Mohamed Salah netted his 200th goal for Liverpool and Harvey Elliott scored a stoppage-time winner as Liverpool came from behind to beat 10-man Crystal Palace 2-1 and go top of the Premier League table after a rip-roaring clash on Saturday.
Liverpool top the standings on 37 points, one ahead of Arsenal who face Aston Villa later on Saturday, after a game that centred on the sending-off of Eagles forward Jordan Ayew for a second yellow cards after an innocuous infringement in the 75th minute.
Referee Andrew Madley was in the thick of things throughout the game, doling out eight yellow cards to the home side and denying them a penalty in the first half after being called to the sideline in a VAR review.
Palace eventually took the lead from a penalty in the 57th minute after another lengthy video review found that Jean-Philippe Mateta had been fouled by Liverpool centre-back Jarell Quansah, and Mateta stroked the ball home from the spot.
Liverpool hadn’t managed a single shot on target and were struggling to create chances until Ayew, who was first booked for not retreating from a free kick on the hour mark, was booked again and dismissed in the 75th minute after a harmless-looking challenge.
Salah struck just over one minute later, netting his 150th Premier League goal to cancel out Mateta’s penalty with Liverpool’s first shot on target in the game.
Knowing a win would send them to the top of the league, Liverpool continued to pour forward and their persistence paid off when substitute Elliott rattled in the winner in the first minute of second-half stoppage time to the delight of the travelling fans.
“It was really tough today, but of course when we win the game and I score a goal it is a great feeling,” a delighted Salah told broadcaster TNT. “I’m happy for the record, I’m also happy for the team to win the game.”
Missing Joel Matip, who is out with an ACL injury, and Alexis Mac Allister among others, Liverpool were able to call on goalkeeper Alisson, and he played superbly on his return from injury as the Reds presented their title credentials.
“We’re going in the right direction, (but) there’s a lot of the season left. We need to make sure we keep getting the three points and if we’re contenders at the end of the season then let’s go for it,” goal-scorer Elliott said.
“The aim is to win the Premier League,” he added.