BY SAM SMITH
A disastrous performance by Crystal Palace saw them thrashed 7-0 by a relentless Liverpool at Selhurst Park.
Takumi Minamino put the Premier League leaders ahead inside three minutes, stepping past Nathaniel Clyne and firing across Vicente Guaita.
The Eagles created chances to go level but they failed to take any. Jordan Ayew was particularly guilty of squandering opportunities – a poor pass across goal to Wilfried Zaha when the forward should have shot himself was evidence of Palace’s lackadaisical nature when presented with a chance.
In complete contrast, Liverpool were ruthless. Roberto Firmino collected Andy Robertson’s pass and prodded the ball beyond Guaita. Sadio Mane then made it 3-0 before half-time with a sharp swivel and powerful strike from the edge of the area that whistled into the bottom corner.
Any chance of a repeat of this fixture from April 2014 – when the South Londoners sensationally came back from 3-0 down to draw – were slashed when the rampant Merseyside outfit made it 4-0 seven minutes into the second half.
Trent Alexander-Arnold appeared to have scuppered an attack with a poor pass, but his pass back to Jordan Henderson was swept wonderfully across goal and into the top corner.
Palace tried to grab a consolation but Patrick van Aanholt’s sloppy pass allowed Liverpool to counter. The ball eventually found Firmino who dinked it over the onrushing Guaita – who could do nothing about any of the seven goals.
The result was made even more remarkable by the fact that Mohamed Salah had not started. But the Egyptian rose from the substitutes bench to round off Palace’s humbling – first with a header from a corner and the second a fantastic curled strike after he had cut inside from the right wing.
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