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Reds Column IV

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs Crystal Palace

The brace from Sadio Mané helped Liverpool Fc (The Reds) beat the visitors Crystal Palace Fc 2-0 in the Premier League and finish third place in the Premier League 2020-21 Table.

For the final game of the Reds campaign, Jürgen Klopp opted to name an unchanged line-up that faced the hosts Burnley Fc.

After recovering from their respective injuries; Captain Jordan Henderson and Diogo Jota were named on the bench.

The Reds looked to end their Injury-plagued Season on a high by qualifying for the Champions League next season with a win over the Eagles at Anfield in front of the 10,000 home fans.

Following an assist from Alex McCarthy, Alisson Becker came to rescue very early in the game as the Brazilian denied the effort from Wilfred Zaha in the 4th minute.

The Reds again started the game poorly and the weather also caused problems with the high ball as it was very windy.

As such, the Reds needed to get the ball down and pass it around for a bit to get themselves quickly in to the game.

After a foul by Georginio Wijnaldum on Andros Townsend, Alisson again produced another fine save to deny the resulting free kick from Andros Townsend in the 6th minute.

Andros Townsend looked to score the opening Goal from outside the box for the Eagles but his effort was again denied by Alisson after being assisted by Jairo Riedewald in the 13th minute.

Vicente Guaita denied the shot from Salah following an assist from Thiago in the 23rd minute.

The Reds played well during the early parts of the match but their finishing was a letdown.

Mané prodded home the opening Goal for the Reds from a close range to the right side of the net after a neat assist from Roberto Firmino following a corner kick from Andrew Robertson in the 36th minute.

Shortly afterward, the header from Rhys Williams was high following a corner kick.

The First Half ended with the Reds leading 1-0 and looked to be en route to securing their Champions League berth for the next Season.

Following an assist with a cross from Andrew Robertson, the looped header from Roberto Firmino was tipped over by Vicente Guaita in the 53rd minute.

The Reds knew that a second Goal would kill the game off and ease off any nerves.

In the 71st minute, Alexander-Arnold picked up a Yellow Card for his challenge on Jordan Ayew. But Jordan Ayew also picked up the Yellow Card for his altercations with Alexander-Arnold.

Mané doubled the Reds advantage as the Senegalese struck his effort but the ball got deflected off Gary Cahill to the bottom left corner following an assist by Mohamed Salah in the 74th minute.

James Milner picked a Yellow Card for his tackle on Jeffrey Schlupp in the 86th minute.

Alisson made a fine save to deny the shot from Gary Cahill following an assist by Andros Townsend with a cross in the 86th minute.

Deep in to the Injury Time, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Diogo Jota were brought on to replace Firmino and Robertson.

The Reds went on to seal a comfortable 2-0 home win over the Eagles and finished third in the Premier League 2020-21 Table.

Even though it was not a vintage Reds performance, the visitors were treated with a fine performance by the home side and more importantly the Reds secured Champions League for the next Season against all odds.

Despite losing to the hosts Aston Villa Fc 2-1, Chelsea Fc sealed the fourth-spot as Leicester City Fc lost their home clash 2-4 to Tottenham Hotspur Fc.

By scoring 22 Goal in the Season; Tottenham Hotspur Fc Star Harry Kane edged Mohamed Salah to win the Premier League Golden Boot of the Season.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 7: The Brazilian was alert to the Eagles threat and made solid saves. His positioning was impeccable.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7: Was troubled by Zaha early in the game but the Englishman looked threatening on the overlap.

Rhys Williams – 6: The youngster looked nervy and sent a free header over the post in the First Half. Regained composure and improved after the Second Half.

Nathaniel Phillips – 6: The Englishman like Rhys Williams also looked troubled but defended well especially winning his Ariel duels.

Andrew Robertson – 7: The Scot looked energetic on the Left Flank and provided plenty of energy alongside Mané.

Midfield:

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: In what might be his final game for the Reds, the Dutchman looked determined and energetic besides shielding the defence.

Fabinho – 7: Started the game slowly but soon found his groove. The Brazilian did well to shield an inexperienced backline.

Thiago Alcântara – 7: The Spaniard once again dictated the proceedings with superb range of passes as the Reds were in cruise control in the midfield.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 8: Scored a brace and the Senegalese looked like his old menacing best besides looking energetic and feeling buoyed by the Home Fans.  

Roberto Firmino – 6: Besides linking well with Mané  and Salah, the Brazilian was on the periphery and his touch led to the opening Goal.

Mohamed Salah – 7: His efforts were denied the stout Clarets Defence but the Egyptian was a constant threat on the right flank.

Substitutes:

James Milner – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact but the Veteran was brought on to see off the game.

Diogo Jota – N/A: Just Game Time.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A: Just Game Time like Jota.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 9: The Gaffer resisted the temptation and stuck with the same side that defeated the hosts Burnley Fc.

Klopp would be hugely relieved that the Reds ended their injury-stricken campaign on high by clinching an improbable third spot in the Premier League 2020-21 Table.

After losing 6 successive home games that seriously threatened to derail the Reds Season; few would have thought of Reds clinching the Champions League spot.

Wijnaldum got his well deserved Anfield farewell (shortly after the final whistle) as the Reds Players and Staff lined-up a Guard of honour for the Dutchman.

Besides the applause from his Teammates, the remaining spectators inside the Anfield Stadium showed their heartfelt appreciation to Wijnaldum.

In addition; the 30 year old was also presented with a commemorative plaque of the ‘Champions Wall’ which features the number of trophies won in the Reds history.

The Reds can now look forward to another Season playing in the Champions League.

 

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