There was drama aplenty at Selhurst Park as Liverpool managed a comeback 2-1 victory over struggling Crystal Palace to leapfrog second-placed Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday, courtesy of second-half goals from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Luka Milivojevic’s 13th-minute penalty had given the hosts the lead and if Jurgen Klopp was expecting his players to respond, he was disappointed for the Reds seemed struck in second gear throughout the first-half.
In fact, arguably the sole highlight of their forays into the opposition box was an unseemly one when Mane dived in order to win a penalty. Match referee Neil Swarbrick, aided by his assistant, saw through the facade and currently cautioned the Senegalese and that moment served to rile up the home crowd.
Under Roy Hodgson, Palace have looked anything but relegation-fodder and were giving as good as they got against their fancied opponents, with Salah locked-down in the first-half.
The second-half, however, was a different story as Liverpool were the faster out of the blocks and Mane, much to the dismay of the home support, would level proceedings in the 49th minute itself.
After conceding, Palace responded admirably and ideally should have scored twice but Christian Benteke spurned two gilt-edged opportunities to continue his wretched run in front of goal.
After the towering Belgian had let his former employers off the hook, there was an air of inevitability that Salah, the league’s top scorer with 28 strikers, would settle the tie.
And the ‘Egyptian King’ did just that, after some good work from substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right wing, Salah cooly controlled a loose ball in the box before slotting past a despairing Wayne Hennessy in the 84th minute to break Palace hearts.
While the manner of the win wasn’t convincing, Klopp will take it as the Reds go ahead of the Red Devils in the Premier League table.
Their win wasn’t without cost, however, as Adam Lallana was forced off with an injury in the second-half, minutes after coming on as the Reds were looking for the winner.