Palace Caught In Headlights Of Rampant Liverpool Side Intent On Defending Title

There was no Christmas cheer for Palace as they were handed a thrashing by the reigning champions in a freak result that ended up being a record defeat at Selhurst for the Eagles.


19th December 2020


Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool


Selhurst Park Stadium, Holmesdale Road, Selhurst, London SE25 6PU


Behind closed doors


Referee – Jonathan Moss

Assistants – Marc Perry, Dan Robathan

Fourth official – Stuart Attwell

VAR: Simon Hooper

Assistant VAR: Dan Cook


BOOKINGS – Nathaniel Clyne (45)

RED CARD – none


Takumi Minamino (3), Sadio Mane (35), Roberto Firmino (45, 69), Jordan Henderson (52), Mohamed Salah (81, 84)


Jeffrey Schlupp


It was a very tough day at the office against quality opposition but you have to consider that Roy Hodgson went with an attacking line up rather than sacrificing that for another defensive midfielder. By doing that, there were chances in the first half which were not taken and the Eagles paid the price. Having said that, everything Liverpool hit seemed to go in yet Palace still looked good at 2-0 down, what happened after that was hard to take. The players were guilty giving up and that is unforgivable in a result that ended up embarrassing. A reaction is very much needed on Boxing Day.


Was not needed to influence this game.


Bob White was a coach at Palace under the tenure of Steve Coppell and Alan Smith and will be sharing his point of view each week in our review article.

“Liverpool and Manchester City are the two teams in this league who can take any side apart on their day. Saturday was one of those occasions. After a first half when possession and goal scoring opportunity statistics were relatively even, we still found ourselves 3-0 down at half time!

Unfortunately for us, like all the very best teams in Europe, Liverpool never took their foot off the pedal in the second half and went on to cause real damage to our goal difference. Fortunately the referee put our players out of their misery with only a minute of added time and ensured no repeat of THAT defeat at Anfield in 1989 which I had witnessed first-hand from the touchline bench!

The huge gap between the teams was quality with the final ball and ultimately clinical finishing in and around the box. Additionally, Mane, Firmino and Salah are half decent strikers to have at a manager’s disposal! Probably best to give credit to the quality of an opposition that is going to successfully defend their Premier League title rather than dissect the deficiencies in our team.

The bottom line is, tactically we tried to play an open and more expansive game against a superior team and were heavily punished. Arguably the only positive today was to see the return of Tomkins after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury since February plus knowing that Benteke is available to lead our forward line at Villa. We now have a week on the training ground to dust ourselves down, reset and prepare for three important fixtures over the usual busy festive period.

Hodgson will need to reflect carefully on the strengths and weaknesses of the three teams we play over this period whilst factoring in how and when to rotate the squad.”


31 VICENTE GUAITA (4) – No chance with the goals and oddly, hardly tested otherwise.

17 NATHANIEL CLYNE (5 – BOOKED!) – Up against his former employers which ended up one to forget.

24 GARY CAHILL (5) – Birthday boy but both he and Kouyate were given the run around by the opposition attack all afternoon.

8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (6) – Part of a rear guard that struggled to stem the flow all afternoon. Replaced by 5 JAMES TOMKINS (6) on 63 minutes for his first action in some time and it was good to see him back but even he was on the pitch for three goals.

3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (6) – His 200th Premier League appearance and not the way he would have wanted to mark the occasion. Got forward to find a half chance midway through the second half but failed to hit the target.

15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (7 – TEB MAN OF THE MATCH) – Had a good first half chance with a header but straight at the keeper. Kept working but nothing came off for him

18 JAMES MCARTHUR (6) – Battled away in the middle and continued to hassle the opposition but faded in the second half. Replaced by 44 JAIRO RIEDEWALD (6) on 75 minutes who could do nothing to prevent more damage.  

4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (CAPTAIN – 6) – The captain was largely anonymous as the game passed him by for the most part but was on the end of some tough challenges.

25 EBERECHI EZE (6) – Imposed himself on the first half and ever willing in possession to get forward but it got tougher as the game went on. Still looked good against quality opposition. Replaced by 23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (6) on 69 minutes but was non-existent as the visitors were rampant.

11 WILFRIED ZAHA (6) – Very lively in the first half but chances were at a premium and once the fourth went in, the game very much turned into a training match.

9 JORDAN AYEW (6) – A couple of very good chances fell his way in the first half which he needed to finish if Palace were to get anything out of the game. Failed to find Zaha with one glorious chance when Palace were a goal down.


1 Jack Butland, 2 Joel Ward, 6 Scott Dann, 10 Andros Townsend, 22 James McCarthy, 27 Tyrick Mitchell


1 Alisson, 66 Alexander-Arnold, 32 Matip, 3 Fabinho, 26 Robertson, 8 Keita, 14 Henderson, 5 Wijnaldum, 10 Mane, 9 Firmino, 18 Minamino

SUBSTITUTES – 11 Salah (replaced Mane on 57 mins), 13 Adrian, 15 Oxlade-Chamberlain (replaced Firmino on 75 mins), 17 Jones (replaced Wijnaldum on 69 mins), 27 Origi, 46 R Williams, 47 Phillips, 62 Kellerher, N Williams


ROY HODGSON – “We are humiliated by the result. We take it very badly and most of us in the dressing room have not been on the end of such a defeat before. I cannot think of anything positive to say at all. We just have to get over it, there’s no point dwelling on it, we have to learn some lessons from it. I don’t know that there was any vast difference in our attitude, desire, our wanting to do well to that of the Spurs game. There’s no magic wand. The players have got to come to terms with it. It’s something we didn’t want to happen and we are very devastated by the fact that it has happened.”

JURGEN KLOPP – “It was hard work, a lot of counter attack from Palace in the first half where we needed a toe or a foot to defend. Our finishing in the first half was clinical. Being up at half time the game is not finished but we controlled the game and scored wonderful goals. The boys are capable of this but it doesn’t happen every week. Today it clicked. This is a very intense period, the boys should be very proud of it. We take a day off tomorrow, then prepare for West Brom, and goal difference wise it is good because of the funny result at Villa.”

LUKA MILIVOJEVIC – “It is hard to speak after a defeat like that, they were so clinical. They punished every mistake, opened the game well, we were in it after that and had chances. We should have scored at before the break. I didn’t feel we deserved to be losing 3-0, we tried to come back but it was a brutal result. It is a very bad feeling. We have a lot of experience in the side, the problem is we don’t have players who have conceded that many goals. That’s football, that’s the level of the Premier League. Next week we go to Villa, try to turn around the vibe and get some points. You can’t do more than that.”


The Who Scored man of the match was Roberto Firmino (9.2) while the most shots were from Sadio Mane and Takumi Minamino (3). The most tackles were by Naby Keita (5) while Jeffrey Schlupp (6) had the most dribbles.

  • Team rating: 5.63 – 8.01
  • Total shots: 5 – 14
  • Shots on target: 3 – 8
  • Possession: 35.3% – 64.7%
  • Pass success: 76% – 87%
  • Passes: 397 – 743
  • Dribbles: 11 – 9
  • Aerials won: 14 – 10
  • Tackles: 10 – 19
  • Fouls: 5 – 11
  • Corners: 5 – 4
  • Saves:  0 – 3
  • Dispossessed: 9 – 6


Palace remain on 18 points from 13 games and dropped to 13th on Saturday night with the goal difference severely hit after this heavy defeat.


26/12/2020 Aston Villa (a) – Premier League (3pm – BBC)

28/12/2020 Leicester City (h) – Premier League (Prime)

02/01/2021 Sheffield United (h) – Premier League (Sky Sports)

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