Premier League • England

Three ‘fantastic’ Liverpool stars hailed by Crouch after win at Palace; Ferdinand lauds game-changing Reds ace

Harvey Elliott, Liverpool

Liverpool star Harvey Elliott

Peter Crouch has praised the Liverpool substitutes who helped Jurgen Klopp’s side overcome Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Rio Ferdinand has lauded Mo Salah.

Liverpool endured a frustrating first half, dominating possession but seeing Palace have the more clear-cut chances. And their woes continued in the second half, when the referee gave a penalty after a lengthy background check on Jarell Quansah’s challenge on Jean-Philippe Mateta.

The Eagles striker then stepped up and dispatched of the spot-kick, sending the Selhurst Park crowd wild.

However, Liverpool gradually improved and were given a big helping hand when Jordan Ayew picked up a harsh second yellow card for a challenge on Harvey Elliott.

That dismissal changed the game completely, as it only took Liverpool 98 seconds to drag themselves level through a deflected Salah effort.

And Elliott then provided the match with its only real bit of quality, sending a great left-footed strike into the bottom corner to win the match for Liverpool in stoppage time, as it ended 2-1.

READ MORE: Liverpool draw up three-man January shortlist as Klopp offers spiky response on huge transfer claim

When analysing the game for TNT Sports, formerly known as BT Sport, ex-Liverpool striker Crouch praised substitutes Elliott, Joe Gomez and Cody Gakpo for turning the game on its head.

“They [Liverpool] will get the plaudits for sticking in there and getting the result. But you have to feel for Palace, you felt like they did enough,” he said (09/12, at 14:52).

Harvey Elliott, Cody Gakpo get pundit praise

“The sending off definitely changed the game, but credit to Liverpool. When Palace went down to 10 men, Liverpool came alive.

“I thought the substitutes were fantastic, Harvey Elliott, Joe Gomez and Cody Gakpo. Changed the game I thought, and changed the dynamic for Liverpool.”

Salah has now reached 200 goals for Liverpool in all competitions, as well as 150 in the Premier League.

On the Egyptian forward, Crouch added: “The biggest compliment you can pay him is he’s got 18 goal contributions in the last 16 games in the Premier League, and I don’t think we’re even talking about him much.

“Consider those kinds of numbers, it’s become normal to do what Salah’s doing – it’s absolutely incredible.”

Fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand was then asked about Salah’s ‘game-changing’ role, in which he has combined the winger and striker positions.

“We never really talked about wide players like that, he’s like a striker/wide player,” the former Manchester United defender said.

“Wide players are the ones who create the goals? No, no no, [he’s said] ‘I’m the one who’s gonna score the goals and be the match winner on a regular basis’.

“In the successful period that they’ve had in recent years, he’s been one of the main focal points of that. A fabulous player.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool will no longer face competition from one of Europe’s biggest teams for a Prem star, according to reports.