Benteke comes back to haunt Liverpool

Crystal Palace’s Zaire-born Belgian striker Christian Benteke (2L) shoots and scores past Liverpool’s Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on April 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff CADDICK

BY AFP,23RD APRIL 2017-Liverpool old-boy Christian Benteke stunned his former club with both Crystal Palace goals in a 2-1 win at Anfield on Sunday denting the home side’s top-four Premier League ambitions.

Benteke handed a massive boost to Palace’s survival hopes with a goal in each half to cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s brilliant opener for the Reds and turn the game on its head.

Liverpool paid £32m for Benteke when they signed him from Aston Villa in 2015 but sold him to Palace for £27m a year later.

The 26-year-old Belgian made them pay for that decision with goals in the 42nd and 74th minutes that moved Palace seven points clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

But defeat left Jurgen Klopp’s side in third place just two points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City and three ahead of Manchester United in fifth.

Both Manchester clubs have two games in hand in the scrap for Champions League places, meaning Liverpool’s fate is no longer in their own hands.

Liverpool’s forwards turned on the tricks and Roberto Firmino’s clever spin away from two Palace defenders sparked an attack.

He attempted to spread play wide for Coutinho, but Georginio Wijnaldum inadvertently ended the move by getting in the way.

Palace had offered little attacking threat but on 21 minutes they almost stunned the hosts when Benteke bullied his way towards goal.

The Belgian international striker shrugged off defenders and exchanged passes neatly with Wilfried Zaha before bending a right-footed shot just wide of Simon Mignolet’s goal.

When the opening goal came, it came in real style in the 24th minute.

Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic was penalised for a foul on Coutinho, who dusted himself down before bending a brilliant right-footed free-kick past a helpless Wayne Hennessey and inside his right-hand post from 25 yards.

Palace hit back to equalise with a wonderful, counter-attacking goal three minutes from half-time.

Facebook Comments Box