Liverpool booked a place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup, coming from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park.
Second half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana ensured the Reds progressed to the last eight of the competition – a good omen when you consider the last four times Liverpool have reached this stage of the competition they have gone on to make the final.
The Reds trailed to a first half goal from Fraser Campbell, but turned it around to earn a deserved victory – and end their poor run of results at Selhurst Park.
Brendan Rodgers made one change from the side that beat Tottenham in midweek, with Joe Allen replacing the cup tied Jordon Ibe.
That meant Emre Can continued in a back three alongside Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel. The latter will feel he could have done more to prevent the opening goal, when failure to head clear saw Dwight Gayle run through on goal. The forward headed the bouncing ball towards goal, and despite Simon Mignolet making a fine block, Campbell made no mistake with the rebound.
That was harsh considering the Reds had dominated the opening exchanges, and that was how it continued for much of the game.
Adam Lallana almost pulled his side level, but was denied by a fine block from Julian Speroni, after some excellent link up play between himself, Allen and Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool’s captain for the evening then tested Speroni again with a long range effort that was beaten away, before Allen then volleyed wide narrowly.
Lazar Markovic also failed to hit the target, firing over with his weaker left foot after an excellent run.
The most controversial moment of the game involved Daniel Sturridge, with the Reds striker certain he should have been awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge from behind.
Palace got away with it, and almost rubbed salt in the wounds when Gayle ran through following another mistake from Skrtel.
Luckily Mignolet was on hand to produce a fine save with his foot to deny the striker what would have been a fourth goal in four appearances against the Reds.
Brendan Rodgers reacted by replacing Markovic with Mario Balotelli at half time, and the Italian went on to play his part in the turnaround.
Daniel Sturridge said in the week he was confident he could form a good understanding with Balotelli, and the pair were only together on the field for five minutes before the 25-year-old fired the Reds level.
Sturridge escaped the attentions of former Red Martin Kelly at the back post, and calmly volleyed Jordan Henderson’s inch perfect cross through the legs of Speroni.
Just nine minutes later, Liverpool found themselves in front.
Balotelli played his part, first winning a free kick on the edge of the box before stepping up himself. The 24-year-old seemed to have an extra spring in his step following his midweek winner against Tottenham, and even broke into a wide smile after Adam Lallana had buried the rebound after his initial effort had been parried by Speroni.
The Reds were good value for what ultimatley proved a vital win, with Palace threating for a brief period in the second half with a series of set pieces – with the impressive Mignolet tipping an effort from Joe Ledley around the post the closest the hosts came to drawing level.
Liverpool saw out the final 15 minutes of the game with some impressive possession football, and can now look forward to Monday night’s draw for the quarter finals of the competition.