Lackluster Liverpool held off a goalless draw at Crystal Palace

Liverpool had to settle for a point as Crystal Palace suffered a goalless draw at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool’s Diogo Jota and Palace’s Jean-Philippe Mateta both saw the woodwork fail in their efforts in the first half, while Mohamed Salah hit the bar just after the restart.

The hosts put pressure on Jürgen Klopp’s men but were unable to capitalize on a number of set pieces on a night that started slowly in the dark but picked up speed after the break.

The Reds failed to recover from their Champions League win over Real Madrid four days ago, while the result marked a fifth draw of the new year for Palace, who remain in search of their first win of 2023.

Liverpool’s 7-0 win at Selhurst Park in December 2020 was their biggest ever away win in the Premier League.

Klopp’s side had already scored in the third minute of that game but by the 10th minute of that game neither side had scored on goal, Liverpool came closest when Cody Gakpo served Salah on the edge of the box, the Egyptian could only roll an effort far from the right post.

The visitors dodged danger when Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joel Matip lost control of the ball deep in their own half and Mateta struck, while goalkeeper Alisson Becker reacted quickly to make a critical block.

The Reds worked their way back onto the pitch, the ball taking several touches before landing in front of Jota in space on the edge of the box, but the striker sent a volley straight into the arms of Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

Both sides soon squandered set pieces, Jota nodding a shot from six yards out against a post before Guehi deflected a header from Michael Olise’s free-kick just wide.

Liverpool won another free-kick in a dangerous position when Nathaniel Clyne was booked for his slide challenge against Jota.

Alexander-Arnold stepped forward and sent an attempt into the top right corner but was thwarted by his own teammate when the ball was deflected off Jordan Henderson.

Palace soon had a good chance of their own when Olise fired in a cross from the right that narrowly missed target Jeffrey Schlupp’s head.

Trying to single-handedly put his name on the scoresheet, Salah collected the ball in his own half and, after a clean move to bring it down, managed to break free before being blocked by Guaita.

Palace were then inches from opening the scoring when Schlupp disowned Alexander-Arnold just before half-time and crossed to Mateta who shook the woodwork.

The second half started much like the first ended, Salah was next denied off the crossbar with a sweeping try towards the top left corner.

Palace upped the pressure, Jordan Ayew firing first before Olise’s drive to the right was hampered by Henderson on the edge of the area.

The Englishman was cautioned but the hosts couldn’t do anything about the resulting free-kick.

It was a quieter second half overall as both sides remained in pursuit of an opener.

A sloppy rally could have cost the hosts as Salah passed the ball to Gakpo, who was thwarted by a skidding Guaita while Liverpool saved another free-kick from the edge of the box.

At times both sides were moments from a second-half breakthrough, but the Reds successfully defended two set pieces in late injury time to ensure they stayed put until the final whistle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *