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Elliott Shatters Palace With Late Winner

For 75 minutes Liverpool were abject, insipid, inept – take your pick. Yet, somehow, they eventually took the opportunity to top the Premier League, with goals from Mo Salah and then Harvey Elliott, who came off the bench to score an injury-time winner.

A lot of possession, as at Sheffield United, but an alarming lack of creativity. A midfield simply not up for the battle and just about every player taking too many touches, lacking intensity, and a lethargy that infected the whole team. Wataru Endo, Ryan Gravenberch and Dominik Szoboszlai looked a mile off the pace. Palace, meanwhile, ran faster and further, showed physicality and, frankly, more desire to gain a positive result.

Even before falling behind to a blatant penalty early in the second half, after an absurdly lengthy VAR check, Liverpool could have been behind. Only a world-class save from Alisson Becker and a penalty, overturned by yet another VAR check, had spurred their blushes. Yet, they failed to learn the lesson.

Maybe a fourth game in 10 days caught up with the side, but something had to change in the second half, even if it was just the officiating. Officiating that ultimately cost Crystal Palace the game. Yes, VAR correctly awarded them a penalty, but the sending off of Ayew, for a second yellow, changed the momentum of a match that the home side had control of. Just 98 seconds later, Salah scored his 200th goal for Liverpool. From that moment, there looked to be just one winner.

Having already made changes, with Cody Gakpo and Joe Gomez introduced for an out-of-sorts Luis Diaz and Gravenberch, up stepped Elliott. So often more effective from the bench, so it proved once again. Driving forward and committing defenders, he created space for a stunning strike in the 91st minute that left the keeper helpless. Liverpool though were again to be grateful for another superb save from Alisson, as the 10 minutes of injury time wound down. The Brazilian once again underlining his credentials as the best goalkeeper in the league.

So, prior to Arsenal’s late kick-off, Liverpool top the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp though, will know his side were lucky today. Yes, coming from behind to win is a sign of a winning mentality and Liverpool have done it more often than anyone thus season. However, you cannot continue to smash and grab and Liverpool will need to up their game approaching a busy Christmas schedule.

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