Klopp praises Liver­pool grit

The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Lon­don

– Juer­gen Klopp praised his side’s unerring abil­ity to dig out re­sults when not at their best after Liver­pool again scored late to beat Crys­tal Palace 2-1 on Satur­day and main­tain their eight­point lead at the top of the Premier League.

The lead­ers were in­debted to an 85th-minute Roberto Firmino (above) goal at Selhurst Park after Wil­fried Zaha had can­celled out Sa­dio Mane’s se­cond-half opener.

The vic­tory made it 30 league games un­beaten for Klopp’s side and was fur­ther com­pelling ev­i­dence that they are well equipped to end an ag­o­nis­ing 30-year wait for the English league ti­tle.

“Get­ting a re­sult at Crys­tal Palace, I don’t take it for granted,” said Klopp, whose side are eight points clear of Le­ices­ter after 13 games.

“We are not out there to show we in­vented foot­ball. We have a job to do to get re­sults. We did that again.

“I have no prob­lem that we were not bril­liant to­day. You just have to make sure you are ready to fight for the re­sult and we were that from the first minute.

“Could we have played bet­ter? Yes. But we had play­ers on the pitch that on Thurs­day morn­ing were still on the plane back from Abu Dhabi or wher­ever (dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional break). That’s not too cool.”

Liver­pool were miss­ing Mo­hamed Salah, who was on the bench as he con­tin­ues to strug­gle with an an­kle in­jury, and lacked their usual flu­ency go­ing for­ward in a first half dom­i­nated by Palace.

The half-chances were fall­ing to the home side, no­tably when Jor­dan Ayew skewed his shot wide be­fore a Joel Ward free-kick was headed onto the top of the cross­bar by Gary Cahill.

It ap­peared that a set-piece had given Palace the lead two min­utes be­fore half-time.

A Luka Milivo­je­vic free-kick clipped the head of Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum and dropped into the path of James Tomkins to nod home at the far post.

But Klopp’s men had VAR to thank for rul­ing the goal out after a re­view ruled that Jor­dan Ayew had fouled De­jan Lovren in the area.

If Liver­pool had been pon­der­ous in the first half, they sprinted into the lead within four min­utes of the restart.

Mane swiv­elled and sent in a shot that had just enough force to skim the hand of Palace keeper Vi­cente Guaita and spin off one post onto the other and cross the line. – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.