Aug 19, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​Anfield
Attendance: 53,138
Crystal Palace
Mane (73')
Henderson (69')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Puncheon (15'), van Aanholt (63'), Benteke (92')

Live Commentary: Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace - as it happened

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp watches on during his side's Premier League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on January 15, 2017
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's live text coverage of Liverpool's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, as Sadio Mane's second-half strike proved the difference.

Sadio Mane scored the only goal of the game as Liverpool battled to a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

The Reds, who had lost this home fixture in each of the previous three seasons, netted 17 minutes from time after a quick exchange of passes set Mane free.

Visiting keeper Wayne Hennessey made a number of stops, particularly late on, but Palace will feel that they perhaps could have taken something from the game as Christian Benteke wasted a big chance when the scores were level.

Relive how the 90 minutes of action unfolded with Sports Mole's live text coverage below.

2.00pmHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live text coverage of the Premier League meeting between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield. Both sides picked up disappointing results on the opening weekend of the new campaign; the Reds being held to a 3-3 draw away to Watford, while the Eagles went down 3-0 against newly-promoted Huddersfield Town on home soil.

2.02pmNo denying that it was a disastrous start to life in English football for Frank de Boer, who now needs to galvanise his players for this tricky trip to the red half of Merseyside. The good news for today's visitors is that they have a very impressive record at Anfield in recent years, winning here three seasons in a row, but the Reds themselves need to produce a big display after last week's frustration.


STARTING XI: Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Sturridge

SUBS: Karius, Lovren, Flanagan, Can, Salah, Solanke, Origi

2.06pmThe big team news as far as the hosts are concerned is that Daniel Sturridge comes in for his first starts of the 2017-18 campaign. The injury-prone striker pulled up with a slight problem during the pre-season tour of Germany and has been forced out since then, but he was knocking on the door for a return this afternoon and has been given the nod by Jurgen Klopp to lead the line.

2.08pmSadio Mane and Roberto Firmino retain their places in attack, likely either side of out-and-out forward Sturridge, with Mohamed Salah the man to make way. There are a further four changes made elsewhere, meanwhile, as Andrew Robertson - so far made to watch on from the stands since joining - is integrated into the fold at full-back, while Joe Gomez slots in on the other side. Fresh legs the order of the day for Klopp, it seems!

2.10pmRagnar Klavan is handed a starting berth in the centre of defence alongside Joel Matip, who is the only surviving defensive member from that last outing. James Milner is the fifth and final change, likely taking up a spot in his more traditional central-midfield role alongside Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum. It is far from a vintage Reds side, truth be told, but Klopp is already keen to rotate at this early stage.


STARTING XI: Hennessey; Fosu-Mensah, Dann, Tomkins; Ward, Milivojevic, Puncheon, Van Aanholt; Townsend, Loftus-Cheek, Benteke

SUBS: Speroni, Schlupp, Kelly, Cabaye, McArthur, Kaikai, Lokilo

2.14pmSwitching focus to the away side, De Boer has made two changes from the 3-0 loss to Huddersfield a week ago. James Tomkins and Andros Townsend are the two new faces in the starting lineup, taking over from Jairo Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha, the latter of whom is likely to miss the next month of action due to an injury sustained in that real shocker of a defeat on the opening weekend.

2.16pmYohan Cabaye and James McArthur were in contention to feature this afternoon after returning to the field for the Under-23s side earlier this week, and they are deemed fit enough to take up a place on the bench. There is no place in the squad for the other player to make way, though, with Riedewald presumably missing out today due to an injury issue. De Boer is expected to go with a 3-4-2-1 system.

2.18pmThis is a formation that could well get the best out of Benteke if they wing-backs remain high up the pitch, while Andros Townsend and Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek will tuck into more central positions to feed the big man up top. Benteke has proven pedigree at this ground, even if he did not succeed during his short time with Liverpool, as he has scored five times here in three visits as an opposition player.

