Crystal Palace 3-3 Liverpool
Crystal Palace produced a stunning late comeback from 3-0 down to snatch a point from Liverpool in a thrilling Premier League clash at Selhurst Park.
The visitors appeared to be cruising with goals from Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez establishing a 3-0 lead.
But Damien Delaney’s 79th minute strike was quickly followed by two goals from substitute Dwight Gayle to earn a point for Tony Pulis’ side in breathtaking fashion.
Palace made one change from last weekend as Pulis welcomed back Kagoshi Dikgacoi in place of Cameron Jerome, who was left out of the squad after suffering with illness.
The home side, cheered on by their vociferous supporters, made a bright start and tested the Liverpool defence early on.
But Liverpool weathered the initial storm and the game soon fell into a familiar pattern, lots of possession for the away team with Palace on the back foot.
The Eagles were given a let off when a completely unmarked Mamadou Sakho headed wide from a corner from no more than six yards out.
It was a warning for Palace, but one which they didn’t learn from and another corner soon after provided the opening goal.
Allen escaped the attention of his Welsh counterpart Joe Ledley before guiding his far-post header back across goal and into the bottom corner past Julian Speroni.
The best the home side could manage in the first half were long shots from Jason Puncheon and Mile Jedinak, both of which required a good save from Simon Mignolet to preserve Liverpool’s lead at the break.
Liverpool started the second half well and should have doubled their lead five minutes in.
Raheem Sterling led a counter attack and fed Sturridge, who was denied by a fantastic save from Speroni.
However, Suarez on the rebound blazed high and wide with the goal gaping.
Palace weren’t to be let off again, though, as Sturridge found the bottom corner minutes later to double Liverpool’s advantage in the 53rd minute.
Suarez then made amends for his miss by tucking home his side’s third two minutes later, beating the onrushing Speroni to the ball and slotting in at the near post.
After keeping Liverpool on their toes for just under an hour, Pulis’ men had still been hit by the Premier League’s deadliest strikeforce and at this stage the contest looked over.
That was before Delaney found the top corner with a 25-yard strike in the 79th minute which went in via a slight deflection off Glen Johnson.
Two minutes later Bolasie sprung past Johnson just inside the Liverpool half, ran into the area and fed the ball to Gayle, who fired beyond the reach of past Mignolet to suddenly make it 3-2.
And Gayle then completed a remarkable comeback when he was picked out by fellow substitute Glenn Murray and drilled a low shot home in the 88th minute to leave Liverpool’s title hopes in tatters.
Palace finish their campaign with a trip to Craven Cottage to play Fulham on Sunday.
It will be party time by the Thames.
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Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Puncheon (Gayle 65), Dikgacoi (Ince 85), Jedinak, Ledley, Bolasie, Chamakh (Murray 71). Subs not used: Hennessey, Gabbidon, Parr, O’Keefe.
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