English Premiership

Benteke comes back to haunt Liverpool

2017-04-23 19:52
Christian Benteke (Getty)

Liverpool - Liverpool old-boy Christian Benteke stunned his former club with both Crystal Palace goals in a 2-1 win at Anfield on Sunday denting the home side's top-four Premier League ambitions.

Benteke handed a massive boost to Palace's survival hopes with a goal in each half to cancel out Philippe Coutinho's brilliant opener for the Reds and turn the game on its head.

Liverpool paid £32m for Benteke when they signed him from Aston Villa in 2015 but sold him to Palace for £27m a year later.

The 26-year-old Belgian made them pay for that decision with goals in the 42nd and 74th minutes that moved Palace seven points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

But defeat left Jurgen Klopp's side in third place just two points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City and three ahead of Manchester United in fifth.

Both Manchester clubs have two games in hand in the scrap for Champions League places, meaning Liverpool's fate is no longer in their own hands.

Liverpool's forwards turned on the tricks and Roberto Firmino's clever spin away from two Palace defenders sparked an attack.

He attempted to spread play wide for Coutinho, but Georginio Wijnaldum inadvertently ended the move by getting in the way.

Palace had offered little attacking threat but on 21 minutes they almost stunned the hosts when Benteke bullied his way towards goal.

The Belgian international striker shrugged off defenders and exchanged passes neatly with Wilfried Zaha before bending a right-footed shot just wide of Simon Mignolet's goal.

When the opening goal came, it came in real style in the 24th minute.

Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic was penalised for a foul on Coutinho, who dusted himself down before bending a brilliant right-footed free-kick past a helpless Wayne Hennessey and inside his right-hand post from 25 yards.

Palace hit back to equalise with a wonderful, counter-attacking goal three minutes from half-time.

Joel Ward's clever ball over the top dropped perfectly into the stride of Yohan Cabaye, who delivered a delicious cut-back from the right for Benteke to produce a crisp, first-time finish at the far post.

Coutinho might have stamped his mark on the second half after just five minutes with a superb drag-back in the Palace area to engineer some space.

But he blasted his shot high and wide.

He then produced some more magic to weave away from both Martin Kelly and Ward but this time his effort was deflected behind.

Coutinho should have restored Liverpool's lead on 57 minutes but his header from a Nathaniel Clyne cross was tame and straight at Hennessey.

Just before the hour-mark a fabulous pass by Lucas freed Firmino but his first touch was just too heavy and Hennessey made a crucial interception.

Out of nowhere, Cabaye missed a chance to give Palace the lead with 19 minutes remaining.

The ball dropped to the Frenchman in a goalmouth scramble and he scooped a shot just over from eight yards.

But there was no mistake moments later when the visitors stunned Anfield.

A right-wing corner by Andros Townsend was not cleared by Liverpool and Benteke headed home from a couple of yards.

Liverpool pinned Palace back in the closing stages but could not force an equaliser as Palace held on to win at Anfield for a third successive season.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 31 March 2018
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 13:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Burnley, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v AFC Bournemouth, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 18:30
Sunday, 01 April 2018
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Saturday, 07 April 2018
Everton v Liverpool, Goodison Park 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.