Liverpool beat Palace, keep up City chase

Fabinho raises his arm in triumph after his goal sealed Liverpool's 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace.
Fabinho raises his arm in triumph after his goal sealed Liverpool's 3-1 victory at Crystal Palace.

Liverpool have reduced the gap at the top of the Premier League table to nine points after earning a hard-fought 3-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Maintaining their distant chase of champions Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp's men took control of Sunday's fixture with Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on target in the first half courtesy of Andrew Robertson assists.

But Patrick Vieira's side eventually woke up and reduced the deficit through Odsonne Edouard at the start of the second period.

In the end, it took a string of saves by Alisson Becker to earn the win with Fabinho adding a contentious penalty late on to confirm their victory.

It helps keep the title race alive after Manchester City dropped points with a draw against Southampton on Saturday.

This was Liverpool's fifth game without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane this month, as both are on international duty, and second in the capital within a matter of days after Thursday's win at Arsenal sent them through to the League Cup final.

But it proved a very different affair to the equivalent fixture last season when Liverpool won 7-0, a victory that Klopp called a "freak".

Set-pieces had proved costly for Palace in the Anfield meeting in September and it was Robertson's corner which created the opener this time after his cross was powered home by Van Dijk in the eighth minute.

Just after the half-hour, Robertson spotted the late run of Oxlade-Chamberlain into the area and picked out his teammate with a superb crossfield ball.

The Reds midfielder, back after a minor ankle injury, controlled on his chest and rifled in with aplomb to put the away side firmly in control.

Palace responded strongly after the break, Jean-Philippe Mateta beating the offside trap to collect Jeffrey Schlupp's excellent 55th minute through ball and unselfishly squaring for his strike partner Edouard to tap in for his sixth goal of the season.

In the dying minutes, Diego Jota went through one on one, but missed his kick and then collided into Vicente Guaita.

After referee Kevin Friend had waved away appeals, VAR called for the official to have another look and he duly pointed to the spot, with Fabinho tucking away the penalty with a minute left.

Elsewhere in the English top-flight on Sunday, Danny Welbeck grabbed a deserved point for Brighton as another Seagulls late show earned them a deserved 1-1 draw at Leicester.

The substitute levelled with just eight minutes left as the visitors again rescued a game which looked to be slipping away following Patson Daka's goal soon after halftime.

Graham Potter's side have scored after the 80th minute in five of their last nine games to snatch points.

At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal missed out on returning to the top four after being held 0-0 by bottom-club Burnley.

Alexandre Lacazette went closest for the Gunners in a drab draw, but really should have scored from an Emile Smith Rowe cutback which he struck wide midway through the second half.

Australian Associated Press