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Brucie's blunder boosts Eagles

Eric Young scored Palace's winner to earn them a League double over Liverpool.

Bruce Grobbelaar allowed Young to slide the ball away from him on the by-line beyond the far post, and then watched in horror as the Welsh international defender squeezed the ball into the back of the net from the narrowest of angles.

In fact this was one of Grobbelaar's more eccentric performances, with further errors in the second half which went unpunished.

A minute after the re-start he spilled another centre at the feet of Simon Rodger, but the young midfielder's shot was blocked and then cleared.

And then in the dying minutes, the clown prince of goalkeeping was again caught out, when he lost the ball 10 yards out of his area to Palace midfielder Paul Mortimer, only to rescue himself with a last ditch hack at the ball.

Mortimer had three other good chances to settle the account more emphatically for Steve Coppell's side with the best a 20-yard drive that clipped the angle of crossbar and post.

But Young's 40th minute strike proved enough to give Palace a fourth win over Liverpool in their last five meetings with the Merseysiders having no cause for complaint.

Not even the 52nd minute introduction of sub Ian Rush, coming back after a third knee operation this season for only his tenth League appearance, could save the day.

He had one snap shot saved by Palace goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, who also denied Michael Thomas and Ronnie Rosenthal.

Thomas also squeezed an 88th minute shot just wide of the far post while midfielder Mike Marsh, playing as a makeshift striker before Rush's introduction, had a `goal' disallowed on the stroke of half-time for handball.

But at least Liverpool looked to have escaped any additional injuries as the prepared for the UEFA Cup quarter-final second leg with Italian side Genoa at Anfield.

Crystal Palace boss Steve Coppell was later celebrating his side's remarkable winning sequence over Liverpool.

The win completed a league double over the Merseysiders and made it four wins out of the last five meetings between the teams.

Coppell said afterwards: "I was saying to the players before the game that there haven't been many teams to do the double over Liverpool in the last decade let alone win four out of five. It was a good performance and I think Chris Coleman up front made the difference. He certainly gives us something and has a real presence. I was delighted with him."

Coppell preferred to give his Welsh international defender the credit rather than blame the Anfield goalkeeper. He added: "I think `spider' did really well. He stretched out a leg and for a big man he has some tremendous skills and put the goal away well."

Graeme Souness, lectured by referee George Courteney, failed to appear for the normal post-match press conference. And when he finally emerged almost an hour after the final whistle he headed straight for the Liverpool team coach again refusing to comment on his side's performance.  

Copyright - British Soccer Week

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