London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge scored in the first half as Liverpool snatched the Premier League overall lead with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace Saturday at Anfield.
The attacking duo now has nine goals between them in nine Premier League appearances to help Liverpool climb to solo spot with 16 points, one point ahead of Arsenal and three points clear of Manchester City.
Steven Gerrard added a third goal from the penalty spot six minutes before halftime to essentially wrap up the game but Dwight Gayle grabbed a consolation with a near-post header in the second half.
“It was an excellent first half and we got the three goals and could have had two more. Some of our play in the attacking third was exceptional and we created a number of chances,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said.
“Second half is always difficult when you are comfortable in a game, we wanted to go and push on in the second half and it didn’t quite materialize and you have to give credit to Crystal Palace,” he added.
Rodgers brought in Raheem Sterling for the suspended Lucas Leiva, while Ian Holloway named Jason Puncheon and Cameron Jerome in Palace’s starting lineup.
Liverpool took control of the match when Suarez slotted home a goal beyond Julian Speroni’s reach in the 13th minute.
The home fans again celebrated in the 17th minute with a fine individual effort from Sturridge, who beat Joel Ward on the left before firing powerfully across goal into the far corner.
Liverpool then made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in the 39th minute when Sterling was tugged down by Dean Moxey just inside the area. Gerrard duly dispatched the spot-kick hard to Speroni’s right.
The loss was the fourth straight for Crystal Palace, which is just two points ahead of cellar-dweller Sunderland.
Meanwhile, Manchester City moved to a share of third with a 3-1 win over Everton at Etihad Stadium.
Everton struck first as on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku scored the opener but City quickly turned things around with Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero scoring before halftime.
Tim Howard deflected Aguero’s penalty into his own net after parrying it on to the post for a 3-1 Manchester City lead.
In other matches, Newcastle United defeated Cardiff City, 2-1; Fulham beat Stoke City, 1-0; Manchester United prevailed over Sunderland, 2-1; while Hull City and Aston Villa settled for a scoreless draw.