Liverpool’s title charges take huge blow after Palace defeat

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  • Post published:April 14, 2024

Liverpool suffered a major blow to their Premier League title hopes after they suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday.

Following their first home league loss in 29 games, Jurgen Klopp’s team now sits two points behind Manchester City and level with Arsenal, who can take the lead if they defeat Aston Villa later on Sunday.

With an early goal from Eberechi Eze, the Eagles gained a crucial victory in their struggle to survive and are now eight points clear of the drop zone.

But Klopp’s last season at Liverpool is falling apart.

Only a few weeks ago, the League Cup champions were headed for a quadruple.

However, following their humiliating loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup, Liverpool suffered their first home loss in a competition for 14 months on Thursday as Atalanta overpowered Anfield to grab a 3-0 first-leg lead in their Europa League quarterfinal match.

With 51 games played so far this season, Klopp’s team has only won three of their past eight games in all competitions, and they are obviously tired.

Liverpool’s problems lately have often involved slow starts, and they had to rally from behind once more.

In goal for the home team, Alisson Becker made his eagerly anticipated comeback, but he was unable to stop Eze’s easy finish after Tyrick Mitchell’s cross.

“The goal we concede is horrendous,” said Klopp.

“It depends on us what it means. If we play like in the first half why should we win the league? If we play like in the second half, we can win football games — we will see how many.

“If we play to our full level then we are a force but today we played a bit inbetween and that’s why we lost.”

Shortly after Virgil van Dijk’s error allowed the French striker to get through, Andy Robertson made an incredible goalline clearance to thwart Jean-Philippe Mateta, and Palace came dangerously close to taking the lead again.

In order to exert pressure on the Palace defenders throughout the first half, Liverpool had to turn to set pieces.

Wataru Endo’s poorly executed shot bounced off the crossbar.

Then, in an incredible move, Dean Henderson made a save to stop Luis Diaz from levelling at the back post.

With Conor Bradley hurt, Klopp promptly responded at halftime by bringing on Dominik Szoboszlai and bringing back Trent Alexander-Arnold after a two-month absence.

Additionally dispatched to the bench for the rescue effort were Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo.

When Szoboszlai set Jota up, it appeared that the Portuguese striker would equalise, but Nathaniel Clyne was caught in the act just as the goal was about to be scored.

On the opposite side, Alisson made a spectacular save to deny Mateta’s goal from close range, demonstrating why he is among the best goalkeepers in the world.

With just Henderson to beat, Curtis Jones slotted wide as Liverpool stormed quickly at the other end.

In stoppage time, Mohamed Salah had one more opportunity to at least steal a point, but Mitchell masterfully blocked his goalbound attempt.

There will only be two more games for Klopp at Anfield before his historic reign comes to an end, barring a spectacular comeback by Liverpool against Atalanta in the middle of the week.

However, what once seemed like a spectacular farewell could now turn into a soggy squib.

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