Liverpool edge out Crystal Palace in FA Cup fifth round tie
Liverpool came back from a goal down to record a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park to progress from the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The visitors started brightly, spurred on by a raucous away support and fashioned chances through Daniel Sturridge and Lazar Markovic, though neither could pick their spot. Appeals for a penalty to the Reds were then turned down, after debutant Pap Souare’s handball was deemed to be accidental, before at the other end the same thing happened with Martin Skrtel.
Just before the 20 minute mark, against the run of play, Palace took the lead. Joe Ledley lifted the ball into the box, and with Skrtel off balance, misjudged his header backwards as Simon Mignolet came out and reacted to a header from the onrushing Dwight Gayle. The Belgian’s point blank parry found Fraizer Campbell to gift him one of the easier goals he will score this season.
Not long after, Liverpool could have been level, after Coutinho found Jordan Henderson with a delightful ball, who in turn played in Adam Lallana. The 26-year-old’s drilled effort was saved superbly by Julian Speroni.
It was the second period which proved pivotal for the Reds, who came out firing. Not long after the restart, Henderson clipped a diagonal ball across the area, and Sturridge timed his run to perfection as he dispatched on the volley to grab the equaliser.
On the hour mark, the Reds went ahead. It was Lallana who reacted the quickest to a Mario Balotelli free-kick, whose low effort was spilled by Speroni, as he gave his team the lead.
In a fixture which has produced some shock comebacks, usually from Palace, it was Liverpool who demonstrated their bounce-back-ability here, and despite Alan Pardew throwing on Wilfried Zaha with 15 minutes to go, it was Liverpool who held out for the win.