Klopp appeased by Reds' late victory

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrating with Sadio Mane after scoring the winner five minutes from time at Selhurst Park on Saturday in the Reds' seventh win by one goal this term - three coming from the 85th minute.
Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrating with Sadio Mane after scoring the winner five minutes from time at Selhurst Park on Saturday in the Reds' seventh win by one goal this term - three coming from the 85th minute.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • Jurgen 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 to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

The Reds were indebted to Roberto Firmino's winner five minutes from time at Selhurst Park, after Wilfried Zaha had cancelled out Sadio Mane's second-half opener for his first goal of the campaign.

The victory made it 30 league games unbeaten for Klopp's team, who are eight points clear of second-place Leicester after 13 games, compelling evidence that they are well-equipped to end an agonising 30-year wait for the English league title.

This was also Liverpool's seventh win by one goal this term, three of them coming by way of strikes from the 85th minute.

The visitors are making a habit of scoring late goals - according to the BBC, they are the leading top-flight side for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Despite missing Mohamed Salah, who was left on the bench, and not playing their customary free-flowing football, Klopp hailed his players' steel "to fight for the result".

He said: "Getting a result at Crystal Palace, I don't take it for granted.

"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 and we were that from the first minute.

 

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    Matches Liverpool have played in the Premier League without losing, the most since Manchester City (30 unbeaten from April 2017-Jan 2018)

"Could we have played better? Yes, but 37 points after 13 matches is exceptional.

"We had players on the pitch who on Thursday morning were still on the plane back from Abu Dhabi or wherever (during the international break). That's not too cool."

Klopp's men, though, were indebted to the video assistant referee (VAR) after James Tomkins' header was ruled out two minutes before half-time for a foul on Dejan Lovren by Jordan Ayew.

However, Eagles boss Roy Hodgson had no issue with the VAR decision, saying: "Close but no cigar.

"There was a push by Jordan and, ultimately, it's a shame we didn't get something from what was our best display of the season."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2019, with the headline 'Klopp appeased by Reds' late victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe