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Aug 20, 2018 at 8pm UK
Crystal Palace
FT(HT: 0-1)
Milner (45' pen.), Mane (90')



Live Commentary: Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool - as it happened

:Headline: Live Commentary: Crystal Palace 0-2 Liverpool - as it happened:
Relive how James Milner and Sadio Mane goals earned Liverpool a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates from Selhurst Park.
By , Reporter | 1y

Goals late in each half from James Milner and Sadio Mane earned Liverpool a hard-fought 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this evening.

Milner broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage time, nestling a penalty into the bottom corner after Mamadou Sakho was adjudged to have tripped Mohamed Salah.

Palace were knocking on the door for an equaliser after the break but saw their chances of snatching a point hit by Aaron Wan-Bissaka's red card 15 minutes from the end.

The young full-back brought down Salah on a Liverpool break, and it was another lightning counter which Mane rounded off which sealed the Reds victory in stoppage time.

Relive how the action unfolded East London courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Both Crystal Palace and Liverpool kicked off their Premier League campaign with victory last weekend, and tonight the two teams renew a fledgling rivalry which has produced some spectacular matches in recent seasons. Let's hope for another tonight, and Sports Mole will have every kick covered...
PALACE: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, Van Aanholt; Townsend, Milivojevic, McArthur, Schlupp; Zaha, Benteke
Subs: Guaita, Ward, Kelly, Kouyate, Meyer, Sorlorth, Ayew
LIVERPOOL: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Keita, Wijnaldum; Mane, Salah, Firmino
Subs: Mignolet, Matip, Moreno, Henderson, Lallana, Shaqiri, Sturridge
Jurgen Klopp names an unchanged team from the one which hammered West Ham United 4-0 last weekend. Summer signing Fabinho is again missing from the squad as James Milner and Georgino Wijnaldum once more get the nod in midfield.
There are a couple of alterations on the Liverpool bench with Joel Matip back from a muscle injury - the Cameroonian has not played for the club since March - and Simon Mignolet in for Loris Karius, who has been tipped to move to Besiktas in the coming days. More on that later.
Liverpool's formidable front three combined for 57 Premier League goals last season and Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah got them off and running with three at Anfield last weekend. Roberto Firmino was the only one not to bag against the Hammers so will be hopeful of getting on the scoresheet tonight.
Roy Hodgson also has the luxury of naming the same starting XI from the win at Fulham, which was one of only two Premier League opening-weekend lineups that did not include a summer signing. Cheikhou Kouyate, Jordan Ayew and Max Meyer are all named as substitutes tonight though.
Palace's best piece of summer business was undoubtedly keeping hold of Wilfried Zaha and their talisman committed his future to the club earlier this week by penning a new contract until 2023. Tottenham and Chelsea have been heavily linked with Zaha but Palace seem to have persuaded him to stay.
Zaha almost single-handedly dragged Palace away from relegation trouble last season and has begun this campaign in the same vein, scoring in the 2-0 London derby success over Fulham. The Ivory Coast international will hope that his form this year can inspire the Eagles to a top-half finish.
Both Christian Benteke and Mamadou Sakho start for Palace against their former clubs. Benteke's poor goal return last season - three in 24 league starts - has triggered Zaha's switch to a centre-forward and that two-man attack will be a difficult test for Liverpool's much-improved back five.
While Benteke appears to be a shadow of the player that earned a £32.5m move to Liverpool back in 2015, the Belgian does seem to save his best form for when the Reds are in town. He has scored more goals against them than he has against any other current Premier League team - six in nine games.
Liverpool have their own scoring specialist in their ranks in Mane, who has five goals in seven appearances against Palace and bagged in both games last season as the Reds completed a league double. A goal tonight and he would be the first Liverpool player to score past the Eagles in three straight games.
Mane's mate Mo has already had a day to remember. Salah is the first Premier League player to be nominated for the award since its inception in 2011, and also the first African nominee.

Having Mane and Salah either side of Firmino has made Liverpool arguably the most feared offensive force in Europe. Since Klopp took charge in October 2015, their Premier League games have produced 341 goals, more than any other team in that period.
Of course that only tells half the story as it shows that Liverpool's defence has been too leaky during that period. However, with the addition of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson they may now have the robustness at the back to sustain a title challenge.
While the Reds are widely considered to be Manchester City's biggest title rivals this season, the size of their task has already been made crystal clear by Pep Guardiola's side knocking in eight goals on their way to two wins from two. If anything, the champions look even stronger than last season.
One area where Liverpool must improve if they are to keep up with City's relentless pace is their away form. The Reds suffered five defeats on the road last season, whereas they remained unbeaten at their Anfield fortress. They also drew five games, picking up 18 fewer away points than the Citizens.
Having said that, Liverpool's recent record at Selhurst Park is better than you might think. Since Klopp took the hotseat in October 2015, the Merseysiders have won on four successive trips to Palace, three times by a 2-1 scoreline. The other victory was by a 4-2 margin a year into Klopp's tenure.
There is one recent trip to Selhurst Park which still hangs over Liverpool like a dark cloud though - and it was on a Monday night too. Brendan Rodgers and his side were heading for the title before conceding a three-goal lead. Relive the drama of that infamous collapse below...

