Liverpool-Crystal Palace Live: Reds Settle For Draw After Second-Half Collapse

Glen Johnson and Luis SuarezFinal, 3-3: The game ends in a draw. Liverpool players, particularly Suarez, are stunned, distraught and in a state of total disbelief.

It took Crystal Palace just 11 minutes to score three goals and potentially ruin Liverpool’s title dreams. Delaney’s 79th-minute goal breathed new life into the game and whipped the home fans at Selhurst Park into a frenzy. Crystal Palace players responded by increasing the tempo and striking two more times to secure what could become the most famous point in Premier League history.

Nothing in the first 75 minutes suggested this would happen, as Liverpool was up by three goals and firmly in control of proceedings. Suarez and Sturridge added to Allen’s first-half goal, and the Reds were cruising.

The Reds then inexplicably fell apart as Crystal Palace stormed back into the game. They misplaced passes, sliced clearances and wilted under the heat of the moment. It was Liverpool’s worst collapse in nearly 14 years.

The point takes Liverpool back to the Premier League summit, but their reign at the top could be short. Manchester hosts Aston Villa on Wednesday, and it can take a two-point lead in the race for the title. That scenario would leave Liverpool needing a win (against Newcastle at Anfield) and a Manchester City loss (against West Ham at the Etihad Stadium) on Sunday — the final day of the season — to win its first domestic title since 1990. It’s unlikely, but who’s to say that it won’t happen in the strangest, most unpredictable and utterly enthralling Premier League season in ages.

Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez

That’s all for now and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.

90th minute +4, 3-3: Liverpool fails to score in a goalmouth scramble that seems to last for an eternity.

90th minute, 3-3: The fourth official indicates that there will be five minutes of added time in this amazing second half.

88th minute, 3-3: Gayle scores another one. It’s tied at Selhurst Park.

Dwight Gayle, Jon Flanagan and Simon Mignolet

Murray made a chest pass to Gayle who was storming forward, and the second-half substitute slots his shot under Mignolet for Crystal Palace’s third goal in quick succession.

86th minute, 3-2 Liverpool: Liverpool has gone from chasing Manchester City to holding on for dear life — all in a span of three minutes.

The Reds are under immense pressure after Crystal Palace’s pair of goals. The home fans are bouncing, and the players are responding by controlling the ball and pinning Liverpool deep in its own half.

Moses, a former Crystal Palace player, replaces Sturridge.

Ince, a former Liverpool player, replaces Dikgacoi.

80th minute, 3-2 Liverpool: Gayle scores, and Crystal Palace has clawed its way back into the game.

Britain Soccer Premier League

Bolasie dribbled down the left side into the Liverpool area and passed to Gayle, who beat Mignolet with a first-time shot to the far post.

79th minute, 3-1 Liverpool: Delaney scores one for the hosts. His long-range shot deflected off of Johnson and sailed into the top corner.

78th minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Coutinho comes on for Sterling in Liverpool’s first substitution.

76th minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Sturridge found Sterling in the penalty area, but Crystal Palace defenders blocked Sterling’s shot.

71st minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Pulis replaces Chamakh with Murray.

68th minute, 3-0 Liverpool: The Reds’ goal-scoring exploits have claimed another record.

65th minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Gayle replaces Puncheon, as Crystal Palace makes its first substitution.

64th minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Skrtel is cautioned for a foul on Chamakh. The two have been battling throughout the game.

55th minute, 3-0 Liverpool: Suarez makes it three for the Reds.

Sterling carried play into the Crystal Palace area and quickly exchanged passes with Suarez, who slotted his shot past the advancing Speroni.

It was Suarez’s 31st goal of the season, tying Cristiano Ronaldo’s and Alan Shearer’s record for most goals in a 38-game Premier League season.

Liverpool looks hungry for more, as it looks to cut Manchester City’s lead in goal differential.

53rd minute, 2-0 Liverpool: There it is. Sturridge gives Liverpool a two-goal lead.

Sturridge received Gerrard’s pass and dribbled at the top of the Crystal Palace area before shooting with his left foot. The shot appeared to deflect off of two defenders before beating Speroni.

51st minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Liverpool comes ever so close to doubling its lead.

Sterling broke forward on the counter-attack and laid it right to Sturridge, who hit a curling, left-footed shot which Speroni saved. The rebound fell to Suarez, but the Uruguayan went for power and sent his shot high over the crossbar.

51st minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Suarez is cautioned.

46th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: The second half is underway.

Halftime, 1-0 Liverpool: The first period is over. Liverpool takes a lead into the dressing room.

As expected, Liverpool controlled possession and territory but found it difficult to breach the Crystal Palace defense from open play. The Reds took the lead in an unlikely situation due to the heroics of an unlikely goal scorer. Allen picked the perfect time to score his first goal for Liverpool, as it eased the pressure on the visitors and allowed them to play with freedom.

Crystal Palace is showing the form which has taken it to safety. The Eagles are organized and compact in defense, making it hard for Liverpool to break forward with speed. When Crystal Palace goes forward, it goes quickly. This causes problems for Liverpool by making its pressing game less effective. Liverpool likes to recover the ball within five seconds after losing it, but Crystal Palace is already charging toward the Reds’ third of the field by then. Mignolet has made the saves when called upon. Otherwise, Crystal Palace could have a deserved goal of its own.

The second half will continue in the same nervy mood. It might change if and when Crystal Palace decides to commit more players forward or if either team makes an error and concedes another unexpected goal.

