Match ends, Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 3.
- Gerrard given ovation in final game at Anfield
- Guard of honour for Gerrard
- Crystal Palace complete double over Liverpool
- Gerrard speaks of "emotional" goodbye
Liverpool failed to give Steven Gerrard a victorious farewell to Anfield as Crystal Palace emerged worthy winners on an emotion-charged occasion.
Gerrard was making his final appearance at Anfield before making his move to Major League Soccer with LA Galaxy - and Liverpool supporters gathered at the stadium hours before kick-off to pay tribute to their iconic captain.
Palace, however, were in no mood to indulge the celebrations and after Adam Lallana put Liverpool ahead, Jason Puncheon equalised on the stroke of half-time before substitutes Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray wrapped up the win.
The game itself was almost reduced to a footnote as far as Liverpool were concerned - but in a strangely low-key 90 minutes, this performance graphically illustrated the work that needs to be done by manager Brendan Rodgers once Gerrard has departed after next weekend's final game of the season at Stoke City.
After the formalities of the final whistle were completed, Gerrard went down the tunnel before re-emerging to a prolonged, deserved ovation where he was greeted by former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, the man who made him Liverpool captain, before receiving a presentation from the club.
Gerrard then addressed Liverpool's fans before joining his team-mates on a lap of honour and then leaving the Anfield turf for the final time after a 17-year career that has brought the Champions League victory against AC Milan that he inspired in Istanbul in 2005, as well as the Uefa Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cup triumphs.
The Premier League title may have eluded him but as he walked around Anfield it was only the good times Liverpool fans remembered - and he has given them plenty of those with his 185 goals stretched out across a glittering career.
Now Rodgers faces the Herculean task of replacing the 34-year-old, who has been a symbol of the club since he made his debut in 1998.
The game itself almost assumed the status of a sideshow as the shadow of Gerrard's farewell understandably loomed over the entire occasion.
Anfield's DJ set the tone with a pre-match playlist that was a musical tribute to Gerrard, from David Bowie's "Heroes" to the REM tune "The End Of The World As We Know It".
And The Kop was decorated with banners recalling Gerrard's greatest moments including one reading "The Best There Is. The Best There Was And The Best There Will Ever Be".
|Steven Gerrard played the full 90 minutes at Anfield in the Premier League for the first time since New Year's Day|
|Crystal Palace have now won two league games at Anfield. Alan Pardew played in the first (1991) and managed them in the second|
|Glenn Murray has scored six times and assisted three in his last 11 league games for Palace|
Gerrard came out to warm up ahead of his team-mates, who allowed him to take the acclaim of The Kop - and in the moments before kick-off Anfield was united in tribute to the man many regard as Liverpool's finest.
He emerged with his daughters Lourdes, Lexie and Lilly-Ella through a guard of honour formed by both sides as thunderous roars swept around Anfield.
The kick-off actually dampened the atmosphere, Liverpool taking an undeserved lead after 26 minutes when Lallana was the beneficiary of Martin Kelly's poor ball, running on and beating Wayne Hennessey with an accomplished finish.
Palace, however, continued to be the better side and were full value for the equaliser that came two minutes before half-time, Puncheon sending a 20-yard free-kick beyond Simon Mignolet after Emre Can fouled the dangerous Yannick Bolasie.
Pardew decided to introduce Zaha to add to Palace's attacking threat - and it was a move that paid dividends as he slid in Bolasie's cross with his first touch after just 23 seconds on the pitch.
As Liverpool's defence rocked, the outstanding Bolasie almost extended their advantage when he cut inside the struggling Martin Skrtel, but struck his shot against the bar.
There was to be no final rescue act from Gerrard and substitute Murray secured Palace's win by putting in the rebound from his own penalty, which was initially saved by Mignolet.
The spot kick was awarded after Lucas fouled Zaha - although it looked as though the first contact was outside the box.
It was then time for Gerrard to take his leave - and for Liverpool to ponder how they can possibly fill the gap he leaves behind.
- 23CanBooked at 42mins
- 33IbeSubstituted forLambertat 65'minutes
- 18MorenoSubstituted forSinclairat 87'minutes
- 10CoutinhoBooked at 87mins
- 20LallanaSubstituted forLeivaat 65'minutes
- 4K Touré
- 2WardBooked at 79mins
- 18McArthurBooked at 83mins
- 24LeeSubstituted forZahaat 59'minutes
- 29ChamakhSubstituted forMutchat 76'minutesBooked at 84mins
- 7BolasieSubstituted forMurrayat 83'minutes
- Jonathan Moss
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 3.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by James McArthur.
Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joel Ward (Crystal Palace).
Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).
Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Goal! Liverpool 1, Crystal Palace 3. Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal following a set piece situation.
Penalty saved! Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the centre of the goal.
Penalty conceded by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool) after a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty Crystal Palace. Wilfried Zaha draws a foul in the penalty area.
Offside, Crystal Palace. Jason Puncheon tries a through ball, but Glenn Murray is caught offside.
Attempt saved. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordon Mutch.
Dejan Lovren (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace).
Substitution, Liverpool. Jerome Sinclair replaces Alberto Moreno.
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.
Attempt blocked. Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.
Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace).