LONDON. — Benteke went down following a challenge by Damien Delaney and got up to coolly score the spot-kick. Palace had led through Joe Ledley’s 48th-minute finish and Liverpool’s James Milner was sent off for a second yellow card on 62 minutes. A calamitous slip by Palace keeper Alex McCarthy gifted Liverpool their equaliser, scored by Roberto Firmino.
The defeat leaves Alan Pardew’s men without a win in 12 Premier League matches. The penalty was a sensational end to the match, with Palace boss Pardew hurling his coat to the ground in frustration.
Delaney’s knee touched Benteke’s ankle and referee Andre Marriner, guided by a well-placed assistant official, awarded the match-winning spot-kick. It gave McCarthy the chance to become a hero after his earlier mistake, but Benteke stepped up to end 715 goalless minutes in all competitions. Palace, the only team without a Premier League victory in 2016, were on target to win after Ledley netted as the ball ping-ponged around the box following a corner.
But the error by the recalled McCarthy changed all that.
The 26-year-old keeper, back in the Palace side for the first time since September with Wayne Hennessey injured, slid in attempting what seemed a straightforward clearance.
But he kicked the ball straight to Roberto Firmino, who accepted the gift by making it 1-1 in the 72nd minute. The win means Liverpool are now up to seventh in the table and just six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.
And they did it by dominating the match after going down to 10 men.
They were losing at that stage and it looked like another case of Liverpool’s inconsistency after their superb 3-0 midweek win over Manchester City.
The stats show they earned it as, despite losing Milner, Liverpool ran further as a team than Palace over the 90 minutes, clocking a collective 113km to their hosts’ 111km. — BBC.