44th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Liverpool carve out another opening in the Crystal Palace area, but Allen’s shot sails high and wide.

42nd minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Suarez shoots from an impossibly tight angle, and Speroni gets down and saves it at the near post.

35th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Jedinak shoots from distance, and Mignolet does well to save it over the crossbar.

Liverpool defenders dropped off, allowing the Crystal Palace midfielder to tee up his dipping shot.

33rd minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Puncheon’s left-footed shot from 20 yards out forces Mignolet to make a diving save. Puncheon shot through Sakho’s legs, and Mignolet didn’t see it until the last moment.

30th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Mariappa is cautioned for a hand-ball.

Suarez curls the ensuing free kick a few feet wide of the goal.

28th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Allen’s goal was unexpected, considering his lengthy goal drought, Crystal Palace’s prowess at defending set pieces and, of course, his height.

25th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Allen is cautioned after bringing down Chamakh.

22nd minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Ledley and Skrtel clashed heads. Both players are down and receiving treatment.

18th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Allen heads Gerrard’s corner home, and Liverpool jumps out in front.

Ledley was marking Allen, but lost him after a pair of blocks. Gerrard’s ball arrived, and Allen easily nodded it in from six yards out at the back post.

It’s Allen’s first league goal as a Liverpool player, and it comes in his 50th league appearance for the club. The Welshman hadn’t scored a league goal since April 2012 when he was a Swansea City player.

15th minute, 0-0: Gerrard finds Johnson’s diagonal run with a perfectly lofted ball into the Crystal Palace area, but the Liverpool fullback heads over the crossbar as Speroni was closing in on him.

Eighth minute, 0-0: Sakho has a free header off of Gerrard’s corner kick from seven yards out. But he can’t direct it on target. Sakho holds his head in his hands in disbelief.

Seventh minute, 0-0: Bolasie appeared to foul the marauding Johnson in the penalty area, but the referee dismissed the Reds’ penalty appeals.

Fifth minute, 0-0: It has been an up-tempo start, as Crystal Palace has shown a willingness to attack Liverpool along with its usual defensive stability.

While Liverpool hasn’t established a passing rhythm, but soloists Suarez and Sturridge have already launched early, fruitless raids into the Crystal Palace penalty area.

First minute, 0-0: The game is underway at a rocking Selhurst Park.

Pregame: The lineups suggest this will be another clash of styles.

Liverpool will face a tactical challenge similar to the one it faced against Chelsea last weekend.

Like all of Pulis’ teams, Crystal Palace will be well-organized, hard-working and tough to break down. The Eagles will defend deep and look to score on counter-attacks and set-pieces rather than playing expansive soccer, which would be disastrous against Liverpool.

Liverpool will look to blitz Crystal Palace in the first half and put the game away early, as it has done so often this season. The Reds need to cut down Manchester City’s lead in goal differential. History suggests that it’s possible.

Sturridge returns to Liverpool’s starting lineup for the first time since April 13. The striker has fully recovered from the hamstring problem he picked up against Manchester City.

Sterling retains his place in the starting lineup, and Coutinho drops to the bench.

The rest of Liverpool’s team is settled.

2:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups:

Crystal Palace

Julian Speroni (1), goalkeeper
Joel Ward (2), left back
Scott Dann (6), center back
Damien Delaney (27), center back
Adrian Mariappa (3), right back
Kagisho Dikgacoi (8), midfielder
Mile Jedinak (15), midfielder
Joe Ledley (28), midfielder
Yala Bolasie (7), midfielder
Jason Puncheon (13), forward
Marouane Chamakh (29), striker

Substitutes

Wayne Hennessey (26), goalkeeper
Danny Gabbidon (19), defender
Jonathan Parr (4), defender
Stuart O’Keefe (12), midfielder
Tom Ince (11), midfielder
Dwight Gayle (16), striker
Glenn Murray (17), striker

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet (15), goalkeeper
Jon Flanagan (38), left back
Mamadou Sakho (17), center back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Glen Johnson (2), right back
Steven Gerrard (8), midfielder
Joe Allen (24), midfielder
Lucas Leiva (21), midfielder
Raheem Sterling (31), forward
Daniel Sturridge (15), striker
Luis Suarez (7), striker

Substitutes

Brad Jones (1), goalkeeper
Kolo Toure (4), defender
Daniel Agger (5), defender
Aly Cissokho (20), defender
Philippe Coutinho (10), midfielder
Victor Moses (12), forward
Iago Aspas (9), striker

1 p.m. ET: Liverpool can edge its nose out front in this tightest of Premier League title races Monday.

Liverpool travels to Selhurst Park in London to face Crystal Palace in its penultimate game of the 2013-14 season. The second-place Reds trail Manchester City on goal differential, but they can retake first place — for at least two days — with a victory.

After taking charge in late November, Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis steered his team around the relegation trap door by winning 11 of 24 games. The stingy Eagles have won five out of their last six games and conceded just five goals in their last eight games. As always, Crystal Palace will provide a noisy backdrop, as their heroes look to win their final home game of a successful campaign.

Meanwhile, Liverpool has enjoyed unparalleled road comforts this season. It hasn’t lost a road game in 2014, and victory against Crystal Palace would be its seventh straight road win, setting a new club record. But the Reds aren’t looking to win for the sake of the streak. They’re eyes are firmly fixed on the ultimate prize — Premier League glory.

Monday’s game kicks off at 3 p.m. Join us right here for all the action from Selhurst Park.

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