Time's up for Naby Keita! Liverpool winners & losers as Guinean offers nothing while Jordan Henderson looks frazzled against Crystal Palace

Naby Keita Liverpool 2023
The Guinea midfielder is out of contract in the summer, and did his chances of a new deal no favours with a dreadful performance at Selhurst Park

Don't be fooled by the four-game unbeaten Premier League run; nothing about this Liverpool team is convincing.

The Reds, battered in the Champions League by Real Madrid in midweek, missed the chance to boost their chances of qualifying for next season's competition, delivering a performance high on endeavour but bereft of quality as they drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Jurgen Klopp's side hit the bar in the second half through Mohamed Salah, but barely fashioned a clear-cut opportunity throughout, and were fortunate that their hosts, without a win in nine games in 2023, wasted first-half chances of their own through Marc Guehi and Jean-Philippe Mateta.

The draw moves Liverpool up a place to seventh in the table, but represents a huge missed opportunity to put some serious pressure on the likes of Tottenham, who face Chelsea on Sunday, and Newcastle, who are without a league game this weekend as they contest the Carabao Cup final.

Klopp cut a dejected figure at the final whistle, and will doubtless reflect on yet another underwhelming display from his underperforming side, albeit one which saw them record a fourth straight clean sheet in the league.

GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from Selhurst Park...

  1. WINNER: Tottenham and Newcastle

    WINNER: Tottenham and Newcastle

    This was a result that would have been celebrated by Antonio Conte and Eddie Howe, for sure.

    Despite all their recent struggles, victory for Liverpool would have put them firmly in the mix for the top-four, moving them to within three points of Tottenham and two of Newcastle. With a winnable home game against Wolves to come on Wednesday, the game would have been very much on.

    But you simply cannot rely on this Reds team. They had been unconvincing in winning at St James' Park last weekend, then eviscerated by Real Madrid on Wednesday, and here Klopp's team looked bereft of confidence once an initial 10-minute burst had amounted to nothing.

    They won't be in this season's Champions League much longer, and playing like this, they can forget about playing in next year's competition as well.

  2. LOSER: Naby Keita
    Getty Images

    LOSER: Naby Keita

    If these are the final weeks of Naby Keita's Liverpool career - and let's face it, they should be - then he hardly looks like a player determined to go out on a high.

    The Guinea midfielder had a 45-minute nightmare here, his performance littered with errors and fouls, and devoid of any kind of quality.

    Booked for a cynical pull on the lively Michael Olise midway through the first half, Keita tested the patience of referee Darren England thereafter, conceding three further free kicks as he continuously nibbled at the heels of Palace players.

    It felt like a second yellow was inevitable, and it was no surprise to see Klopp react at half-time. On came Harvey Elliott, off went Keita. He should be off in the summer too. His five-year stay on Merseyside is coming to a pretty tame conclusion.

  3. WINNER: Insomniacs

    Those hoping for a Saturday night special under the Selhurst Park lights will have been hugely disappointed by what was served up here.

    The worst game of the season? It just might have been. A game of plenty of huff, plenty of puff, but ultimately precious little skill, played out by two teams that look like they can't wait to draw a line under this season.

    Palace haven't won since New Year's Eve, and lack any kind of goal threat without star man Wilfried Zaha, while Liverpool are a team that needs open-wallet surgery in the summer, if they are to have any chance of returning to the lofty heights seen in recent years.

    Klopp named a starting XI with an average age of close to 30 here, and didn't it show? Liverpool were so short of speed, so lacking in ideas, that it almost felt like they settled for a draw in the closing stages. And what does that say about how far they've fallen?

    Still, at least those hoping for an early night had the perfect sleeping pill. And if you're still struggling to drift off, just put this game on repeat.

  4. LOSER: Jordan Henderson
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    LOSER: Jordan Henderson

    What is it about that holding midfield role at Liverpool this season?

    Having done for Fabinho - who could not even be trusted to start here, and might have been sent off when he did eventually appear - the No.6 position seemed to bring out the worst in Jordan Henderson too.

    For one so experienced, some of the Reds captain's decision-making was truly baffling. Never more so than when he inexplicably stood in the line of a free-kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first half, despite it being obvious to everyone in the stadium, and everyone watching on TV, that that was where the ball was heading.

    Henderson had actually done okay in the first 45 minutes, but his second-half performance was dreadful, completely lacking in composure. He repeatedly hoiked the ball up in the air when calmness was required, and he got involved in altercations with Olise and Jordan Ayew as it became clear that yet another game was getting away from his side.

    A skipper's performance, this most definitely was not.

  5. WINNER: Alisson Becker

    WINNER: Alisson Becker

    Well, at least the run of Premier League clean sheets goes on for Liverpool.

    This was their fourth shutout in a row, and represented a decent show of character considering the way Klopp's backline folded against Real Madrid in midweek.

    Fair play to Virgil van Dijk, by far the visitors' best defender, and to Alisson Becker, who responded to his Champions League howler with an assured performance here.

    In fairness, the Brazilian was not overly extended. Palace failed to register a shot on target in the 90 minutes. Vieira's side, despite their mid-table placing, remain one of the most powderpuff in the division.

    But what Alisson was asked to do, he did well. He was solid with the ball at his feet, came out decisively to deal with balls into his penalty area, and emitted an aura of calmness which several of his outfield colleagues could have done with learning from. He remains one of the few who can hold his head high at Anfield right now.

  6. LOSER: Jean-Philippe Mateta

    LOSER: Jean-Philippe Mateta

    Oh dear. What a chance. What a miss.

    Palace thought they were in business when, three minutes before half time, Jeffrey Schlupp pressured Trent Alexander-Arnold into a mistake inside his own penalty area.

    The ball was slipped inside to Mateta, who had most of the goal to aim for as he swung his left foot. The Frenchman, though, has only one goal in 20 appearances this season, and he failed to hit the target with his gilt-edged chance, smashing it against the top of the crossbar and into the Holmesdale End.

    It would prove a costly miss, and as close as Palace would come. How they need Zaha, their main man, back in action.