

Victory for Liverpool was preserved by another huge save from Alisson to stop Joachim Anderson from netting a dramatic equaliser in 10 minutes of stoppage time.