2.20pmLiverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has, somewhat surprisingly, heavily rotated his side by making five changes - that coming after naming the same XI in his side's first two outings. Andrew Robertson is among those to come in for his competitive debut, while Daniel Sturridge is also deemed fit enough to feature for the first time this season. Fewer changes for Crystal Palace, meanwhile, as Andros Townsend and James Tomkins both return.

Daniel Sturridge warms up ahead of the Premier League game between Liverpool and Manchester City on December 31, 2016© SilverHub

2.22pmLiverpool looking to bounce back this afternoon following last week's disappointing 3-3 draw at Watford, then, although they did show some good character by picking up a deserved 2-1 win against Hoffenheim in the Champions League in midweek. That first-leg playoff win stands them in good stead to qualify for the group stages, with the return fixture to be played here on Wednesday night.

2.24pmThe six-goal thriller this time last week summed up exactly what we already knew about Liverpool - impressive in attack but defensively suspect, which will need to be resolved if they are to seriously challenge for the title. Yet again the Reds were caught out by set-piece plays at Vicarage Road, seemingly unable to keep the ball away from the net whenever a dangerous delivery comes into the danger zone.

2.26pmSpeaking to the club's official website a few moments ago, Klopp explained that he was forced into making today's mass changes somewhat due to the increased workload this term. Trent Alexander-Arnold in particular, the German claimed, was in need of a rest this afternoon. This was always going to be the case, of course, with European football bringing with it additional matches, but the one way around it is to bring in more players. Maybe that message will now hit home

2.28pmFor Liverpool in particular the additional demands will surely be felt, having badly faded come the turn of the year last season. They were will in the title picture come December 31, remember, when edging out Manchester City at Anfield, only for an incredible slump in form to see them drop well off the pace and exit both domestic cup competitions in the space of a month or so.

2.30pmManagers will always aim to learn lessons from previous campaigns, good or bad, and if that is the case for Klopp then he will know exactly what players need to be brought in. The problem the German has, however, is that RB Leipzig and Southampton are refusing to budge on the sales of Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk respectively and, judging by newspaper reports, the Reds do not really have any back-up players in mind.

2.32pmIn fact, with 12 days of the summer window left to go, it is outgoing activity that is dominating the headlines as far as Liverpool are concerned. Philippe Coutinho is wanted by Barcelona, which is often bad news when it comes to Premier League clubs. Despite the Reds' reluctance, supposedly knocking back a third bid of close to £120m this week, it seems almost inevitable that their chief playmaker will be plying his trade at Camp Nou this time next month.

2.34pmLiverpool really cannot afford to further slip up this afternoon, particularly with supporters starting to grow a little concerned, as they face Arsenal and Manchester City over the next fortnight. The Merseyside outfit boasted an impressive record against the teams around them in the table last season, so maybe overcoming bogey side Palace today - three wins in a row here for them - is the bigger of those three upcoming challenges.

2.36pmThirty-nine points from the final 48 on offer in 2016 is the type of form that Liverpool now need to replicate but, as touched upon, it is difficult to see them maintaining that over the course of the campaign, even without the demands of European football. Defensively they still look all over the place at times, not helped by Klopp's reluctance to give Mamadou Sakho - formerly on Palace's books - another chance in the heart of defence.

2.38pmDID YOU KNOW? Liverpool conceded as many goals last weekend against Watford as they did in their previous seven Premier League matches combined. It is a slightly surprising stat considering how weak the backline looks at times, though they saw out 2016-17 in an impressive manner by keeping clean sheets in five of their last six. Crystal Palace, surprise surprise, were the only side to net in that run.

2.40pmLiverpool again looked shaky at the back when defending last weekend in their 3-3 draw with Watford. The Reds have shipped 27 goals from set pieces (excluding penalties) since Jurgen Klopp took charge - only Crystal Palace and Watford, both with 28, have fared worse during that time. It goes without saying, then, that any free kick given away close to the opposition box today will likely spell trouble.

