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Four things spotted at Crystal Palace as triple Liverpool transfer need becomes painfully clear



Liverpool and Crystal Palace played out their dullest goalless draw at Selhurst Park, with Jürgen Klopp’s men once again failing. This is what we have seen.

SELHURST PARK, SOUTH LONDON // Liverpool never seemed to score, although to be fair, neither did Crystal Palace.

Jürgen Klopp made four changes to the squad that started the heavy defeat to Real Madrid, but Liverpool didn’t look fresh as a result.

Especially in the first half, they worked hard and looked apathetic, while quality and energy were equally poor. There were no goals in the first half and while both teams hit the bar – Palace first by Jean-Philippe Mateta then Liverpool by Mohamed Salah – neither ever looked truly dominant.

Here are the four things discovered during the game at Selhurst Park.

Waiting for attack continues

Diogo Jota hasn’t scored for 321 days but he has been the brightest spark in attack. Salah had a few moments but nothing lasted.

There were also some good touches from Cody Gakpo, but not enough to give hope that big opportunities were around the corner. The top three didn’t click

No goals were scored in the first half and although both teams hit the bar – first Palace, through Jean-Philippe Mateta and then Liverpool through Mohamed Salah – neither side looked truly dominant.

These are the four things saw as the match took place at Selhurst Park.

The pending attacks continue

Diogo Jota hasn’t scored in 321 days, but he was the smartest striker. Salah had a few moments, but it didn’t last.

There were also some good touches from Cody Gakpo, but not enough to give any hope that big opportunities lay ahead. The front three didn’t click, missing Darwin Núñez (who was out with a shoulder problem that surfaced against Newcastle but could play against Wolves again on Wednesday) and got nothing in the form of midfield support ground behind them.

The best chance of the first half came from a controversial free kick headed by Trent Alexander-Arnold before going off… by Jordan Henderson.

background fights

Defensively, the errors that plagued the Reds last time out remained. Alexander-Arnold and Joël Matip both had great chances and Crystal Palace were unlucky not to lead at half-time.

The hosts didn’t create chances, they put them on a plate and a better team – like Real Madrid last Tuesday – would have ripped Liverpool apart. For his part, Alexander-Arnold looked angry off-screen. He seemed distracted by something and the look on his face was one of frustration and anger from the first minute.

Shortly after the match started, he and his teammates delivered more than enough to warrant both emotions and more.

The Necessity of Triple Transference Made Painfully Clear

Naby Keïta, James Milner and captain Henderson started in midfield. The first two are unlikely to be at Anfield next season, while the third is unlikely to start playing as regularly as he has so far. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson. 

Keïta was anonymous in the attacking first half, being booked and clipped for the second half before being sent off. He will leave in the summer with such performances, which is why few will miss his presence in the squad.

It was the right decision to rest Stefan Bajčetić, who has been playing a lot of football lately and looks tired against Real Madrid, but Liverpool have so few quality options available.

At least two new midfielders will be needed at the end of the season; ideally three. Until then, they’ll have to limp as they are.

But that was another painful reminder of the short suffering the Reds will continue to endure until they have a whole new midfield, with Thiago Alcântara’s return from injury unlikely to be a long-term solution.

Harvey Elliott makes a difference

It came as a surprise that even with four starting lineup changes, Elliott couldn’t find his way into the lineup. When he replaced Keita at half-time, he made an instant impression.

Liverpool looked much quicker in possession and their creativity created chances that simply didn’t seem likely in the first period. His impact faded and eventually it was temporary and not enough, but he was definitely better than the guy he replaced.

On another gloomy evening, those few minutes into the second half were a rare period of positivity.

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