No wor­ries

> Klopp makes case for Liver­pool de­fence <

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS - – REUTERSPIX

JURGEN KLOPP in­sisted Liver­pool’s de­fen­sive prob­lems were no cause for alarm after his side main­tained their push for the Premier League ti­tle with a 4-2 win away to Crys­tal Palace.

De­spite an ul­ti­mately com­fort­able score­line that drew Liver­pool level on points with league lead­ers Manch­ester City and sec­ond-placed Arse­nal, the vis­i­tors’ shaky back­line was badly ex­posed at Sel­hurst Park at times.

De­jan Lovren was at fault when James McArthur can­celled out Emre Can’s open­ing goal and the cen­tre­back later al­lowed the Palace mid­fielder to head his sec­ond goal after Lovren him­self had re­stored Liver­pool’s lead.

Yes­ter­day’s re­sult meant the Reds have kept just one clean sheet in the league so far this term, but Liver­pool man­ager Klopp said: “We will sort the de­fence. When that hap­pens, we will see (if we can chal­lenge in the league).

“They can de­fend re­ally well – it’s nor­mal (to have lapses). But I know that ev­ery­body will talk about this.”

The Ger­man said that sin­gling out in­di­vid­ual play­ers for crit­i­cism was not his style, adding the way Liver­pool re­sponded to their early er­rors against the Ea­gles demon­strated the team’s re­silience.

“I don’t go in the dress­ing room and say, ‘You’re a re­ally bad de­fender, and you are the goal­keeper, where are you?’,” he ex­plained.

“They are all human be­ings, we work on it. I am com­pletely con­vinced about the qual­ity. If they make mis­takes and stay in the game, then it’s a very good test for them, and they stood it again.

“I was happy with the re­ac­tion. Not with the sit­u­a­tion, not with the style of the game, that’s what we have to work on, but I’m happy with the re­ac­tion.”

Lovren’s fel­low cen­tral de­fender Joel Matip put Liver­pool ahead for a third time im­me­di­ately be­fore half­time and Roberto Firmino wrapped up the win mid­way through the sec­ond half.

But Philippe Coutinho was the

Liver­pool’s Philippe Coutinho (2nd left) vol­leys a shot at the Crys­tal Palace goal dur­ing their Premier League match at Sel­hurst Park in Lon­daon yes­ter­day. game’s out­stand­ing player and Klopp praised the con­tri­bu­tion of the Brazil­ian in­ter­na­tional.

“He’s a very good foot­ball player. His work-rate is out­stand­ing. That’s im­por­tant for the team, and you can­not change this be­cause you can­not be a ge­nius ev­ery day,” he said.

Mean­while home man­ager Alan Pardew was left frus­trated by his side’s fail­ure to cap­i­talise on Liver­pool’s mis­takes, with Palace pay­ing a heavy price for their own er­rors at the back.

After a suc­cess­ful Septem­ber when they recorded three wins, the south Lon­don side have lost three games on the run and need to end that se­quence if they are to avoid get­ting dragged to­wards the lower reaches of the ta­ble.

“McArthur was ex­cep­tional, he scored two goals and his en­ergy lev­els were a pos­i­tive force for us all game,” said Pardew.

“But at times the back four looked like it will need some work to­day,” the for­mer Palace mid­fielder added.

Pardew also ques­tioned An­dre Mar­riner’s ap­point­ment for the match, after the ref­eree awarded Liver­pool a con­tentious penalty con­verted by Chris­tian Ben­teke – now at Palace – in last sea­son’s cor­re­spond­ing fix­ture, which the Reds won 2-1.

Yes­ter­day saw Mar­riner turn down three Palace penalty ap­peals and Pardew said: “I don’t think An­dre Mar­riner should have reffed this game. He gives the penalty last year so we’ve got a neg­a­tive in our mind any­way.

“And then we get three penalty calls, okay they are tight, but they are prob­a­bly no worse than Chris­tian’s last year, so it’s just a lit­tle bit frus­trat­ing that part.”

As for Liver­pool’s chances of win­ning a first English ti­tle since they lifted the old First Di­vi­sion tro­phy in 1990, Pardew added: “They are cer­tainly go­ing to be close.

“Their two cen­tre­halves are ter­rific, even if they made a mis­take. That’s an area they are not so strong, but they played well.” – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.