Stefano Okaka scores the opener during the Premier League game between Watford and Liverpool on August 12, 2017© Offside

2.42pmAfter finishing 14th last season following a real relegation fright, Palace entered this season as somewhat of an unknown quantity. The exit of Sam Allardyce caught many by surprise, including chairman Steve Parish, but rather than going for another steady option in the dugout he instead opted to bring in Frank de Boer. The Dutchman enjoyed plenty of success during his time at Ajax, winning four titles in five years, though he lasted just 85 days in his last position.

2.44pmThat Inter Milan job did seem like a bit of a poisoned chalice at the time, though, with De Boer simply not given enough time to truly put his spin on things. The ex-Ajax chief is blessed with plenty of attacking options in this Palace side, though the loss of pacy winger Wilfried Zaha, likely being without the Ivory Coast international for the next month, is a big blow so early in the season.

2.46pmLike Liverpool, though, at the back they are very shaky, having let in three to begin the season at home to Huddersfield - their heaviest opening-day defeat since losing 6-1 to Liverpool in 1994. Losing the curtain-raising fixture should not have come as too much of a surprise to Palace supporters, however, as they have witnessed their side pick up maximum points on matchday one just once in six seasons now - four of the last five ending in defeat.

2.48pmDe Boer has now won just one of this last eight games, meanwhile, spanning across to that disappointing spell with Inter, so he will be desperate to get his managerial career firmly back on track in South London. The Dutchman actually turned down the Liverpool job five years ago after Kenny Dalglish departed, insisting that he never gave leaving Ajax a second thought as he was still under contract.

2.50pmGoing back to that theme of goals conceded, a worrying 63 were shipped in all last time out and that could well be a figure they reach once again if last weekend is anything to go by. That was with the impressive Sakho in their backline, too, with De Boer suggesting earlier this week that a move for the Frenchman could still be on the cards. Not a great deal is known about fellow defender Riedewald, who is absent today through injury.

2.52pmLoftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are the other two captures so far this summer, both boasting more Premier League experience following their spells with Chelsea and Manchester United. Palace did well to land both on season-long loan deals, offering both a chance to potentially play regular football over the next nine months or so. You get the impression that De Boer still wants more additions, with 12 days of the window left to run.

2.54pmAfter getting through six bosses in the last five years, Parish will be keen to give De Boer a chance to put his spin on things. That will be easier said than done in the short term, however, as the Eagles take on Liverpool, Man United and Man City away, before then facing Chelsea immediately after the second international break of the season. A daunting start for the new man in charge; one that begun in the worst possible manner.

2.56pmPREVIOUS MEETINGS! Both sides have netted in each of the last 10 meetings in all competitions, averaging a combined 3.9 goals-per-match. Crystal Palace have won three in a row at Anfield in the Premier League and will now look to become the first side in Premier League history to make it four. Christian Benteke scored twice to earn the Eagles a 2-1 win here in April in the last encounter, making it three in five against Liverpool as an opposition player.

2.58pmWith kickoff at Anfield now less than two minutes away, let us check out some pre-match thoughts from both camps.

Jurgen Klopp: "The only thing we know is it's a tough game. Probably both teams were not overly happy [with their opening weekend]. We were not really disappointed about our first game but it was how a first game can be. There are things to improve and it's always like this, but even then we could've won which I think everybody knows. For Crystal Palace it was a little bit different. They want to strike back I'm sure but, again, it's Anfield and we have to show this."

Frank de Boer: "Hopefully the negative impact of the 3-0 loss [to Huddersfield] is gone. It will be a difficult game at Liverpool but we will do our best. Liverpool have fantastic players. It will be a very strong team that they put out. They are very dangerous in attack. Jurgen Klopp has selected the players to capitalise on winning the ball in key areas. The strength of this club is in the fans being supportive of the team. They understand things won't change in one day."

