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Liverpool made sure to top the Premier League at Christmas for the third year in a row with an impressive 7-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool took the lead in three minutes, Takumi Minamino patiently stabilized inside the area and conceded.
Sadio Mane, who had set up Minamino for Liverpool’s first, was on the scoreboard himself 10 minutes before half-time, producing a fabulous one-touch spin and shooting into the bottom corner.
The Reds added a third at the halftime break with another fluid counterattack move started and finished by Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian fed Andy Robertson into his own half, before receiving a cross from the left back and coldly finding the back of the net.
Jordan Henderson sent a fabulous curling effort past Vicente Guaita for Liverpool’s fourth, and Firmino sank the ball over the Palace goalkeeper after another tremendous counterattack from the Reds for their second and fifth counterattacks.
Substitute Mohamed Salah grabbed a double in the final 10 minutes, the first a header from close range, the second an impressive curling shot from the edge of the area.
Let’s get into some player rankings.
Vicente Guaita (GK) – 4/10 – Quickly offline on several occasions, as Liverpool frequently tried to put Mane behind in the first half. He conceded seven, but couldn’t do much for most.
Nathanial Clyne (RB) – 3/10 – Walked away from Liverpool’s attack line as the Reds mocked the Palace defense.
Gary Cahill (CB) 3/10 – Failed to cope with Liverpool’s ruthless three forwards, who opened the Palace backline. It is not the best birthday you will have.
Cheikhou Kouyate (CB) – 3/10 – Could not hold back the movement of Liverpool’s three dynamic forwards as they opened up Palace on the counter. Replaced after 62 minutes.
Patrick van Aanholt (LB) – 3/10 – It provided Liverpool’s front line with too much time and space over and over again, allowing Salah to enter with ease for the Reds’ seventh.
Jeffrey Schlupp (RM) – 10/6 – He looked dangerous on the fast break, skipping Fabinho in the first 10 minutes. He had half a chance from a corner, but launched a header straight into Alisson’s arms. A real annoyance in the first half, at least.
Luka Milivojevic (CM) – 4/10 – Broke Liverpool’s lines with a pair of clever passes in the first half, but offered little protection to Palace’s backline, which was opened by the visiting three forwards.
James McArthur (CM) – 5/10 – He kept the ball well in the first half as Palace caused Liverpool a lot of problems but struggled to cope with the pace of Liverpool’s counterattack.
Eberechi Eze (LM) – 10/5 – He looked really dangerous as he hit Liverpool’s bottom line on pace. I didn’t see enough ball in the second half.
Wilfried Zaha (FW) – 10/6 – He looked like Palace’s most dangerous player in the first half, making a couple of mocking crosses. He stayed calmer in the second half as Liverpool pulled away.
Jordan Ayew (FW) – 10/4 – Lost a glorious opportunity after beating Fabinho, but unsuccessfully tried to pick Zaha
James Tompkins – 4/10
Michy Batshuayi – 4/10
Jairo Riedewald – 4/10
Alisson (GK) – 6/10 – Easily took a header from Schlupp in the first half, but otherwise had little to do. But let’s face it, today wasn’t really about him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – 10/8 – Selected Mane with a wonderful flyover in preparation for Liverpool’s first. He prepared Henderson for Liverpool’s fourth with a perfectly weighted kickback, and selected Salah in preparation for his team’s fifth with an excellent flyover.
Fabinho (CB) – 7/10 – Did very well to strip Zaha in the early exchanges when Palace’s man ran dangerously forward, followed by a major interception to prevent Ayew from scoring a wide goal. He allowed Schlupp and Ayew to pass him in the first half. Liverpool’s only defender without assistance on the day.
Joel Matip (CB) – 7/10 – Climbed higher to meet the Alexander-Arnold corner, from which Salah topped Liverpool’s sixth place.
Andy Robertson (LB) – 7/10 – Prepares Firmino for Liverpool’s third with a low, precise shot from deep.
Jordan Henderson (CM) – 10/8 – He grabbed Liverpool’s quarter with an impressive curling effort from the edge of the box and was absolutely influential, particularly in the second half.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 7/10 – Controlled the ball much more in the second half as Liverpool completely outplayed Palace. It is usually dynamic, efficient and discreet.
Near Keita (CM) – 7/10 – Clean and tidy, he swept well down the back a couple of times and frequently unleashed Liverpool’s counterattack with a couple of instinctive passes.
Takumi Minamino (LW) – 8/10 – Opened the scoring with his first Premier League goal, patiently positioning himself and shooting low to the bottom corner. He sent a great opportunity wide open in the second half. His best display in the Liverpool jersey so far.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – 10/10 – Fed Mane for Liverpool’s second goal. He started and finished Liverpool’s fabulous third goal, taking out Robertson, picking up his center and striking home with the outside of his right foot. He added Liverpool’s fifth with a beautiful sunken finish.
Sadio Mane (RW) – 10/9 – Produced a big turnaround and picked to place Minamino in Liverpool’s opener. He doubled his lead with a fabulous twist and one-touch finish. Quite annoying to be replaced before the hour mark after an excellent one-man show.
Mohamed Salah – 10/9 – Played a little over half an hour and still scored two goals and one assist.
Curtis Jones – 7/10
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – REACH