Crystal Palace 0-0 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp’s Reds endured a frustrating evening in London as they failed to break down Palace
Liverpool completed a difficult week with a frustrating 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace that did little to enhance their prospects of finishing in the Premier League’s top four.
Thrashed 5-2 at home by Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp’s side laboured against a Palace side who well deserved their point.
Clean sheet a positive for Klopp to cling to
In a difficult season that is simply crawling along, Jurgen Klopp has no choice but to find the positives in every performance.
And one of those tonight was the fact that a Liverpool side who have been porous for large parts of this campaign kept a third consecutive Premier League clean sheet.
When the Reds were being thumped by Wolves and Brighton just a few weeks ago, restoring some solidity was seen as the first step towards putting things right.
It might not feel worth celebrating tonight, but they have at least achieved that aim in recent league games.
Palace better than form suggests
Speaking ahead of this game, Patrick Vieira insisted his team were playing better than their eight-game winless run in all competitions suggested.
And you could see the Frenchman’s point after Palace made it nine without victory in holding Liverpool to a draw here.
The Eagles were lively on the break, aggressive in the press, and defensively solid whenever they needed to be.
It looks more likely that their form will soon turn into a run of wins rather than a string of defeats that might drag them into the lower reaches of the table.
Nunez a big miss for the Reds
Of course, while Liverpool managed to shut out Palace, their failure to get on the scoresheet themselves was cause for frustration.
But you wonder whether the visitors would have found it so tricky to unlock their opponents had Darwin Nunez not missed out on a place in the squad through injury.
The Uruguayan has started to get back to his best in recent weeks after a post-World Cup lull and his knack for creating danger was sorely missed here.
Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool as it happened
FINAL: Crystal Palace 0-0 Liverpool
FULLTIME: All over at Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace and Liverpool will take a point apiece from a game that won’t live particularly long in the memory.
89th min: Very little happening in these closing stages, with this game looking destined to end in a goalless draw.
81st min: A huge chance for Gakpo to win it goes begging!
The Dutchman is played in by Salah after Palace lose the ball in a dangerous position but he fails to find the target with a dink over Guaita.
77th min: Fabinho gets walked past by Ayew in midfield and opts for a cynical trip that earns him a deserved yellow card.
74th min: Elliott clips a ball out to the left-hand side that Robertson heads back across goal but Firmino can’t get in front of Guaita to score.
70th min: Changes all round now with Palace bringing on Eze and Edouard for Schlupp and Mateta.
Liverpool, meanwhile, introduce Firmino and Fabinho in place of Jota and Alexander-Arnold.
67th min: Gakpo picks out an eye-of-needle pass to put Jota in on goal but the Portuguese can’t get the ball under his spell and the hosts clear.
Palace then head straight up the other end where the lively Olise tempts Henderson into bundling him over on the edge of the box before wasting the free-kick.
62nd min: Palace break through Olise, who feeds Ayew on the right-hand side and then makes himself one of two options in the middle.
Unfortunately, the delivery is a poor one that floats straight out of play.
57th min: Matip forces Guaita into a save with a left-footed effort from close range after a scramble at a corner.
Liverpool turning the screw slightly now, as evidenced by Jota also firing over from the subsequent set-piece.
49th min: Liverpool hit the woodwork again!
Jota takes a swing at an Alexander-Arnold delivery before a block from Andersen diverts the ball to Salah, who then tries a first-time effort that comes straight back off the crossbar.
That was the visitors’ best move so far and they are unfortunate it didn’t bring about a goal.
46th min: Liverpool get the game restarted and they have replaced Naby Keita with Harvey Elliott at the break.
HALFTIME: An even first half comes to a close at Selhurst Park.
Liverpool had the best of the opening exchanges and hit the post through Jota, but Palace worked their way back into it from there and went on to strike the bar through Mateta.
42nd min: Palace hit the bar!
Alexander-Arnold makes a mess of trying to shield the ball from Schlupp, who nicks it before teeing up Mateta.
Unfortunately for the Frenchman, he puts too much on the strike and it clips the crossbar before flying over.
40th min: Olise volleys a ball back across goal and Keita is somewhat fortunate to see it go wide after deflecting off him.
Liverpool fashion an attack from the subsequent corner, however, which ends with Salah lofting a weak attempt to Guaita.
36th min: Naby Keita commits yet another foul and he is surely on thin ice having picked up that early yellow card.
Moments later, Palace charge up the pitch through Olise, whose cross from the right only narrowly evades three onrushing teammates.
30th min: After much waiting around, Alexander-Arnold takes curls a free-kick after a Salah backheel only for Henderson to inadvertently block it with his head.
That was going in, no doubt about it.
26th min: Now Clyne sees yellow for bringing down Jota on the edge of the box after the Liverpool man had controlled a brilliant Alexander-Arnold ball in behind.
It looks a harsh one, in truth, with the Crystal Palace defender seemingly having done enough to get around his man to win the challenge.
24th min: Olise wins the foul and then follows it up with a fine free-kick delivery that Guehi heads agonisingly wide.
He really should have done better there.
23rd min: Naby Keita the first man in the book as he cynically pulls at Michael Olise’s shirt after brilliant feet from the Palace man.
22nd min: Liverpool hit the post!
A free-kick delivery finds Matip at the back post, and he attempts to tee up Jota on the other side of the goal with a lofted, sidefooted pass.
However, the angle is far too tight for the Portuguese, and the best he can do is to nod the ball against the upright.
18th min: An Andy Robertson cross falls nicely into the path of Diogo Jota, but his controlled, powerful attempt is straight at Vicente Guaita.
14th min: Alexander-Arnold gifts the ball to Mateta just outside the Liverpool area but the striker’s attempt to chip Alisson is deflected wide.
A huge opportunity for the hosts.
10th min: Gakpo drives forward from deep and waits until the perfect moment to slip in Salah only for the Egyptian’s finish to slide the wrong side of the near post.
Liverpool have started well here and that was arguably their most promising moment.
7th min: Liverpool controlling possession in these early stages but they don’t have a lot to show for it yet. Palace looking well organised and jumping out aggressively to press whenever they get the chance.
1st min: Crystal Palace get us under way.
5 mins from kickoff: Here come the teams at a typically atmospheric Selhurst Park.
25 mins from kickoff: Well, if Liverpool endure their now-customary away-day struggles this evening, it won’t be down to a lack of experience in their starting XI.
40 mins from kickoff: Diogo Jota making his first start since October for Liverpool this evening and he has a big job on in replacing Darwin Nunez, who had really started to hit his stride of late.
1 hr from kickoff: Here’s the team news, with the biggest surprise coming in the form of Darwin Nunez’s omission through injury.
2 hrs from kickoff: Hello and welcome to The Sporting News’ coverage of Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool at Selhurst Park. The visitors have their sights set on sustaining a recent surge towards the Premier League’s top four with a win here, while their opponents are out to halt a woeful run of form that has seen them fail to win any of their past eight games.
Eze curls the free-kick in, and nobody can bring it down. It’s Ayew that gets the final header towards goal, but Matip puts it out for a corner, which comes to nothing.
Crystal Palace vs Liverpool
It finishes goalless between Palace and Liverpool. The Reds dominated most of the game, and struck the woodwork in both halves through Jota’s header against the post and Salah’s swerving effort off the bar. Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Jota and Salah all forced saves out of Guaita, but couldn’t find a way past him. Palace didn’t manage a single effort on target in the game, though came close through Mateta just before the break when Mateta also struck the crossbar.