It could have been a glorious day for both Liverpool and striker Rickie Lambert.
Lambert began his youth career with the Reds more than 20 years ago and dreamed of scoring for his boyhood club, and he notched his first goal in a Liverpool kit in the second minute of action against Crystal Palace Sunday.
But Eagles forward Dwight Gayle and midfielders Joe Ledley and Mile Jedinak dashed Lambert and Liverpool’s hopes with a 3-1 victory behind a raucous Selhurst Park crowd.
Now losing three straight, Liverpool remains in 11th place on the Premier League table, and are in danger of falling should Tottenham prevail later in the day.
The victory helped Palace jump four spots into 15th place, and they would certainly enjoy a Tottenham victory over Hull City to stay there.
Despite the loss, Lambert’s goal in the second minute did show what the Reds attack was capable of. Adam Lallana sailed a diagonal cross over the top of the Palace defense to the left wing, where Lambert converted it into right-footed strike and 1-0 advantage.
Hoping to respond as quickly as possible, Ledley diced through the Reds midfield and found Yannick Bolaise at the top of the box. Bolaise's shot bounced off the left post, but Gayle quickly swooped in for the rebound and deflection to equalize in the 17th minute.
The Eagles would only need a quick three minute burst late in the second half to surge past Liverpool.
Bolaise overpowered the Reds on the right wing, and fired a cross to Ledley who knocked his left-footed shot past keeper Simon Mignolet for the 2-1 lead in the 78th minute.
Three ticks later, Gayle drew a foul off defender Martin Skrtel and Jedinak struck a beautiful free kick just outside midfield to the top right corner to seal the victory.