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December 11 2023 2.21am

Reds nick hard-fought win

April 2 2018

A familiar sight at Selhurst of late….

A familiar sight at Selhurst of late….

A backs-to-the-wall fixture against Liverpool sadly ended in yet another defeat by one goal to two. Jamesey reports.

It seems as though the injury blight which has dogged the Eagles squad this season has now spread to the HOL team.

The scene - one recent morning at Tooting Broadway Underground Station. Your sprightly veteran commentator misjudged his hop onto a train and crashed heavily to the deck.

The outcome - A and E. Fracture Clinic. X-rays. Broken shoulder bone. Arm in sling. Severe leg bruising.

Despite being pretty well immobilised, I'll continue here with the aid of HD streams, press and online reports and friends' accounts, etc. So here we jolly well go…

No rational supporter thought it would be easy and with the string of four games against the elite outfits culminating in a 1-2 defeat against Liverpool (Mar 31) it certainly hasn’t been.

References to the famous movie 'Groundhog Day' have been flying around and just in case there is anyone who doesn’t quite get it, the film deals with the repetition time after time of the same sequence of events.

The events, of course, point to the Eagles' performances against three out of four of the Loadsadosh League's top clubs where something could have been grabbed but wasn't due to an inability to hang on.

As one would expect, Palace played defensively and conceded the lion's share of possession to the Reds (in black and white strip) but early in the game the irrepressible Wilfried Zaha was fouled in the area by the Scousers keeper.

I never thought I'd find much to like about Serbia but I do now after that war-like nation's son, Luka Milovejovic, unerringly stuck another penalty away to give the home side a 1-0 lead and hope.

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After a Sadio Mane effort was ruled offside the Liverpool striker was yellow-carded for diving but later in the match not sent off for hand ball.

It was all bewildering for mere mortals like us but the Eagles were able to hold their advantage until the half-time whistle.

The big problem with industrial defence is that it only needs one slip-up to be breached and with a certain inevitability, a few minutes into the second period, Mane equalised.

Palace’s lofty hopes of a victory were revised to a draw and not long before the end, the 'Groundhog' reared its ugly snout and who else but the Egyptian goal pharaoh, Mohamed Salah, cleverly scored to give the Scousers the three points.

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Palace boss Roy Hodgson was quick to dispel the notion that despite four games against the big hitters have ended in four defeats, the hard stuff is out of the way and the Eagles can start picking up points in the so-called ‘winnable’ six remaining fixtures.

Every club at the wrong end of the table will be scrapping to stay up in the top tier and every game will be as tough as the Liverpool one, the manager emphasised.

For a 70-year-old, Roy still has a fine head of hair so it is surprising not to see great clumps of it torn out after the performances of a couple Palace stars.

It is, of course, very unfair to scapegoat individual players but two former Liverpool men must take a sizeable share of blame for this defeat.

Christian Benteke and Mamadou Sakho both came to SE25 carrying a massive weight of expectation on their respective shoulders. The club invested hugely in both their transfer fees and wages so it was horrifying to see how poorly they performed against their former paymasters,

Benteke squandered two gilt-edged chances which most top strikers would have gobbled up with grateful thanks while two silly defensive blunders from Sakho were big factors in both Scouser goals.

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It leaves the Eagles with teeth gritted and all hands to the pump towards that 6th consecutive season in the big time.

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