Ajax's head coach Frank de Boer gestures during the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Celtic and Ajax at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 22, 2013© Getty Images

1 minKICKOFF! Following a well observed minute's silence for the events that unfolded in Catalonia over the past couple of days, Crystal Palace get us up and running at Anfield. Liverpool, remember, have lost this fixture three seasons in a row.

3 minGood spell of possession for the hosts early on, culminating in Henderson swinging in a cross from deep. Well read by Hennessey, who was able to get off his line and get his hands on the ball in front of a Liverpool player.

5 minFive changes made by Klopp today so it will be interesting to see how quickly they click, particularly as Robertson and Sturridge have minimal minutes under their belts in recent weeks. Van Aanholt lost his bearings but recovered well.

7 minA decent free-kick delivery into the box, which Loftus-Cheek heads clear. The Reds, as expected, seeing pretty much all of the ball in these opening stages of the match. Still awaiting the chance and shot of the afternoon.

9 minPalace have seen more of the ball in their opponents' half of the field over the past couple of minutes. It leads to Townsend drawing a foul from Milner, with the free kick likely to be swung straight into the mixer.

11 minCHANCE! First opportunity of the afternoon, and it falls the visitors' way. From the right-sided free kick, Tomkins - one of two players to be brought into the side today - headed high and wide unmarked from 10 yards. Ominous signs for the Reds!

13 minSAVE! Liverpool's chance to create a chance, as a quick exchange of passes sets Milner free in the box. The angle was against the versatile midfielder, but he still opted to take on the shot and tested Hennessey down low.

15 minLiverpool have seen more of the ball in dangerous positions but they are far from dominating. Palace will be looking to catch out their opponents on the counter, while those dangerous set-piece crosses will also come in handy.

17 minCHANCE! Glorious chance for Matip to open the scoring at Anfield after getting on the end of Robertson's cross. From close range the centre-back was favourite to score, but he made the wrong connection with his head and the ball ended wide.

19 minYELLOW CARD! Liverpool just starting to turn the screw a little as Mane gets involved in the game, but Palace have held firm so far. Prior to Mane's burst forward, Puncheon was shown the game's first caution for a late challenge on Gomez.

21 minA Palace free kick from 30 yards out is struck straight into the Liverpool wall. The ball quickly came back into the box but Loftus-Cheek could not quite pull the trigger and the Reds just about managed to clear their lines.

23 minThe visitors constantly looking for the run of Benteke down the left. You expect to see the big Belgian in the centre, but with Palace sitting back they need their most advanced player to work the channels and hold the ball up.

25 minBenteke's smart movement again almost pays dividends, with Liverpool upset not to see the offside flag go up, but in the ends the attack breaks down when a cross is cleared to safety. Very balanced match over the past five or 10 minutes.

27 minNearly a third of the match played and it is still pretty balanced on the whole. The defences have done well enough when crosses have come into the box, with just the one half-chance for Palace and a better opening for Matip at the other end.

29 minOne shot on target so far at Anfield; Milner testing Hennessey down low with a rather tame attempt. This is a fixture that usually sees goals aplenty, but no real sign of a breakthrough over the past 10 minutes on Merseyside.

31 minGood work from Sturridge to work a yard of space on the edge of the box, but he then smashes it high over the bar. That was pretty much his biggest involvement on the match so far, with the Reds' frontline not having a great deal of joy.

33 minOver a third of the match now played and we are still in a position where both teams are cancelling each other out. Klopp has the creative Salah on his bench and could well turn to him if it remains this way at the half-time interval.

35 minThis contest at Anfield is turning into a bit of a slog now. The longer is stays like this the happier Palace will be, though there is still a long, long way to go. Still just the one shot on target combined at both ends of the field.

37 minCHANCE! A good cross into the box is dealt with by Dann, at the expense of a corner. It is taken short to Robertson, who sends in another peach of a delivery right to the boot of Mane. The Senegalese, under pressure from Ward, could not make proper contact from five yards out.

