Crystal Palace’s four-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end as they failed to stop Liverpool moving a step closer to clinching the title.
The Eagles’ prospects were diminished by the absence of goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, centre-back Scott Dann and striker Christian Benteke. Luka Milivojevic – whose excellent free-kick had put the SE25 outfit on their way to victory at Bournemouth last time out – was named on the bench.
And there was an early change enforced on Palace manager Roy Hodgson as Wilfried Zaha had to be replaced by Max Meyer.
Trent Alexander-Arnold gave Liverpool the lead with an excellent long-distance free-kick after 23 minutes.
Wayne Hennessey, deputising for Guaita, did not get anywhere near the England international’s 30-yard strike which curled over Meyer on the far right of the Palace wall and into the top corner of the net.
The runaway league leaders never looked back.
The Eagles had struggled to get out of their own half in the first period and could have few complaints that they fell further behind on the stroke of half-time. Mohamed Salah chested Fabinho’s pass inside of Patrick van Aanholt before converting past Hennessey.
A comeback didn’t look on even before Fabinho’s thunderbolt strike 10 minutes into the second half.
Liverpool keeper Alisson did not have a shot to save all evening.
Liverpool’s fourth was clinically incisive – Salah’s first-time pass sent Sadio Mane through and he swept the ball across Hennessey. It was the attacker’s ninth goal in 11 matches against the Eagles.
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