It was an all too familiar story on Saturday afternoon for Crystal Palace: play well against a top side, look set to gain a famous result, only to let their hard work slip away after conceding a late goal.
This time it was Liverpool’s turn to spoil the party, following the lead of Tottenham, Manchester United, and Manchester City before them.
Although Palace supporters will rightly be crushed following Mohamed Salah’s 84th winner, as the dust settles on the result, they will have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about their survival chances.
The Eagles run-in is Bournemouth, Brighton, Watford, Leicester, Stoke, and West Brom; the south London club could not have dreamed of an easier final month of fixtures.
These matches all present a fantastic chance for picking up crucial points, and after recent performances, Palace will fancy themselves to easily secure their Premier League status.
Today Roy Hodgson’s side showed their best attributes while pushing an excellent Liverpool side to their very limits. Wilfried Zaha was hugely influential, giving Trent Alexander-Arnold a torrid time and winning the penalty that led to the opening goal.
Palace really should have led by more if it was not for the profligate finishing of Christian Benteke, who failed to come back and haunt his former club.
The Eagles beat Huddersfield away from home in their last match before the international break, representing an ideal dress rehearsal for their run-in.
They currently sit on 30 points, and many consider 38 points the tally that will secure survival this season. Palace can gain a minimum of two wins and two draws from their final six, especially considering they will play an already-relegated Baggies side on the final day of the season.
Although Saturday’s late loss will sting, south London’s Premier League club has a tremendous opportunity to stay in the top flight; Palace need to keep up their strong performances against the division’s weakest sides.