<
>

Philippe Coutinho in sparkling form as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 4-2

Brilliant in attack but careless at the back, this was standard fare from Liverpool. The Reds were dazzling at times, though, and fully deserved the three points to keep level at the top on points with Manchester City and Arsenal.

Positives

Once again, some of the attacking football was breathtaking, but the way Liverpool regrouped in the second half and ensured there were no further defensive mishaps will have surely pleased Jurgen Klopp. For all the criticism they get for their defending, Liverpool have seen out several games this season when they were put under pressure.

Negatives

Giving away two bad goals could have proved costly on another day. While the first goal can simply be put down to an uncharacteristic error by the normally dependable Dejan Lovren, the second goal once again highlighted Liverpool's vulnerability on crosses.

Manager rating out of 10

Jurgen Klopp, 8 -- The biggest selection question for the German ahead of the game was whether to start with Georginio Wijnaldum or Emre Can in the middle of midfield. He elected to go with Can and that decision was vindicated as his compatriot opened the scoring and performed well throughout. He also made the right substitutions at the right time.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Loris Karius, 6 -- The first goal Liverpool conceded was clearly Lovren's fault, but Karius may have kept it out if he'd not jumped with his hands by his sides when it was clear that the only way James McCarthur was going to score was by putting it over the keeper's head. Made a couple of decent saves in the second half that will hopefully help his confidence though.

DF Nathaniel Clyne, 7 -- Spent much of the first half rampaging forward into the space created by Sadio Mané's clever movement. After the break he was less adventurous as the Reds looked to control the game and tighten up. Made one terrific clearance to take the ball off the toe of Yohan Cabaye.

DF Joel Matip, 8 -- Another impressive showing from a man who has yet to taste defeat as a Liverpool player. Cool in possession, positionally sound and strong in the air, he even managed to get himself a goal. He might prove to be the signing of the season.

DF Dejan Lovren, 7 -- Made a dreadful mistake to let Palace back into the game but immediately made amends by going forward and outmuscling Scott Dann to restore his side's lead. After that he was typically solid and dependable.

DF Alberto Moreno, 7 -- Recalled to the side in place of the unwell James Milner, the Spaniard created the opener for Can and almost got himself on the scoresheet with a powerful drive that struck the post. Defensively he battled well against Wilfried Zaha and was generally sound, although he needs to do more to prevent crosses coming in.

MF Jordan Henderson, 7 -- Diligent and energetic in his work protecting his back four and also passed the ball well, not least when he split the Palace defence wide open to send Roberto Firmino clear to make it 4-2.

MF Emre Can, 8 -- Got on the scoresheet after making a good run into the box and that's something he needs to do more of. He used the ball efficiently and in the second half played his part in the improved defensive showing from the team. Picked up a very harsh booking but didn't allow that to quell his competitive edge.

MF Adam Lallana, 6 -- Started the game brilliantly and made several dangerous runs ahead of his forwards to cause problems in the Palace defence. Was much less of a factor after the break when much of his best work came in a defensive capacity, and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Wijnaldum for the closing stages.

FW Sadio Mané, 6 -- Not his best performance but was still a threat with his pace and determination. Unselfishly put a chance on a plate for Coutinho late on when he could easily have gone for goal himself.

FW Roberto Firmino, 8 -- Led the line with his customary intelligence and great movement and got the goal his performance deserved when he superbly clipped the ball over the keeper to give Liverpool a two-goal cushion that they never looked like relinquishing. Needs to keep his shirt on after scoring though as that needless yellow card could prove costly later in the season.

FW Philippe Coutinho, 9 -- A brilliant display from the little Brazilian who led Palace a merry dance all game. His set-piece delivery was tremendous and with a little bit of luck he'd have come away with a goal or two as well as the man of the match award.

Substitutes

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, NR -- Could consider himself a little unfortunate not to have started but acquitted himself well after replacing Lallana.

FW Divock Origi, NR -- Given a late run out as Klopp elected to withdraw Coutinho to give him the ovation from the travelling Kopites that his performance deserved.

DF Ragnar Klavan, NR -- Sent on in stoppage time to waste some valuable seconds and to help deal with any desperation long balls Palace launched towards the Reds penalty area.