Football: Champions Manchester City in English Premier League boxseat, after rivals Liverpool, Arsenal tumble to defeat

Liverpool's quest for an English Premier League title in manager Juergen Klopp's final season, with the team suffered a huge blow with a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace at Anfield that left them third on the table.

Eberechi Eze scored in the 14th minute to stun the Anfield faithful in the third consecutive disappointing result for Liverpool. Klopp's men are even on 71 points with second-placed Arsenal, who also suffered a shock loss to Aston Villa, and two behind provisional leaders Manchester City.

Chris Jones (Liverpool) and Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) rue missed chances.
Chris Jones (Liverpool) and Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) rue missed chances. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I would say with the chances we had, we were really unlucky," Klopp told the BBC. "In the second half, Crystal Palace were lucky we didn't punish them, but that's why we are stood here with no points and Crystal Palace have three."

Tyrick Mitchell found Eze unmarked in the box, after a beautiful build-up of 21 passes, and Eze slotted home with his first touch to put Palace ahead.

"It's an outstanding win at Anfield, it's so difficult to win here," said Palace boss Oliver Glasner. "How they played, especially in the first half, is so nice to see.

"In the second half, there was a lot of pressure from Liverpool. It's about being able to express yourself and play with confidence.

"We cleared many situations under pressure with one-two touch. We scored an amazing goal.

"It's about confidence, team spirit, passion."

Poor finishing by Liverpool sealed their first league loss at Anfield since October 2022 and the television cameras captured young Liverpool fans wiping away tears in the stands after the final whistle.

Liverpool, who had 21 shots to Palace's eight, squandered a bagful of chances, including Curtis Jones' shot on a breakaway that he fired wide, tugging his shirt over his head in disbelief. Liverpool's talisman Mohamed Salah hammered a close-range strike off a defender in the dying seconds.

"You could stand here on another day and see the same balls go in, and we're talking about a 4-1 win, but football doesn't work like that," said Klopp, who plans to leave Liverpool at the season's end, after nine years in charge.

Palace keeper Dean Henderson also made some remarkable saves, darting to stop a Darwin Nunez pointblank shot off his knee, among others.

"Coming to places like this, you know you're going to be busy," Henderson told BBC. "I'm delighted to be back this time around, it's a team effort.

"I felt like I was out there for about a year, we rode our luck at times, but I'm delighted. I think the lads believed we could do something today... the pressure was on [Liverpool]."

Palace could have doubled their lead in the first half, when Jean-Philippe Mateta chipped past Liverpool keeper Alisson. The ball was bound for goal, but defender Andy Robertson sprinted back and slid to just save it on the line.

"So frustrating today, so many chances," Robertson told Sky Sports. "First half, I thought we were poor, and [Palace] were on top and could have been more than 1-0 up.

"Second half, we had enough chances to win two or three games."

Palace, who are 14th in the table, ended a 10-match winless run on the road with their first away victory since November against Burnley.

Liverpool were coming off a 3-0 loss to Atalanta in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday and a costly 2-2 draw with Manchester United in their previous league game on April 7.


Meanwhile, Arsenal have been stunned by two late Aston Villa goals, losing 2-0 at home to hand the initiative in the premier league title race to defending champions Manchester City.

Villa substitute Leon Bailey tapped home from close range in the 84th minute, before Ollie Watkins' sublime finish three minutes later sent Gunners fans streaming for the exits.

Arsenal's defeat - their first in 12 league games - sees them remain second, two points behind City and level on points with third-placed Liverpool with six games left to play.

The weekend belonged to City, who bolstered their chances of an unprecedented fourth straight league title with a 5-1 demolition of visiting Luton Town on Sunday (NZ time).

Villa weathered pressure in the first half, with Kai Havertz shooting straight at goalkeeper Emi Martinez, before Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka hit the side-netting, as an opening goal for the Gunners felt like an inevitability.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery celebrates a goal against Arsenal.
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery celebrates a goal against Arsenal. Photo credit: Getty Images

Villa went closest when Watkins' effort bounced off one post and narrowly wide of the other, while Youri Tielemans's rasping effort hit the crossbar, then the post and somehow stayed out, as the visitors improved considerably after the break.

Bailey gave the visitors the lead, when he turned in Lucas Digne's dangerous cross, before Watkins broke Arsenal hearts with a beautiful chip over keeper David Raya to settle the contest.

"It's massive to come away to Arsenal, when they are playing such good football, and to play like that just shows where we are going really," Villa's England striker Watkins told Sky Sports. "It was a perfect away performance."

The win boosts fourth-placed Villa's chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League and moves them three points above Tottenham Hotspur, although playing a game more.