Liverpool’s record of winning their opening Premier League game at Anfield in each of the past nine seasons came to an end as the 10-man Reds were held in a feisty 1-1 draw to Crystal Palace.
The Eagles will undoubtedly have headed to Anfield with some trepidation, given their 10 consecutive defeats against the Reds is their longest top-flight losing run, and the lightning start Liverpool made confirmed the difficulty of the task in hand. James Milner had a great chance to give the hosts the lead after just two minutes, but the midfielder blazed his shot over the bar after Vicente Guaita had palmed the ball into his path. The lively Harvey Elliott then saw his shot blocked, before Mohamed Salah fired wide and later had a header saved by Guaita.
Given the extent of the dominance from Jürgen Klopp’s side, Anfield was stunned into silence just after the half-hour mark when a pinpoint through ball from Ebere Eze played Wilfried Zaha in on goal. The forward’s composure saw him become the first Crystal Palace player to score in two different (PL) matches at Anfield, as he slotted past Alisson to give his side the lead. Liverpool have now conceded first in their last six league games, their longest streak since 1997, and the mood of the home supporters was not improved when Darwin Núñez hit the post in first-half stoppage time, with Jürgen Klopp looking at the scoreline with bemusement.
The Reds’ task became harder just before the hour mark, as Núñez was shown a straight red card for sticking his forehead into the face of Eagles defender Joachim Andersen. However, the hosts responded in perfect fashion when Luis Díaz went on a mazy run before unleashing a shot from the edge of the area which found the right corner.
Despite being a man down, Liverpool continued to push forward and looked likelier to grab the winner. Klopp’s side weren’t able to do so, however, and are still waiting for their first win of the season – as are Palace – but the circumstances mean they’ll be much the happier side.