Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah scored his 29th Premier League goal six minutes from time to secure a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace that took them up to provisional second spot in the table on Saturday.
Palace took an early lead with Luka Milivojevic’s seventh successful penalty this season after Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius had charged into goal-bound Wilfried Zaha and was booked.
Sadio Mane made up for missing some first-half chances by giving Liverpool a deserved equaliser early in the second half, tapping in James Milner’s loss cross from the left.
Palace striker Christian Benteke was guilty of two bad misses against his former club in quick succession before Salah struck to leave the hosts mired in the relegation fight.
Liverpool went a point ahead of Manchester United but the latter reclaimed second place after beating Swansea City at home later in the day. Palace remain two points above the relegation zone.
“Maximum credit to my players,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said after marking his 100th Premier League game with victory. “It’s very difficult after the international break because we are all used to a specific training intensity and then the players go away to different teams.”
Klopp felt Sadio Mane should have been given a penalty instead of a yellow card for simulation in the first half. But he agreed the Senegalese international could have received a second yellow after deliberate handball when he felt he had been fouled. “It looked like a clear penalty. Yes he goes down late but there was contact there. For me it’s a penalty and no yellow card,” he said.
“The second one is a foul on Sadio and yes, he puts his hand on the ball, which is a second yellow, so we were lucky in that instance.”
Palace’s Roy Hodgson, the Liverpool manager for just over six months in 2010-11, was left to rue another late home defeat after suffering the same fate against Manchester United earlier this month.
“It feels like a groundhog day when we play against the top teams,” he said.
“It’s very disappointing for them to get the winning goal so close to end of the game.
“In the second-half we played well and controlled the ball and created better chances, but we also conceded both goals.”