Liverpool blow victory at Palace

LONDON - Liverpool shed tears of despair after blowing a 3-0 lead with 11 minutes remaining to draw 3-3 at Crystal Palace in an astonishing Premier League match on Monday which almost certainly ended their hopes of a first title for 24 years.

Liverpool looked to be coasting to victory at Selhurst Park and a three-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table after goals by Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez.

But Palace stormed back with three late strikes, substitute Dwight Gayle scoring twice after Damien Delaney brought Palace back in the game with a screamer in the 79th minute.

Liverpool's title hopes, already receding after last week's loss to Chelsea, looked finished and it was little wonder that Suarez was left sobbing after the final whistle and had to be helped off the pitch by an equally teary-eyed Steven Gerrard.

Brendan Rodgers's men have 81 points with one match to play while City have 80 and two games left plus a superior goal difference of nine.

"There is no doubt Manchester City will go on and win it," Rodgers told Sky Sports.

"We needed to win to keep the pressure on going into the last game and we did not do that."

City host Aston Villa on Wednesday and West Ham United on Sunday while Liverpool's remaining game is at home to Newcastle United.

Goals from Allen after 18 minutes, Sturridge on 53 and newly-crowned Footballer of the Year Suarez gave Liverpool a commanding position.

Wales international midfielder Allen put Liverpool ahead when he was left unmarked following a Gerrard corner and headed in for his first Premier League goal for the club in his 50th league appearance.

Sturridge doubled the score with a low deflected shot eight minutes into the second half and Suarez increased his season tally to 31 goals after playing a swift one-two with Raheem Sterling to take Liverpool's Premier League haul to 99 goals for the campaign.

But as has happened so often this season, Liverpool's defending cost them.

They continued to pour forward in a bid to further trim Manchester City's goal difference advantage but paid a heavy price for leaving themselves exposed to the counter-attack.

Delaney reduced the arrears with a fierce shot before Gayle brought Palace right back into the game after Yannick Bolasie, a continual threat on the break, squared the ball to him and he swept the chance home.

The third goal came from a long ball forward and Gayle took advantage of more poor defending to equalise and complete an incredible fightback by the home side. - Reuters

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