On This Day Three Years Ago: 'Crystanbul' Was Born
Liverpool bottled their chances of claiming a Premier League title after letting a 3-goal lead slip at Crystal Palace, three years ago today. Three goals in the space of 11 minutes fucked up their chance at holding aloft the prestigious trophy.
Luis Suarez and Co. raced to a 3-nil lead courtesy of Joe Allen, a Damien Delaney own-goal - via a Daniel Sturridge strike - and the deadly Uruguayan himself.
After he bagged his sides third, Suarez grabbed the ball in a hurry in bid to close in on Manchester City's superior goal difference.
Though what transpired was nothing short of remarkable. Liverpool imploded as they conceded three goals in the dying embers of the game.
(Gayle and Bolasie celebrate after scoring Palace's third goal. Image: PA)
Delaney scored his second goal of the night, but this time in the right end as he pulled one back with an absolute pile-driver from 25 yards out.
Minutes later, Dwight Gayle reduced the deficit to one goal. Then with two minutes of normal time remaining, Gayle popped up to complete the unlikely comeback, breaking the Liverpool faithfuls hearts in the process.
Super-sub Gayle sent Selhurst Park into pandemonium as they secured a point, while severely denting Liverpool's hopes of clinching the Premier League title.
(Julian Speroni consoles a distraught Suarez after the final whistle. Image: PA)
Despite moving back to the summit of the league, the players knew they failed to put pressure on City. And after the final-whistle blew, reality of the situation hit.
Suarez was reduced to tears with Palace keeper Julian Speroni consoling his fellow-South American. Not to mention skipper Steven Gerrard and Kolo Toure attempting to comfort him.
(Gerrard and Toure tend to Suarez who has his shirt over his head. Image: PA)
The devastating draw, which felt like a defeat, preceded their 2-nil loss to Chelsea where Steven Gerrard famously slipped, proverbial and literally, as Liverpool slowly loss ground on the league title.
Prior to the Chelsea clash, Liverpool had reeled off 11 consecutive league wins putting them in a commanding position. Though succumbed to the pressure in the home stretch.
The soul-crushing point was perfectly captured by a Liverpool fan, "never has moving top of the Premier League in the final week of the season felt so deflating."
The images of Gayle's celebration, the inconsolable Suarez and Gerrard gesturing towards the Sky cameras remain etched into Premier League history.