Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 1: Player ratings as Steven Gerrard struggles

Player ratings as Yannick Bolasie stars for the Eagles

By Brett Curtis
Crystal Palace
3
Liverpool
1

Crystal Palace

Julian Speroni The 35-year-old has been a mainstay at Palace for over a decade and it is easy to see why with such assuring performances. After being beaten in the second minute, he may have been anticipating a busy game but that was the only shot on target he faced all match. 6/10

Martin Kelly Playing against his former club for the first time, the one-time England right-back had a reasonable game, but was never tested by a direct opponent. 6

Scott Dann The boyhood Liverpool fan was once chased by the Reds during Kenny Dalglish’s second reign, and at £1.5m, he remains one of the biggest bargains of recent times. Strong and composed, something Liverpool are sorely lacking. 7

Damien Delaney The 33-year-old continues to defy the odds by playing at Premier League level after almost retiring two years ago but was injured here in the 35th minute. 6

Joel Ward The 25-year-old can play anywhere in defence or even central midfield, and continues to do a job at left-back this season. Like Kelly, had one of the easier games he will enjoy as a full-back. 6

Jason Puncheon The winger was a revelation last season but has struggled to make a similar impact in recent weeks. Plenty of effort – and fouls – as well as a tidy through-ball for the livelier Bolasie to strike over. Tracked well by Allen. 6

Mile Jedinak Typically strong midfield play helped create Palace’s opening goal as held off two opponents, while his unstoppable, curling free-kick sealed the match. A top-quality midfielder. 8

Joe Ledley Quieter than his midfield partner but he is always neat and tidy in possession and was exactly where you want your midfielder to be in scoring the crucial second. 7

Yannick Bolasie (Man of the match) Relished the lack of an opposing tracker to exploit the space behind Manquillo. His fizzed strike from distance rattled the post to fall kindly for Gayle’s goal and, after swapping sides, left Lovren on his bottom with a fabulous piece of skill before finding Ledley for the second. 9

Marouane Chamakh The Moroccan is one of Palace’s unheralded players in his deep-lying striker role, but he does a fine job linking midfield to attack doing the dirty work. 7

Dwight Gayle Liverpool were hit by a Gayle storm in May when the Englishman scored two in quick succession after coming on as a late substitute, and he was in the right place at the right time once again to pounce from Bolasie’s rebound for the opener. His pace gave Skrtel problems throughout. He will rightly expect more starts. 7

Substitutes

Brede Hangeland The Norwegian replaced Delaney. His height is always an asset in both boxes but his touch-tight style gave away a couple of free-kicks. 6

James McArthur N/A

Barry Bannan N/A

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet Perhaps a little slow to react after Bolasie’s strike hit the post but overall he is the least of Liverpool’s mounting problems at present. 6

Javi Manquillo Diligent worker, and actually coped reasonably well with Bolasie in one-on-one situations, but the nature of his manager’s instructions always meant there would be space in behind the Spaniard to be exploited. Lacks conviction going forward. 5

Martin Skrtel Shaky. Gayle’s pace clearly made the Slovakian nervous – it doesn’t take a lot for that to happen – and he struggled to cope throughout. Booked early in second half for cynical foul on Chamakh and gave away the free-kick for the third. 4

Dejan Lovren The Croatian has made more defensive errors than any outfield player this season, and he was made to look foolish by Bolasie for the second goal. Prior to that he had actually looked improved on recent (terrible) performances despite the calamity ahead of, and next, to him. 5

Glen Johnson Handed a start at left-back, which some consider his strongest position in recent years, but it failed to make a difference to the sluggishness which plagues his game. 5

Steven Gerrard The 34-year-old hardly looked like a man who’d enjoyed a two-week rest during the international break. He can still be an asset on the ball with his passing, but off it his ageing legs fail to provide the protection any struggling side needs. Where was he for Ledley’s tap-in? 4

Joe Allen Scored his first and only league goal to date for Liverpool here in that famous 3-3 draw six months ago, and he worked tirelessly down the left-side. Subbed late on and it came as no surprise that Palace subsequently had more space on the right, leading to the second goal. 6

Adam Lallana Bafflingly an unused substitute in Liverpool’s previous two league defeats, the £25m summer signing showcased his ambidexterity with a brilliant left-footed through-ball for Lambert’s opening goal. But his game fell off a cliff thereafter as struggled to make an impact from his deeper role. Subbed for Borini late on. 5

Philippe Coutinho The Brazilian was dubbed the “brain of the team” by Rodgers in pre-season, and his elusiveness posed problems to Palace throughout at the tip of the diamond. But where is the efficiency? 6

Raheem Sterling Something is not right with the 19-year-old and you wonder why he is still starting now, so vividly out of form, after being rested closer to the top of his game earlier in the season. Simply does not have the strength or wiliness – yet – to make an impact as a striker. 5

Rickie Lambert Handed only his second league start of the season, the big man instantly took his chance with a fine touch and finish in the second minute. Had two difficult headed chances later in the first half but he should have hit the target with both. 6

Substitutes

Fabio Borini N/A

Emre Can N/A

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