Crystal Palace took the lead through their first shot on the game, from Wilfried Zaha in the 32nd minute, and the Reds’ woes were compounded when star summer signing Darwin Nuñez was shown a straight red card for violent conduct toward Joachim Andersen in the 57th.
Four minutes later, Luis Diaz fired a laser from outside the penalty area, past the otherwise stellar Vicente Guaita and just inside the far post. Down a man, though, Liverpool were unable to complete the comeback and dropped points for the second time in as many games early in the season.
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Even putting the results aside, it’s Liverpool’s performances against Fulham and Crystal Palace were simply nowhere near the level of what Manchester City have displayed through their first 180 minutes. They fell behind the newly promoted Cottagers twice last week, and again on Monday they found themselves behind after conceding the game’s first goal for a sixth straight Premier League fixture (dating back to last season). Injuries are mounting up now as well, with Nuñez likely to be suspended for three games, at the same time Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Roberto Firmino and Curtis Jones, among other fringe players, currently unavailable. Man City led Liverpool by double-digit points almost midway through last season before taking the title race down to the final minute of the season, but it would be unwise to count on the two-time defending champions to slip up in such fashion again. The gap is four already.