What was supposed to be a memorable last game at Anfield for Liverpool’s captain Steven Gerrard soon turned into a nightmare as Crystal Palace romped to a 3-1 victory over the Reds. After Liverpool opened the scoring through Adam Lallana, Palace responded with three goals of their own with Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray getting on the score sheet.
Before the game, the Anfield faithful were in full cry to honour their long standing captain Steven Gerrard and it seemed to rub off on the players as Liverpool made a dominant start to the match. The Reds looked fired up with tons of energy and were initiating all the attacking play early on but didn’t create any decent chances. The best move came in the 19th minute when Lallana and Jordan Henderson combined but the Palace defender stopped Henderson from taking a shot.
In the 23rd minute, Yannick Bolasie cut in from the left wing and fired in a shot which took a deflection and nearly crept inside the posts. Liverpool would take the lead in the 26th minute when Adam Lallana capitalised on a mistake from the Palace defence and calmly slotted the ball past the Palace goalkeeper. Joe Ledley almost equalised immediately after the restart but he ballooned his shot over the bar. Jason Puncheon then made a great run through the middle and played the ball to Bolasie, who fired his shot over the bar. In the 32nd minute, Puncheon then forced a great save out of Mignolet, with a shot that was destined for the back of the net. Palace were exerting relentless pressure on the Liverpool goal, with the pace and skill of the Palace front three giving the Reds defence a torrid time. Palace’s pressure would pay off just before the break, when Bolasie was brought down just outside the box. Jason Puncheon stepped up and scored a well placed free-kick to make the score 1-1. It was a well deserved goal for Palace and the teams went into the break with the scores level.
Palace came out of the 2nd half flying and nearly had a chance to score with their first move of the half. Palace had two penalty calls turned down after Martin Skertel looked to have handled the ball and then fouled Lee Chung-yong in the box. It was end to end stuff with both teams playing attacking football. In the 60th minute Wilfried Zaha was brought on as a substitute and he made an immediate impact when he scored the goal that put Palace 2-1 ahead. The goal came when Bolasie tricked his way past the Reds defenders on the right wing and put in a cross that was tapped in by Zaha. Bolasie was at it again when he dribbled past the Reds defenders and fired a shot past Mignolet but was denied by the cross bar. The Liverpool defence could not cope with Bolasie’s presence and he looked the most likely to increase his side’s lead. The Reds kept on pressing for the equalising goal but it would be Palace who would increase their lead in the 90th minute. Zaha was brought down in the box and Glenn Murray’s penalty was initially saved by Mignolet but Murray scored from the rebound. The Crystal Palace supporters were in full cry and the Liverpool supporters were stunned into silence. But before the final whistle blew, the Liverpool supporters gave their captain Gerrard, a standing ovation, to honour the service he had given to the club. Gerrard would not get his ideal Anfield send off as Crystal Palace walked away with a well deserved 3-1 victory.