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FAN COLUMN: Crystal Palace supporters really were the 12th man against Liverpool

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Palace fan and online columnist Robert Sutherland says Dwight Gayle's equaliser was a moment he was savour for many years to come... AT 3-0 down, the headlines were written and the national journalists were cracking their knuckles in preparation for writing paragraph upon paragraph about title-challengers Liverpool. But the opponents weren't just any old team. They were Crystal Palace. Our Palace. And as supporters, we refused to let the result lie. The noise ratcheted up. There's fight on the pitch and there's support off it. You won't find a more cohesive unit than Palace and its loyal followers. At 3-1, the intensity of our support just sparked the squad into action. An ineffective Yannick Bolasie suddenly jumped to life to produce one of the defining performances of his career. Bolasie, when playing like he did for the last 15 minutes, is the kind of player you spend money to watch. When he got the ball, all four corners of the stadium roared him forward - he duly obliged, setting up Dwight Gayle to score a remarkable goal. The noise refused to die down. The fans wanted more. It was like a boxing match, with spectators seeing their star an uppercut away from winning the bout. Liverpool's knees were buckling - Brendan Rodgers was the helpless trainer, hoping for the whistle to sound like the bell signalling the end of the round. As Liverpool reeled back, their noses bleeding and their vision blurred, Palace created a knock-out blow which put an end to Liverpool's title hopes. As Brendan Rodgers' men lost their heads, Palace's supporters further lifted theirs, their lungs bursting with pride and delirium as Gayle spun towards goal, placing a shot low into the corner of the net. I can't remember what exactly I did as he scored that third goal, but it was a moment I will savour for many years to come. Palace's supporters really were the 12th man - a roaring, raucous, uncompromising and ever-encouraging 12th man. The result didn't just put an end to Liverpool's title hopes; it put Palace's fans on the map.

FAN COLUMN: Crystal Palace supporters really were the 12th man against Liverpool


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