- Palace unchanged from draw at Brentford
- Mateta latches onto loose backpass, but Alisson blocks chipped effort
- Jota heads against outside of the post from a tight angle
- Guéhi nods Olise free-kick narrowly wide in an open first-half
- Olise comes close to finding the top corner after checking inside
- Mateta’s swept finish glances the crossbar as Palace finish the half strongly
- HT: Palace 0-0 Liverpool
- Salah curls against the bar early in second-half
- Guaita turns close-range Matip effort round the post
- Palace grow into the period and threaten through Olise
- Edouard and Eze on for closing stages
- With time running out, Gakpo misses one-on-one with Guaita
- Palace finish the stronger with a succession of set-piece deliveries
- FT: Palace 0-0 Liverpool
While neither side will perhaps have been content with their recent results, in the build-up to kick-off, Patrick Vieira highlighted the positives from Palace’s displays, with only a killer touch missing from last weekend’s 1-1 draw at long-unbeaten Brentford.
Perhaps energised by their last-minute disappointment that day, an unchanged Palace XI made a strong start against Jürgen Klopp’s Reds and, pressuring their visitors high up the pitch, enjoyed the first clear chance of the match.
Liverpool’s lack of confidence came to the fore as the hard-working Mateta latched onto a loose backpass from Trent Alexander-Arnold. With only Alisson to beat, but forced into an immediate finish, the Frenchman's scooped effort with his weaker foot was blocked by the Brazilian 'keeper.
An open first-half saw both sides threaten consistently from set-pieces, and it was one such moment which led to Liverpool becoming the first team to strike the woodwork. A half-cleared free-kick allowed Joel Matip to loop a cross back across goal, where Diogo Jota was waiting unmarked at the far post – but the forward headed against the outside of the post from a narrow angle.
Seconds later and Palace ought to have taken the lead, a delightful set-piece delivery from Olise’s left foot finding the head of Marc Guéhi. Arcing his run to meet the flight of the ball, and perhaps unsighted initially, the Palace skipper nodded just wide of the top-left corner.
Having recorded the assist for Eberechi Eze’s strike at Brentford the previous week, provider nearly turned goalscorer on the half-hour mark for Palace, as Olise’s in-swinging delivery only just evaded that same top corner.
And with Palace well on top as the first-half drew to a close, their best opportunity arrived on the stroke of the whistle: Jeffrey Schlupp picked Alexander-Arnold’s pocket out wide and rolled the ball towards Mateta on the six-yard line.
The Frenchman was in an awkward position with a defender approaching, and opted for a left-footed swept finish, but put too much purchase on the ball and struck against the crossbar.
It was to Palace’s credit that they went into the half-time break with fully justified feelings they ought to have been in front.
But it was the visitors who started the second period the brighter. A low ball in was struck goalwards by Jota, the rebound off Joachim Andersen falling invitingly for Salah, who curled a signature effort off the underside of the crossbar – and, thankfully, it bounced away.
Yet Liverpool were beginning to turn the screw, and came close again moments later when Matip was first to an in-swinging corner. The defender headed straight at Mateta from close range and, picking up the rebound, prodded a weak effort goalwards which still threatened enough to force Guaita to punch round his near post.
After weathering the early storm, Palace began to grow into the second-half, an increasingly-influential Olise showcasing his full range of tricks to win a number of set-pieces which Liverpool – more and more under the cosh – just about dealt with.
The pace of the game began to fade as the half wore on, but the Palace players – roared on by a Selhurst faithful in fine form – continued to show plenty of grit and running, forcing several Liverpool players into tactical fouls and several yellow cards.
Perhaps the clearest chance of the final ten minutes went the way of the Reds’ Cody Gakpo – slipped through by Salah – but the onrushing presence of Guaita saw the Dutchman prod his finish well wide.
The game deserved a goal for its otherwise-entertaining nature, and Palace nearly found it with virtually the last kick as second-half substitute Eze whipped in another free-kick towards the head of Guéhi – but, this time, the Palace captain could not quite reach it.
Having held Liverpool for a second time this season, Palace can reflect on an overall positive display in which they created clear opportunities – but fell just short of finding the requisite finishing touch.
Palace: Guaita (GK), Clyne, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Doucouré, Lokonga, Olise, Ayew, Schlupp (Eze 70), Mateta (Edouard 70)
Subs: Whitworth (GK), Ward, Milivojevic, McArthur, Hughes, Richards, Ahamada,
Liverpool: Alisson (GK), Alexander-Arnold (Fabinho 71), van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Henderson, Keïta (Elliott 46), Milner, Salah, Jota (Firmino 71), Gakpo (Bajcetic 85)
Subs: Kelleher (GK), Tsimikas, Williams, Jones, Carvalho