39 minSturridge goes down under minimal contact from Puncheon 20 yards from goal, earning Liverpool a free kick in a great shooting position. Milner and Sturridge stood over it, with the latter eventually blasting it straight into the wall.

41 minSAVES! The game has just opened up as we enter the final throes of the first half. Firmino forced Hennessey into a stop and then, moments later, Puncheon was denied at the other end of the field when being played in on the left.

43 minRobertson, Liverpool's best player on his competitive debut, gets in around the back once again on the end of Milner's pass. A decent enough cross but Hennessey got down well to collect before a player in red could get on the end of it.


3.48pmNot a great deal between the two sides at the midway point, as referee Kevin Friend blows his whistle to signal the end of the opening 45 minutes. Neither of these sides have kept a clean sheet in the last 10 meetings between the sides, but they are both on course to do so today.

3.51pmThere was plenty of focus on both sides' defensive ranks heading into this match, having each shipped three times in last week's opening round of fixtures, but chances were at a premium in a quiet first half. James Tomkins, returning to the starting lineup due to a Jairo Riedewald injury, headed wide 11 minutes in from a right-sided free kick. Far from being a sign of things to come, though, it was Liverpool who just about edged things with chances of their own for James Milner and Joel Matip.

3.54pmMilner opted to take on the shot from an angle when slipped through and only managed to fire straight at Wayne Hennessey, while Matip could not direct his header on target from close range. Andrew Robertson set up that big opportunity and, on what was his competitive debut for the club, proved to be the liveliest player down the left-hand side in the first half.

3.57pmRobertson's cross 37 minutes in was crying out for Sadio Mane to volley home from five yards out, but the Senegalese - under a bit of pressure from Joel Ward - failed to make the desired contact. Hennessey and Simon Mignolet were tested late in the half in quick succession, with Jason Puncheon blasting a shot on target seconds after Roberto Firmino was denied at the other end.

4.00pmWill Jurgen Klopp or Frank de Boer be tempted to make a change at the break? More likely in Liverpool's case, you feel, as they have Mohamed Salah, Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi among their back-up options.

LIVERPOOL SUBS: Karius, Lovren, Flanagan, Can, Salah, Solanke, Origi

CRYSTAL PALACE SUBS: Speroni, Schlupp, Kelly, Cabaye, McArthur, Kaikai, Lokilo

Divock Origi of Liverpool in action during the UEFA Europa League group B match between Liverpool FC and FC Sion at Anfield on October 1, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.© Getty Images

46 minRESTART! We are back under way at Anfield, where the scoreline remains locked at 0-0. No changes made by either manager at the break, though we can surely expect that to change in Liverpool's case if it remains this way on the hour.

48 minThe Reds in behind within a couple of minutes of the restart, with Dann doing well to cut out this latest cross into the centre. More urgency about the home side now, really getting at Palace to ask some serious questions of their defence.

50 minPalace not simply sitting back, as they get the ball forward and swing it into the box towards an offside Benteke. They have a knack of beating Liverpool on Merseyside and, for as long as it remains goalless, they could well do it again.

52 minRobertson loves crossing the ball - you can hardly blame him because he so often finds his target. This latest delivery from the left was rather too close to Hennessey, however, allowing the Welshman to get behind it at his front post.

54 minMatip continues his run forward and is sent crashing by Fosu-Mensah when reaching the edge of the box. A similar position to the free kick in the first half, around 20 yards from goal, which Milner this time sends spinning over the crossbar.

56 minSAVE! Liverpool well and truly dominating since the restart, winning a second corner for Milner to take. It is half-cleared as far as Sturridge, whose volleyed attempt from 23 yards out is well dealt with by Hennessey. Firmino flagged for offside from the rebound.

58 minCHANCE! Benteke has just squandered the type of chance he would have dreamed of. Great work from Loftus-Cheek to get into the box and shrug off his man, before looking up and picking out Benteke, who failed to pick out the target from close range.