A couple of good omens for Liverpool here to to help them banish those memories. The Reds have lost their opening away match in the league in only one of the last five seasons. Meanwhile, Palace have never won their opening home fixture of a Premier League season.
However, Palace are on a roll on their own ground, and tonight are aiming to win four home top-flight games in a row for the first time since December 1990 - the fourth game in that run was against Liverpool.
The Eagles could equal their club record of five consecutive victories in the top flight set in December 1992 and March to April 2014. They are also aiming to equal their Premier League club record of eight games unbeaten set from November to December 2017.
If Zaha scores tonight he will surpass Chris Armstrong to become Crystal Palace's all-time record Premier League goalscorer. The 25-year-old has 23 goals in 145 appearances, and 10 of those have come in his previous 32 outings.
As well as Zaha, key to the excellent form with which Palace finished last season has been the defensive partnership of James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho. The Eagles have not lost any of the 15 games in which those two have started together, winning 11.
Tomkins and Sakho will also be hoping to have an impact at the other end tonight, and Liverpool have been preparing for Palace's set-piece threat in an inventive way. Apparently Alisson has been jumping up against coaches armed with rugby pads to prepare himself for the physical battle.
Around 10 minutes until kickoff at Selhurst Park, where Liverpool have scored 22 Premier League goals, more than any other away side has scored. They have scored at least two goals on each of their last five visits.
HEAD TO HEAD: We have touched already on Liverpool's recent successes at Selhurst Park, but they have still come unstuck against the Eagles a couple of times at Anfield under Klopp's management. Palace have won at Anfield in two of the last three seasons so know how to beat them.
It is easy to forget that Hodgson once managed Liverpool - for 31 games from July 2010 to January 2011 - of which he only won 13. The 70-year-old lost each of his games in charge of against his former club last season in an otherwise outstanding rescue mission of the London outfit.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is making quite a name for himself at Palace but has a very tough test tonight up against Mane. With the attack-minded Van Aanholt against Salah on the opposite flank, it could be that the pairing gets the better of that battle which decides the outcome tonight.
PREDICTION: Liverpool have won 2-1 on three of their last four visits to Palace and I fancy that is how it will finish tonight as well. The Reds will not have it anywhere as easy as they did against West Ham but if they play as they did last week they should have enough at both ends to nick it.
KICKOFF: The action is underway and, as it always is under the floodlights, Selhurst Park is rocking!
Van Aanholt is caught upfield which allows Salah to exploit the space in behind and get one-on-one with Sakho. The ex-Liverpool defender slows Salah down and blocks his eventual shot.
The Reds break again after a sloppy giveaway by Milivojevic on the centre circle. The pass is on to Mane inside Wan-Bissaka, but Firmino overhits it and Hennessey is off his line to collect.
The visitors continue to be on the front foot in the early stages, but Palace may not mind that. They have their own speedsters in Van Aanholt, Townsend and Zaha who can be lethal on the counter.
Palace go long to Benteke for the first time but Van Dijk draws first blood in that goliath aerial battle.
Van Aanholt is guilty of overplaying as he bursts forward and could have been punished had Salah not mistimed his run, going a little early to be flagged offside from Milner's pass.
Robertson gets forward on the overlap as he loves to do and knocks in a cross which Hennessey intercepts at his near post. The Welshman has not always been the most consistent but he has got the nod over new signing Vicente Guaita for the start of this season, and was pivotal in the win over Fulham.
Speaking of substitute goalkeepers, it is Simon Mignolet on the Liverpool bench tonight in place of Loris Karius, who is reported to be on his way to Besitkas on a two-year loan with the option of a permanent £9m deal. The German does need a fresh start after his Champions League final nightmare.
After a high-octane start, albeit with no clear-cut chances, the pace of the game has slowed a bit. Palace are trying to build from the back but they haven't got Zaha or Benteke in the game yet.
Mane bursts past Townsend and Wan-Bissaka but the young Palace full-back shows great speed of his own to track the Senegalese into the box and earn his team a goal kick with a perfectly-timed tackle.
We've just seen one of the reasons why Sakho didn't make it at Liverpool. The Frenchman hesitates on the ball on the edge of his own box and in the end passes it straight into the pressing Keita. The richochet lands at the feet of Salah but Tomkins reacts quickly to thwart the danger.
DISALLOWED GOAL!  Firmino has the ball in the net for Liverpool but it is quickly chalked off. A combination of Wan-Bissaka and Mane completely wiped out Hennessey as he claimed a cross, with the Reds winger thumping him in the midrift and causing the drop. Firmino pounced but it was right that it didn't stand.
CHANCE!  Brilliant play from Keita, who turns Townsend on the edge of his own box, drives forward and lifts the ball over the top for Salah. The Egyptian brings the ball down perfectly but cannot execute his lob over the 6ft 6in Hennessey, with the ball dropping a few yards over the crossbar.
