Crystal Palace’s Premier League survival campaign was dealt a major blow after losing 2-1 late at home to Liverpool on the eve of Easter Sunday.

Luka Milivojevic slotted home a penalty 12 minutes in when Wilfried Zaha was fouled inside the box, giving Roy Hodgson’s side the lead going into the break despite the visitors' creation of chances.

Liverpool equalised three minutes after the restart through winger Sadio Mané before the Premier League’s leading scorer in Mohamed Salah made it 2-1 six minutes from time. 

Palace settled into the game quicker than the visitors and had two quick chances, with the best coming after seven minutes when Zaha was denied by shot-stopper Loris Karius after rushing onto a flick-on by Christian Benteke.

Liverpool began to settle into the game and looked to draw first blood when Virgil van Dijk got the better of Mamadou Sakho with a header, flicked-on by Mané, but it was wide of the post.

But then came the breakthrough – a Benteke header was latched onto by Zaha who was then clattered by an onrushing Karius, leaving referee Swarbrick to point to the spot.

After the goalkeeper was booked, Milivojevic converted his seventh penalty in eight games and gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Penalty shouts arose on the quarter-hour mark when Mané went down in the box after being clipped by midfielder James McArthur, but the winger was booked for diving – though replays will show contact was clearly made.

But Liverpool were not without their chances – all of their front three tested goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey but they were either deflected, blocked, or too far out from goal.

It could have been level when both Roberto Firmino and the league’s leading scorer, Mohamed Salah, got shots away inside the penalty area but were denied by former Reds centre back Mamadou Sakho.

Jurgen Klopp’s men started the second 45 minutes in earnest, and got their reward when a driven James Milner cross found Mané for a finish yards away from goal to settle the game at 1-1.

Though Benteke, and perhaps Liverpool as well, will be wondering how he didn’t score when Palace’s two best chances came within minutes of each other – both set up by the same team-mate Andros Townsend – shortly before the hour.

An interception by Milivojevic allowed Townsend to flick it on with a header, but it was missed, before Benteke was set up with a layoff only to miss the target again.

Defender Patrick van Aanholt threatened to open the scoring again when his free-kick was parried wide of the far post by Karius on 62 minutes, shortly after Mane handled the ball on the edge of the box.

But despite Palace’s chances and miscues, Salah made it 29 goals this season when he corralled a cross into the box and slotted it away for the lead.

Benteke went down in the box with minutes before full-time but penalty calls were waived away by Swarbrick.