60 minThe second half has been far more entertaining than the first, as Firmino now tries his luck from range. The angle was against him, though, with his fizzed attempt flying past the upright. Chances for both teams over the past few minutes.

62 minSAVE! Another decent save from Hennessey at full stretch, this time to push aside Henderson's shot which looked destined for the bottom corner of the net. Robertson failed to do any damage from the follow-up attempt.

64 minLIVERPOOL SUB! Salah has been introduced in place of Sturridge, meaning that Firmino will likely shuffle across into the middle. Liverpool enjoying their best spell of the afternoon, but just cannot get the ball over the line.

66 minYELLOW CARD! Patrick van Aanholt the second Palace player to see yellow. Atmosphere starting to build around Anfield now as home supporters desperately attempt to drag their players over the line. A quarter of the match to play.

68 minThat Liverpool sub has actually disrupted their flow a little. The hosts are still the team on top and do look as though they have a goal in them, but Palace are doing exactly what is required to stay on level terms for the time being.

70 minA high ball into the box is missed by Salah, who went crashing to the ground when up against Van Aanholt. Smallest of shouts for a penalty, but replays show that there was nothing in it. The Reds need to find some of that momentum again.

72 minYELLOW CARD! Chelsea loanee Loftus-Cheek has been impressive in the Palace midfield this afternoon, thriving when given a couple of games to prove himself, with his burst halted by Henderson to see the Liverpool man booked.


75 minLiverpool at last have their breakthrough goal! Solanke was brought off the bench and, a minute or so later, the ex-Chelsea man was able to return the ball back to Mane following a quick one-two. The Senegalese did the rest, prodding past Hennessey from close range.

77 minCRYSTAL PALACE SUB! McArthur is now on for Puncheon as Palace are forced to change their mentality a little. The Eagles were having to hold on in the build-up to that goal, and now they have just 13 minutes to respond.

79 minCRYSTAL PALACE SUB! Sullay Kaikai is the next player for De Boer to turn to, being given a rare chance to impress. Both teams now have one more alteration available to use, with the game currently being broken up a little.

81 minA first corner of the match for Palace at this late stage, which they fail to make the most of. Robertson then stumbled to give away a second in quick succession but, after initially going short, Mignolet came well off his line to collect.

83 minDefinitely a sign that Palace are starting to drag momentum back their way. Still time for them to create a chance for Benteke, which has been in short supply this afternoon. The Belgian did have one big opening, though, which he squandered.

85 minSAVE! A chance for substitute Salah to wrap up the win, only for his back-post header to end right in the path of Hennessey. A few nervous fans in the home stands, as they know that Palace have a habit of netting late in this fixture.

87 minSAVE! Almost a perfect long ball for Mane, but Hennessey raced out to clear. Firmino perhaps could have done better when getting on the end of the loose ball, though he could almost blast down the middle for Hennessey to save.

89 minCRYSTAL PALACE SUB! Schlupp is on for Van Aanholt and Dann has been shoved up top alongside Benteke - quite clear what tactics Palace are going to deploy late on here. Cannot blame them, either, because it so often works.

90+1 minSAVE! The chances keep on coming for Liverpool, as Dominic Solanke is this time denied by Wayne Hennessey down low. Could they live to rue these misses? Hennessey is there again to keep out Robertson from the next attack.

90+3 minSAVE! Lovren has come on for Firmino with Liverpool looking to see out the final 60 seconds of added-on time. Salah's curler towards the top corner the latest shot for Hennessey, Palace's best player today, to help aside.


4.56pmReferee Kevin Friend blows for full time, meaning that Liverpool are up and running with their first three-point haul of the season. The Reds were made to work hard for the victory, eventually finding a way through 13 minutes from time against a stubborn Crystal Palace thanks to Sadio Mane's close-range finish.

4.58pmThat concludes Sports Mole's live text coverage of events at Anfield. An on-the-whistle report can be found by clicking here, while updates from the late Premier League kickoff between Stoke City and Arsenal can be viewed here. Thanks for joining!

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