OFF THE BAR!  This time Keita's flair is his undoing as Townsend takes the ball from him and lines up a 30-yard strike which has Alisson beat which smashes against the woodwork. The shot looked as though it was flying over but had unbelieveable dip on it, just not quite enough to sneak under the bar.
SAVE!  The ball breaks kindly for Keita on the left side of the area but Hennessey gets down well at his near post to keep out the shot. Keita may have been better swinging his laces through that such was the tightness of the angle, but didn't look confident enough to do that on his weaker foot.
Zaha earns the applause of the adoring Selhurst Park faithful with some defensive work up against Salah. Palace will be a bit disappointed at his lack of attacking involvement thus far though. They have found it difficult to get him up one-on-one against Alexander-Arnold or Gomez down the left channel.
SHOT!  Schlupp opened his Eagles account against Fulham last weekend and fancies another one here, taking on a 25-yard shot which he drags wide when he had two men over to his left.
The Reds have enjoyed 65% possession so far and been camped in the Palace half for the last few minutes. The home defence is playing quite narrowly though, forcing Liverpool to go wide and the service has not been good enough as of yet. A cross from Milner is swallowed by Hennessey.
CHANCE!  Milner knocks another ball into the area, not aimed at anyone in particular but a useful flick-on from Firmino turns it into a chance for Robertson, who volleys horribly high on the volley.
Keita cuts in from the left wing but gets caught in two minds and what was neither a cross nor a shot ended up drifting behind harmlessly for a goal kick.
Wan-Bissaka shows fantastic skill to squeeze past Robertson on the byline, and he squares a cross into a dangerous area but there was no Palace player on the end of it. Zaha recycles the ball but the attack never regains its momentum.
Milner goes through the back of Zaha, taking some of the ball but a lot of the man. Michael Oliver waves play on and Liverpool counter but Mane wastes a promising position by shooting from an impossible angle.
YELLOW CARD!  It has got a little spicy in the last couple of minutes and referee Oliver has gone to his book to try to calm things down. Van Aanholt is the culprit for a scissor tackle on Milner, taking all of the ball but following through and catching the midfielder.
PENALTY!  Penalty to Liverpool on the stroke of half time! Salah tries to turn away from Sakho, who has a couple of nibbles at the Egyptian winger and the Liverpool man accepts the invitation to go over.
Milner buries the penalty into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead. His last eight Liverpool goals have all come from the penalty spot and he looked assured sticking that one away.
The home support greet the half-time whistle with boos and Hodgson is not pleased either, giving the fourth official an earful on the touchline clearly aggreived by the penalty decision. Liverpool won't care though as they enter the break with a narrow lead they have had to work very hard for.
On the penalty decision, there was not much contact from Sakho on Salah but the Palace defender was a bit clumsy with his feet, chipping away at last season's PFA Player of the Year several times and giving him the chance to go down, and the referee a decision to make.
Prior to that, the Eagles had come the closest to opening the scoring when Townsend thumped a 30-yard shot against the crossbar. Otherwise, though, Palace have struggled to penetrate the Liverpool defence with Zaha and especially Benteke kept quiet by Van Dijk and company.
On the balance of play Liverpool would probably argue that they warrant their lead. They have been made to work a lot harder for it than they did against West Ham a week ago but they have moved the ball with a similar swagger and had spent most of the half on the front foot.
BENCH WATCH: Klopp won't feel the need to change anything just yet, although he might want to get some more minutes under Henderson's belt. Palace are finding it hard to pass through the Reds, so we could see a debut for Max Meyer, a highly-rated German playmaker signed on a free transfer from Schalke.
STAT: Liverpool did score a single Premier League game last season after scoring the first goal. However, the hosts need not despair, as the last time that the Reds did concede a lead to lose a game was against Palace at Anfield in 2017.
KICKOFF: The action resumes with both sides unchanged from the first half. James Milner has never lost a Premier League game in which he has scored (47). Can Palace make history tonight with another memorable comeback?
Palace have made a really bright start to the second half and have managed to get down the sides of Liverpool. Schlupp's cross fizzes through the six-yard box but Benteke didn't feel like gambling!
CHANCE!  Two really good chances for Liverpool to double their lead. Salah is somehow in acres of space in the middle and Robertson finds him, but the first touch in lifting the ball over Hennessey takes the Egyptian away from goal. His subsequent layoff for Keita is perfect but the signing drags his 15-yard shot wide.
YELLOW CARD!  Zaha is all on his own against four Liverpool defenders and tricks his way past a couple before drawing a foul from Alexander-Arnold, who picks up a booking for his troubles.
