Eze and Palace deal Liverpool big blow to title chance


Nicol: The Premier League title is gone for Liverpool

Steve Nicol assesses Liverpool's Premier League title hopes after their 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.

Liverpool's quest for a Premier League title in manager Jurgen Klopp's final season with the team suffered a huge blow with a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday that left them third in the table.

Eberechi Eze scored in the 14th minute to stun the Anfield faithful in the third consecutive disappointing result for Liverpool. Klopp's men are even on 71 points with second-placed Arsenal, who were playing later Sunday, and two behind provisional leaders Manchester City.

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"I would say with the chances we had, we were really unlucky," Klopp told the BBC. "In the second half, Crystal Palace were lucky we didn't punish them, but that's why we are stood here with no points and Crystal Palace have three."

Tyrick Mitchell found Eze unmarked in the box after some good passing and the England international slotted home with his first touch to put Palace ahead.

"It's an outstanding win at Anfield, it's so difficult to win here," Palace boss Oliver Glasner said. "How they played, especially in the first half, is so nice to see. In the second half, there was a lot of pressure from Liverpool.

"It's about being able to express yourself and play with confidence. We cleared many situations under pressure with one-two touch. We scored an amazing goal. It's about confidence, team spirit, passion."

Curtis Jones missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise for Liverpool in the second half.
Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Poor finishing by Liverpool sealed their first league loss at Anfield since October 2022, and the television cameras captured young Liverpool fans wiping away tears in the stands after the final whistle.

Liverpool, who had 21 shots to Palace's eight, squandered a bagful of chances, including Curtis Jones' shot on a breakaway that he fired wide, prompting him to tug his shirt over his head in disbelief. Liverpool talisman Mohamed Salah hammered a close-range strike off a defender in the dying seconds.

"You could stand here on another day and see the same balls go in and we're talking about a 4-1 win, but football doesn't work like that," Klopp said. The German coach is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season after nine years in charge.

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Palace keeper Dean Henderson also made some remarkable saves, darting to stop a Darwin Núñez point-blank shot off his knee, among others.

"Coming to places like this, you know you're going to be busy. I'm delighted to be back this time around, it's a team effort," Henderson told the BBC.

"I felt like I was out there for about a year, we rode our luck at times but I'm delighted. I think the lads believed we could do something today ... the pressure was on [Liverpool]."

Palace could have doubled their lead in the first half when Jean-Philippe Mateta chipped past Liverpool keeper Alisson. The ball was bound for goal, but defender Andy Robertson sprinted back and slid to save it on the line just in time.

"So frustrating today. So many chances," Robertson told Sky Sports. "First half I thought we were poor and [Palace] were on top and could have been more than 1-0 up. Second half we had enough chances to win two or three games."

Palace, who are 14th in the table, ended a 10-match winless run on the road, their first away victory since November against Burnley.

Liverpool were coming off a 3-0 loss to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday and a costly 2-2 draw with Manchester United in their previous league game on April 7.

Arsenal entered Sunday's late game at home against Aston Villa with a chance to claim first place in the table.