CHRISTIAN BENTEKE was the hero for Crystal Palace today as his two goals came back to haunt former employers Liverpool.
It gives the Eagles a huge boost in Premier League survival bid, but for Liverpool, the battle to cement a top-four finish goes on.
The Reds are now just three points clear of fifth-place Manchester United in the standings,
Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog
Philippe Coutinho put Liverpool into a 1-0 lead after 24 minutes – and in some style too.
The Brazilian was brought down some 25 yards from goal. He grabbed the ball, lined up the free-kick and curled home a beauty that beat the despairing dive of Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey all ends up.
But the home crowd were silenced in the 42nd minute by one of their old boys.
Benteke swept home following a fine flowing move after being laid in by Yohan Cabaye.
And it was that man again who was left unmarked following a corner to stoop and head home what proved to be the winning goal.
Facts, Stats, Goals and Lols
- SAM ALLARDYCE arrived at Anfield looking for a first – ever win as a Prem boss having failed on 13 visits, picking up just three draws.
- RHIAN BREWSTER, 17, the latest member of Klopp’s kindergarten to emerge on the bench is an England U-17 striker but the London – born kid is also eligible for Turkey as his mum is from the country.
- JOEL MATIP and Dejan Lovren started the Palace game unbeaten in the 13 Prem games they have started this season with eight wins and four clean sheets.
- CHRISTIAN BENTEKE collected his fourth goal in three games at Anfield as an opposition player – pity he couldn’t do it as regularly when he actually played for Liverpool.
- JAMES MILNER got it the neck from a furious Jurgen Klopp for sloppy play just after Philippe Coutinho’s opener – showing how important the German rated the Eagles clash.
- PHILIPPE COUTINHO’S brilliant free kick took him to ten Premier League goals for the first time since he joined Liverpool from Inter just over four years ago.
- MANCHESTER UNITED remain the only visiting team to keep a clean sheet at Anfield in a Premier League game during Jurgen Klopp’s time as Liverpool manager.
- NOT JUST Liverpool old boys back at Anfield in Christian Benteke, Martin Kelly and ineligible defender Mamadou Sakho – Nathaniel Clyne played 137 times for the Eagles.
- MAMADOU SAKHO upset a lot of Liverpool fans with big celebration after Christian Benteke’s equaliser – they were not happy because he is only on loan at Palace.
- MARTIN KELLY rode his luck on his return to Anfield – he caught Philippe Coutinho’s ankle as the Brazilian shaped to shoot in the 52nd minute with the Kop roaring for a pen.
Premier League – Watford (A), Mon 1 May
Premier League – Southampton (H), Sun 7 May
Premier League – West Ham United (A), Sun 14 May
Premier League – Middlesbrough (H), Sun 21 May
Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur (H), Wed 26 Apr
Premier League – Burnley (H), Sat 29 Apr
Premier League – Manchester City (A), Sat 6 May
Premier League – Hull City (H), Sun 14 May
Premier League – Manchester United (A), Sun 21 May
Dream Team Ratings
Liverpool: Mignolet 5, Clyne 6 (Grujic, 84 6), Matip 6, Lovren 6 (Alexander-Arnold, 79 6), Milner 6 (Moreno, 82 6), Can 6, Lucas 6, Wijnaldum 7, Firmino 7, Origi 6, Coutinho 7
Subs (not used): Karius, Gomez, Brewster, Woodburn
Goals: Coutinho (27)
Crystal Palace: Hennessey 5, Ward 6, Kelly 6, Tomkins 6, Schlupp 7, Milivojevic 7, Zaha 6 (van Aanholt, 78 6), Cabaye 7 (Delaney, 83 6), Puncheon 7, Townsend 7, C Benteke 8 (Campbell, 87 6)
Subs (not used): Speroni, Flamini, McArthur, Sako
Goals: Benteke (42, 74)
Booked: Benteke, Milivojevic
Star Man: Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)
What they said
Crystal Palace goalscorer Christian Benteke: “I said if I got the chance to score I wouldn’t celebrate, as I respect Liverpool.
“What happened before is behind me. I was motivated, we knew it was going to be hard to play against them, but I give all the praise to the lads for all their hard work.”
Andros Townsend: “We have made a habit of upsetting the big teams and we have done it again.
“It’s been hard work on the training pitch day in and day out.
“And secondly confidence, we came here today not fearing Liverpool, and we got a fantastic win.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: “At half-time it was 1-1, after one corner we miss one ball, and Christian is there and it’s an easy goal for him for the second.
“Then we do what Crystal Palace want us to do, play around the box, they put lots of people in the box.
“We had moments, possibilities to shoot, we could have done better, but we didn’t.
“We have to take it, it’s really harsh, really frustrtating. We have to bounce back, that’s very important.
“We have two days to recover from this, and we will, but if we want to go to Champions League, we have to win the last games.”