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Liverpool draw blank at Palace in fresh blow to top four hopes

Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League were dealt another blow by a 0-0 draw at struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Reds travelled to Selhurst Park low on confidence after the 5-2 humiliation at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek.

A point edges Jurgen Klopp’s men up to seventh, but they are still six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham.

Palace remain without a win in nine games, but a draw takes the Eagles six points clear of the relegation zone.

Liverpool had appeared to be building some momentum with two consecutive Premier League wins before being brought back to earth with a bang by the European champions in midweek.

A lack of energy has been one of the major factors behind the Reds’ fall from grace this season but Klopp put his trust in experience.

The return of James Milner, Naby Keita and Joel Matip among four changes took the average age of Klopp’s starting line-up to over 29.

The older heads helped steady the ship, but the visitors were lacking in inspiration going forward without the injured Darwin Nunez.

Jean-Philippe Mateta wasted Palace’s best chance when the Frenchman smashed against the bar from close range after Trent Alexander-Arnold had been robbed by Jeffrey Schlupp.

The closest Liverpool came to scoring before the break was when Alexander-Arnold’s goalbound free-kick was deflected to safety by his own teammate Jordan Henderson.

Klopp’s men were marginally better in the second period once Harvey Elliott replaced the ineffectual Keita.

Mohamed Salah was inches away from the moment of inspiration Liverpool badly needed as his curling effort came back off the crossbar.

Salah was the creator for Liverpool’s other big chance to take all three points, but Cody Gakpo’s attempted dink over the onrushing Vicente Guaita sailed wide.

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