SAVE!  From the resultant free-kick, Milivojevic bends the ball over the wall and Alisson reads the effort expertly to push it around his post for a corner. The angle was suited to a left-footer but Milivojevic took it on and Alisson needed to be alert.
SHOT!  Van Aanholt, a real goal threat from left-back, runs onto a cutback from Zaha and strikes it cleanly, but cuts across the ball slightly and his left-footed shot was always bending away from goal.
Benteke gets above Van Dijk and powers a header downwards which Alisson again pushes away. Referee Oliver blows for a free kick as Zaha was offside and blocking the goalkeeper's view.
Palace have made a really encouraging start to this second half and are starting to knock on the door for an equaliser. You get the feeling that Liverpool will need a second goal to be sure here.
CLOSE!  A Liverpool corner is partially cleared to Salah at the edge of the box and the Egyptian connects nicely with a volley which Schlupp blocks with his head, although very nearly diverting the ball into his own net by accident.
It has not been Benteke's night thus far. Aside from that one decent header a few minutes ago, he has been in Van Dijk's pocket and here he ruins a promising Palace break by dallying on the ball for too long.
Liverpool have halted the momentum that Palace were building at the start of this half so Hodgson may now be considering changes. Jordan Ayew could be an option in place of Benteke - the Ghana international proved at both Aston Villa and Swansea that he can score a goal out of nothing.
Firmino makes a good run to the near post but Hennessey is well positioned to intercept the cross from Alexander-Arnold.
Benteke looks shot of confidence. He does well to bring down a pass from Milivojevic but the shot that followed ended up going out for a throw-in.
SUBSTITUTION: Klopp turns to his bench first - bringing on Henderson for Milner who could be the match-winner.
Palace have a chance to counter but Salah of all people makes up 40 yards to pinch the ball back from Van Aanholt.
SUBSTITUTION: Benteke's race is run but Hodgson goes for Alexander Sorloth over Ayew. The Norwegian striker is yet to score for Palace since his arrival last January but has suffered with injuries.
SAVE!  Alexander-Arnold jumps underneath a cross from Wan-Bissaka (there's two expensive football shirts right there) and the ball falls to the feet of Zaha, whose shot takes a deflection but is very well held by Alisson who could easily have spilled it.
RED CARD!  Salah is clear on goal and Wan-Bissaka takes him down before he can enter the box. Referee Oliver has no hesitation in sending off the youngster, and rightly so, but it is an unfortunate way for the full-back to end what was another otherwise excellent performance.
SHOT!  Salah takes the subsequent free kick and it would have beaten Hennessey to the top corner had Tomkins not intervened in the wall.
SAVE!  Liverpool smell blood here as Keita lets fly from long range but Hennessey gets his body behind it. This last 15 minutes or so just got a bit more comfortable, and a second goal now would seal a hard-earned three points.
SUBSTITUTION: Hodgson brings on Ward to consolidate his back four and has to sacrifice Townsend to do so. He is hanging his hat on a peice of Zaha magic or a set-piece equaliser now.
SHOT!  Salah, Firmino and Mane all combine to set up a shooting chance for the latter whose low strike is gathered by Hennessey.
Palace want a penalty for a foul on McArthur who tries to weave his way through a congested area. Referee Olivier resists the temptation to even things up and rightly so as it was a clean tackle from Wijnaldum.
SUBSTITUTION: It is a Palace debut for Max Meyer who comes on for Schlupp with what is Hodgson's final roll of the dice.
It has not quite been Salah's night in front of goal, with the Egyptian denied here by Hennessey who tips a header over the crossbar.
Zaha creates a yard of space to whip in a low cross which Meyer stretches to reach and is inches away from making contact.
Salah looks like he is in the clear but Tomkins slows him down and Sakho comes across to make the tackle 20 yards from goal.
SUBSTITUTION: Klopp makes a change to eat away some time, bringing on Adam Lallana for Keita who has been wonderful in glimpses but also made his fair share of mistakes tonight.
Outstanding tackle from Tomkins who followed Firmino into the right channel and robbed him of the ball just as he was poised to shoot. Palace continue to show fantastic spirit and based on this performance they will cause the big boys plenty of problems at Selhurst Park this season.
There will be FOUR additional minutes. Palace are standing firm but don't look like pinching an equaliser at the moment.
Mane clinches victory for Liverpool with a stoppage-time second. Salah releases the Senegalese through the middle and although Van Aanholt did his best to get back, Mane stays strong, keeps his balance, rounds Hennessey and knocks the ball into the empty net.
Liverpool make it two wins from two to start the season, passing a much sterner test against a game Crystal Palace who were well in the contest before Wan-Bissaka's red card, and were only killed off by Mane's stoppage-time second. The Eagles shouldn't be disheartened, and the Reds should be encouraged because this is not a match that they would have won 12 months ago.
That's it from our coverage at Selhurst Park, but before you go to bed you can read our match report on the action here. Thanks for joining Sports Mole tonight. Until next time, goodbye!
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7Crystal Palace156361418-421
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs155552523220
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