By 90Min
August 21, 2018

We've seen this Liverpool side tear teams apart. We've seen Jurgen Klopp's Reds, spurred on by their prolific trident up top, take a five goal lead in a Champions League semi final. When they're on it, they can be one of the best attacking teams in the world, if not the best. 

So, for Crystal Palace to come away from Selhurst Park on Monday night with just a 2-0 defeat, that and the Eagles' performance in itself should be one to be proud of. 

Before you question why a loss is something to be proud of, a bit of context is needed. These are two teams in vastly different positions, one fighting for survival, one fighting for the title. 

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Liverpool's 2-0 victory did not come from them being the utterly dominant side, sweeping an inferior Palace side under the table with ease.

Instead, Roy Hodgson's men can be proud of a game in which they limited the Reds to needing a soft penalty and a 93rd minute goal to grab the three points, after ten man Palace had committed all men forward in search of an equaliser. 

Palace were resilient, mature and diligent in their defensive work throughout the evening, limiting Klopp's men to feeding off scraps in the final third. On the few occasions they did breach a solid Palace backline, the persistence of young star Aaron Wan-Bissaka snuffed out any danger. 

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The 20-year-old full back put in another phenomenal display against some of the league's top attacking players; his talents are so key to the side that many a Palace fan would've perhaps been wishing he'd just let Mohamed Salah run through on goal as to avoid a ban, but Wan-Bissaka doesn't think like that. 

The Selhurst Park faithful will be familiar with this kind of defensive performance having seen it for a number of years, most notably when Tony Pulis was in charge and then again under Sam Allardyce. 

However, on Monday night, Palace's usual attempts to simply soak up the pressure and look to go on the counter attack had developed. Under Hodgson, there's no panic to simply hoof it up to Christian Benteke and look to play off the pace and power of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend. 

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Nowadays, the Eagles are calmer in their approach play. They possess ball players all over the pitch, comfortable with dribbling out from the back and playing passes into feet; it is because of this, perhaps, that we've witnessed Benteke's talents become nullified in recent times. 

Palace showed that they weren't solely focused on limiting the Reds' goalscoring chances. This was a game where both sides went head to head in search of the upper hand. 

You only need to look at Townsend's effort off the bar, coupled with a few fine saves from Alisson Becker, to know that Palace were well in the game against a much fancied Liverpool

With their juggernaut squad and scintillating attacking play, Liverpool may have arrived at Selhurst Park too early in the season for the Eagles to get anything on Monday night. With that, there comes no shame, for Klopp's men are gunning for Manchester City's title. 

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Having made their mistakes last night, albeit only slight ones, for the remaining 36 Premier League games we should see a wary Palace side armed with more knowledge of how to deal with such opponents. 

One thing is for certain, however. When the likes of ArsenalChelsea and Manchester United arrive in SE25 this season expecting the three points, they will almost definitely have another thing coming. 

Play like they did on Monday every week, and the Eagles could be in for a very promising season.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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Eagle (-2)
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