Where are they now? The last Liverpool team to lose a PL game at Anfield

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April 23, 2017 marks the last time Liverpool were beaten at Anfield in the Premier League, when a Christian Benteke-inspired Crystal Palace (yes, really) came away with a 2-1 victory.

Benteke scored twice against his former club as Sam Allardyce’s Palace took a big step towards avoiding relegation, while Liverpool were hanging on to a place in the top four with Manchester City and Manchester United both having two games in hand behind them.

A lot has changed at Liverpool in the three years since, and we’ve taken a look back at the Reds’ team from that game.

Simon Mignolet

We’re not saying conceding twice to Christian Benteke was the main reason Mignolet was displaced by Loris Karius on a more regular basis the following season, but there’s no smoke without fire.

Karius’ tenure as Liverpool No.1 hardly went any better, so Jurgen Klopp eventually just spent a world-record fee on Alisson Becker to solve his goalkeeping woes.

Mignolet at least got to hang around for a season longer than Karius, meaning he got to collect a Champions League winners’ medal before joining Club Brugge on a permanent deal in the summer of 2019.

Nathaniel Clyne (Marko Grujic, 84)

Two players it’s easy to forget are still on the books at Anfield, Clyne has endured terrible luck with injuries, appearing set to finally leave on a permanent basis last summer after a loan spell at Bournemouth only to suffer a serious knee injury in pre-season.

Grujic, meanwhile, was Klopp’s first signing at Liverpool but has spent the last two seasons on loan at Hertha Berlin. The midfielder has impressed in the Bundesliga, but a long-term future on Merseyside seems unlikely.

Joel Matip

The jury was still out on Matip at the time of the Crystal Palace defeat after a mixed first season at Anfield, but the arrival of Virgil van Dijk has helped the centre-back emerge as a trusted member of Klopp’s squad, establishing himself in the XI during their run to Champions League glory in 2018-19.

READ: We have now entered the age of Joel Matip 2.0 at Liverpool

Dejan Lovren (Trent Alexander-Arnold, 79)

A polarising player throughout his time at Liverpool, Lovren was outstanding in their first run to a Champions League final under Klopp but has struggled to erase the erratic moments from his game, allowing Matip and Joe Gomez to establish themselves as better options to partner Van Dijk.

His replacement against Crystal Palace, Alexander-Arnold, has done alright since emerging in the first team.

READ: ‘Equal parts Maldini and Mustafi’: Liverpool fans rate Lovren out of 10

James Milner (Alberto Moreno, 82)

It’s strange to think that, looking back, a season playing left-back seemed to help Milner revitalise his career, even if his initial reaction to being asked by Klopp whether he would prefer to play left or right-back was: “That’s like asking which one of these guys do you want to spend a night with your missus?!”

Needs must at the time, given Klopp had given up on Moreno, who was at least given a cameo here. The Spaniard joined Villarreal in the summer of 2019 and continues to provide good value…

Emre Can

The BBC’s match report credits Can for summing up Liverpool’s performance with “a woeful mis-hit after good approach work by James Milner and Roberto Firmino”.

The Germany midfielder spent one more season with the Reds before joining Juventus on a free transfer in 2018.

Amid their small army of midfielders, Can failed to establish himself in Turin and has since returned to Germany with Borussia Dortmund.

Lucas Leiva

The Liverpool cult hero left at the end of the 2016-17 season, with Klopp later telling ESPN: “When he left, we both had a little tear in our eye. It was really a special moment.”

Lucas subsequently joined Lazio, where he has become equally popular.

READ: Lucas Leiva made himself a Liverpool hero – now he’s doing the same at Lazio

Georginio Wijnaldum

It’s hard to imagine him not being part of Liverpool’s squad now. Dead good. Next.

Roberto Firmino

See above. What. A. Player.

READ: Roberto Firmino isn’t Liverpool’s false nine, he’s their perfect nine

Divock Origi

No, three years ago we didn’t expect Origi to still be at Liverpool now. No, three years ago we definitely didn’t expect Origi to have scored the game-clinching goal in a Champions League final.

Football is mad sometimes.

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool’s goalscorer on the day, Coutinho was so often the Reds’ main man but has found himself watching on as they have evolved into a far better team since he joined Barcelona.

The Brazilian’s own form has only rubbed salt into the wounds, as the attacking midfielder failed to produce his best at Barca and is now being touted around clubs while still on loan at Bayern.

Unused subs

Loris Karius: Liverpool thought they had seen the last of him when he was shipped out on loan to Besiktas. He might end up back at Anfield after lodging a complaint with FIFA in a dispute over unpaid wages. That’s not going to be awkward at all.

Joe Gomez: Now competing with Matip for a place next to Van Dijk, 2019-20 has seen Gomez cement himself in the XI after injury problems kept halting his momentum.

Rhian Brewster: Big things have been expected from Brewster for a number of years now, only for injuries to prevent him from making his senior debut until 2019. A loan move to Swansea has given him the chance to experience regular first-team football for the first time, and he has caught the eye with four goals in 10 starts.

Ben Woodburn: Like Brewster, injuries have prevented Woodburn from kicking on as expected after becoming Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer, frustrating the attacking midfielder on loan at Oxford United this term.


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