Liverpool compensated for its defensive errors with a fine attacking display to beat Crystal Palace 4-2 and remain among the leading pack in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Only an inferior goal difference means Liverpool is behind Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the standings. Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, and Roberto Firmino inflicted Palace’s third successive loss.
Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno replaced the absent James Milner to secure his first league start since losing his place after the opening day of the season, and he required only 16 minutes to exert his influence.
Receiving Philippe Coutinho’s pass on the left wing, Moreno sent a one-touch cross into the path of Can and the midfielder shot first time from inside the area beyond goalkeeper Steve Mandanda into the bottom right corner.
But two minutes later Lovren, under little pressure, sliced a clearance back toward his own goal. James McArthur capitalized, running into its path and routinely heading the first of his goals over goalkeeper Loris Karius.
It took only three minutes for Liverpool to restore their lead. From the excellent Coutinho’s 21st-minute corner, Lovren responded to his earlier error by jumping and powerfully heading his team back into the lead from directly in front of goal.
Amid more unconvincing defending in the 33rd, McArthur again brought Palace level. Wilfried Zaha was allowed to cross to the midfielder, who beat Lovren to possession to score his second header of the game.
From another Coutinho corner in the 44th, Lovren’s central defensive partner, Joel Matip, headed Liverpool back into the lead when the well-placed Mandanda should have saved when allowing the ball between his hands.
Then in the 71st, Jordan Henderson’s long-range, classy through-ball sent Firmino one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and the Brazilian responded by superbly chipping Mandanda to double Liverpool’s lead.