THERE is clearly something wrong if you cannot even beat Palace.

Jurgen Klopp’s side, still battered and bruised after their Champions League battering by Real Madrid, delivered further proof of the major problems within this team – and why Liverpool will surely struggle to finish in a top four spot.

Cody Gakpo had the best chance to grab a winner


Cody Gakpo had the best chance to grab a winnerCredit: Reuters
Jurgen Klopp's week went from bad to worse


Jurgen Klopp’s week went from bad to worseCredit: Reuters
Jean-Philippe Mateta is one of several Crystal Palace players whose confidence looks shot


Jean-Philippe Mateta is one of several Crystal Palace players whose confidence looks shotCredit: PA

Against Palace, who had not won in any of their seven Premier League matches in 2023, the Reds created a few chances but did not deserve to win.

Because here in south London was an unbelievably-bad Premier League match between two teams who look shot to pieces.

Without looking at the table, this meeting of seventh versus 12th could easily have passed for a relegation scrap.

Klopp enjoyed encouraging wins over Everton and Newcastle but the 5-2 thrashing by Real Madrid was a more accurate reflection of where this team is at.

Liverpool must surely beat Wolves in their game in hand at Anfield on Wednesday. Equally, if they play like this at home to Manchester United next Sunday, things could get a bit messy.

Klopp made four changes from the Real match – with Darwin Nunez and Joe Gomez both injured – but it did not really make much difference.

This Liverpool team still looks unrecognisable from the one which came within a week and two games of winning four trophies last season.

So many of the players have suffered a huge dip in form and this was a difficult watch although Patrick Vieira’s team did show plenty of commitment.


The Reds had a bit more about them when Harvey Elliott replaced Naby Keita for the second half but it was still nowhere near good enough.

Alisson was guilty of a howler at Anfield on Tuesday and every time the ball was passed to his feet, he treated it like a bomb.

Admittedly, Klopp has not been helped by injuries though Diogo Jota was welcomed back for a first start since October 16.

Liverpool have certainly missed the 2021-22 version of Jota who scored 21 times. Although even before his autumn calf injury, the Portuguese international had failed to score in any of his 11 games and he missed a couple of chances here.

Palace striker Jean-Philippe Mateta is another forward having a tough season, putting it mildly.

He wasted two great first half chances and considering he had only scored once in 22 games previously, it is no surprise that his confidence also looks to be in ruins.

Mateta could have got Selhurst Park firing early on when he should have done much better than force a save from Alisson.

Liverpool were punished for some silly defensive mistakes against Real Madrid and they got away with another one which came after Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold made a mess of passing it around the back.

Had that chance fell to Vinicius Jnr, we all know what the outcome would have been.

Liverpool took 18 minutes to manage a shot on goal and when it came, Jota got some power on the effort but it was straight at Vicente Guaita.

Jota had an even better chance but one yard out, headed Matip’s clever cross onto the outside of the post.

What summed up Liverpool’s first half was when Alexander-Arnold’s goal-bound free-kick was deflected wide for a goal-kick by Jordan Henderson.

Marc Guehi wasted a good chance but missed with a header but the main culprit of the first half for Palace was Mateta who lifted a shot against the bar.

This came after Jeffrey Schlupp overpowered Alexander-Arnold who once again struggled and there is going to be a point, surely, when Klopp takes him out of the firing line.

It will be interesting if Gareth Southgate includes the defender in his England squad for the Euro2024 qualifiers against Germany and Ukraine next month.

Mo Salah fired a first-time shot against the bar at the start of the second half so if you include Jota’s earlier effort, Liverpool have now hit the woodwork 14 times – the same as Newcastle.

Alexander-Arnold’s cross-shot saved was by Guaita but apart from that, Liverpool created nothing until the final 10 minutes when Cody Gakpo pushed a shot wide when he was clean through.

For Palace, this was not the worst result in the world even though they are really struggling in the final third.

Equally, it is now eight League games without a win for Vieira. They have still only managed five points in 2023 and their last win was away to Bournemouth on December 31.

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A few more games without a win and he will be under major pressure.

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