The Merseyside club had a lot of chances, but scored just one to secure a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at home.
The atmosphere on Anfield was fantastic as the fans were more than excited for their first home game of the 2017-18 campaign. There was a small ‘surprise’ in Liverpool’s line up as Mohamed Salah, who was been brilliant for the Reds so far, was left on the bench while Sturridge took his place on the pitch.
Klopp’s men had a strong start of the game as they pressed Crystal Palace deep and won possession of the ball back in no time. The first good opportunity came after a good combination between Milner, Robertson and Sturridge, which led to Milner in a low angle position. The Englishman chose to shoot and not to pass the ball, but his shot was far from dangerous for Wayne Hennessey.
The next great opportunity for Liverpool came in the 15th minute as Robertson curled the ball into the box, but Matip failed to hit the target with his header. All dangerous situations the Reds had created up to this point came from the left flank where new arrival Andrew Robertson made a great impression. It was again Robertson in the 34th minute who passed it to Mane, whose effort was not enough to beat the goalkeeper. Just six minutes after, Firminho fired off a powerful shot from outside the box, but a great save for Hennessey denied him the goal. Right after that, Crystal Palace organized a great counter attack, which tested Mignolet’s reflexes, but the Belgium international was on point.
Liverpool ended the first half with a possession of 70 % as they were in complete control of the game, but could not really utilize on the chances they created.
The second half did not really start any different from the first one. Liverpool were the more active side, but no goals came. However, it was Crystal Palace who had the clearest chance in the game up to this point. In the 55th minute Ruben Loftus-Cheek dribbled past players in red and passed back to Benteke, who somehow managed to miss the target from just a few meters away from the goal as Klopp’s men were definitely lucky to not be one goal behind. The Reds kept knocking on the door and finally reached a breakthrough in the 73rd minute. Sadio Mane picked up a loose ball and put it into the back of the net to given Klopp’s side the lead, 1-0.
Liverpool had yet another great chance in the 82nd minute as Gomez delivered a great ball to Salah, whose header was simply not powerful enough to pose a threat to Palace’s goalkeeper. Despite being a goal ahead, Liverpool kept pushing forward in an attempt to increase their lead and secure the three points. Just a few minutes after that, Solanke set Mane into a great position, but a well-timed tackle by Hennessey prevented any danger from happening. Klopp’s side kept looking for a goal and created a lot of chances, but the final touch of the players in red was always poor, which saw the game end 1-0 in favour of Liverpool.
Liverpool’s starting line-up(4-3-3): Simon Mignolet; Joseph Gomez, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Andrew Robertson; Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner; Sadio Mane, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino
Crystal Palace’s staring line-up(3-5-2): Wayne Hennessey; Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Scott Dann, James Tomkins; Joel Ward, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Luka Milivojevic, Jason Puncheon, Patrick van Aanholt; Andros Townsend, Christian Benteke