Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah doubles in demolition. Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool

Report and free match highlights as Takumi Minamino score his first Premier League goal; Sadio Mane nets in the seventh game in a row against Crystal Palace; Jordan Henderson also scores as Liverpool hit seven goals in an away top-flight game for the first time since March 1991.

Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both scored twice as Liverpool steamrolled Crystal Palace with a 7-0 victory at Selhurst Park to go six points clear at the top of the Premier League.

The tone was set inside three minutes when Takumi Minamino scored his first Premier League goal, slotting home after some good work from Sadio Mane. The Senegal international (25) then doubled Liverpool’s lead later in the half after Palace’s best spell of the game, netting with a crisp finish.

Firmino (44) added a third just before half time after a lightning counter-attack before Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson (52) curled a wonderful effort home seven minutes after the break. Firmino (68) then chipped home over Vicente Guaita for his second of the afternoon.

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7 – All seven of Liverpool’s goals were assisted by different players (Mane, Firmino, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Salah, Matip & Oxlade-Chamberlain), the first time in Premier League history seven different players have assisted a goal for a team in a match. Feast.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2020

By this point, Liverpool were 5-0 ahead but never one to miss out on a scoring party, Salah added his own double late on to seal an emphatic win for the visitors. He nodded home his first in the 81st minute before sending a stunning effort home three minutes later as he edged past Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the Premier League top scorer table.

It is the first time Liverpool have scored seven goals in an away top-flight match since March 1991 against Derby County (7-1) and have an unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League heading into Christmas. Palace remain in 12th after their three-game unbeaten run was brought to an abrupt halt.

How Liverpool dismantled Crystal Palace

Sadio Mane celebrates doubling Liverpool's lead at Selhurst Park
Image:Sadio Mane scored Liverpool’s second after assisting the opener

Liverpool took the lead inside three minutes in a dominant display at Selhurst Park. Andy Robertson floated a lovely cross into the area, finding Mane, who turned easily past Cheikhou Kouyate. He then tapped the ball through for Minamino, who rode a challenge before sweeping home past Guaita.

But it was Crystal Palace who saw the better chances for the next half an hour. Wilfried Zaha flashed a cross through the area but Jordan Ayew just missed it at the back post, with Joel Matip making a vital touch. Soon after, the two Crystal Palace forwards linked up again. Ayew drove down the right of the area but his pass back for an unmarked Zaha was just too far behind as a positive move broke down.

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Player ratings

Crystal Palace: Guaita (5), Clyne (6), Kouyate (5), Cahill (6), Van Aanholt (6), Schlupp (7), Milivojevic (6), McArthur (6), Eze (6), Ayew (7), Zaha (7).

Subs used: Tomkins (5), Batshuayi (6), Riedewald (5).

Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (7), Fabinho (7), Robertson (7), Keita (7), Henderson (7), Wijnaldum (7), Minamino (7), Firmino (8), Mane (8).

Subs used: Salah (8), Jones (7), Oxlade-Chamberalin (7).

Man of the match: Roberto Firmino.

Despite having few chances, Liverpool struck twice more before the break. The first saw Firmino pick up a loose ball at the top of the area before slotting through for Mane. He then turned beautifully before hitting a crisp, clean strike past Guaita.

Team news

  • Crystal Palace made four changes. Joel Ward, Scott Dann and Andros Townsend were among the substitutes with Christian Benteke suspended. Nathaniel Clyne, came back into the XI, having being released by Liverpool in the summer, with Gary Cahill, Jeffrey Schlupp and Jordan Ayew also starting.
  • Liverpool made three changes. Rhys Williams, Curtis Jones and Mohamed Salah dropped to the bench, with Joel Matip back in the XI after missing out against Spurs, alongside Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino.

It was a devastating Liverpool break that sucker-punched Palace again soon after. The black shirts poured forward with Robertson driving down the left. He then squared the ball through for Firmino waiting inside the area and he was given plenty of time and space to hammer the ball into the back of the net.

It took just seven minutes for Liverpool to add their fourth after half-time. After a neat switch of play, Alexander-Arnold tapped the ball back into the path of Henderson, who sent a wonderful, curling effort into the back of the net from 20 yards out.

Jordan Henderson celebrates with Trent Alexander-Arnold after putting Liverpool four-up at Palace
Image:Jordan Henderson scored a superb curling effort at the start of the second half

Liverpool continued to control the half and a fifth was likely to follow soon after, with Firmino adding his second of the afternoon in the 68th minute. Salah drove down the field before picking out his team-mate to the right. Firmino then drove deep into the area before chipping home past the oncoming Guaita at the near post.

Much like Mane and Firmino before him, Salah picked up an assist before finding the back of the net himself. Joel Matip won a corner in the area, sending it into the forward’s path, who then sent his own unmarked header past Guiata to make it six.

Takumi Minamino scored his first Premier League goal against Crystal Palace
Image:Takumi Minamino scored his first Premier League goal against Crystal Palace

Three minutes later and it was seven. Salah collected a lovely cross-field path from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, cutting past James McArthur before powering an effort into the top corner to send him to the top of the Premier League scorers chart and round off a sensational victory for Liverpool.

Man of the match – Roberto Firmino

Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring Liverpool's third goal against Crystal Palace
Image:Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring Liverpool’s third goal against Crystal Palace

There were a few contenders for man of the match for Liverpool, but Firmino caught the eye with his work rate and runs that truly helped his side dismantle Crystal Palace’s defence.

For his assist, he showed good awareness to be in the right place to collect a loose ball, with his run during Liverpool’s break for his opener a true demonstration of his quality. If that didn’t tell you everything, Firmino’s eventual finish surely did.

He oozed confidence as he went one-on-one with Guaita to add his second, chipping expertly over the goalkeeper. He now has three goals in his last two games and is hitting form at just the right time as the busy Christmas period arrives.

Opta stats – Liverpool’s devastating win

  • Liverpool registered an away top-flight win by a margin of seven goals for the first time in their history, while it was their first seven-goal league victory since a 9-0 win over Crystal Palace in September 1989.
  • Crystal Palace conceded seven goals in a home match for the first time in their entire history.
  • This was Jurgen Klopp’s 127th victory as Liverpool boss in the Premier League, overtaking Rafael Benitez (126) as the Reds boss with the most wins in Premier League history.
  • Liverpool’s Sadio Mané became only the fourth player in Premier League history to score in seven consecutive appearances against an opponent, after Robin van Persie (8 vs Stoke), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (7 vs West Ham) and Romelu Lukaku (7 vs West Ham).

What’s next?

Liverpool
West Bromwich Albion

Sunday 27th December 4:15pmKick off 4:30pmSky Sports Premier League HD

Crystal Palace will travel to Aston Villa on Boxing Day in the Premier League; kick-off 3 pm. Liverpool also has an unusual eight-day break before their next game against West Brom on December 27, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 4.30 pm.