Liverpool 2 Crystal Palace 0 – Roy Hodgson unable to end his Eagles reign with a positive result

There was no happy ending for Roy Hodgson in his final game as Crystal Palace manager, as a Sadio Mane doubled consigned the South Londoners to a 2-0 defeat at Liverpool.

The Eagles had the first opportunity of the match, Wilfried Zaha drove through the heart of the Liverpool defence but failed to squeeze his shot past Allison from a tight angle.

Palace had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring in the 14th minute through Andros Townsend. The winger latched on to a misplaced pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold and set his sights on goal. After bursting past Nat Phillips, Townsend was left one-on-one with Allison, but could only drag his shot wide of the post.

Rhys Williams should have put the home side ahead moments later. However, the 20-year-old failed to keep his header underneath Vicente Guaita’s bar.

Jurgen Klopp’s side continued to pile on the pressure through Mohamed Salah, but the Eygptian forward could not find a way past the stubborn Guaita.

Eventually, in the 36th minute, the Liverpool onslaught would pay off.

A corner from Andrew Robertson cannoned off Roberto Firmino and fell to the feet of Mane, who had the task of tapping home from right in front of goal.

With Liverpool knowing that all three points would secure their place in the Champions League for next season, the Reds strived to extend their lead in the early stages of the second half – Williams, Firmino and Mane all going close to adding a second.

Cheikhou Kouyate, who had dropped back into the defence to replace the injured James Tomkins, superbly denied Liverpool a second by cutting out Alexander-Arnold’s first-time cross along the face of goal.

As Palace pushed forward for an equaliser, Mane added Liverpool’s second.

After being forced away from goal by Tyrick Mitchell, Salah found Mane on the edge of the box. He took one touch before unleashing a shot which bounced off Gary Cahill and looped cruelly over Guaita to secure all three points for the home side.

Hodgson’s side finished the season 14th in the Premier League – one place and two points better off than Brighton. Liverpool’s win secured them Champions League football next season.

 


 

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