Klopp hails Reds' defence and tenacity after Palace win

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane (centre) celebrating his winner with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) and his team-mates.
Liverpool forward Sadio Mane (centre) celebrating his winner with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (right) and his team-mates.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praised his side's persistence as they did just enough to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 thanks to a cool finish from Sadio Mane.

Liverpool fans were getting increasingly frustrated on Saturday as the hosts struggled to break down Palace's defence.

However, Senegal winger Mane finally made the difference, capitalising on a mistake by Luka Milivojevic to slot past Wayne Hennessey with 17 minutes to go.

The goal lifted the tension around Anfield as Liverpool secured their first league win of the season following last weekend's frustrating 3-3 draw at Watford.

Rather than dwell on his team's lack of cutting edge, Klopp was happy with the way his players stuck to their task.

"It was a hard job. I have no idea how much we had the ball but it was a lot," the German said after Liverpool had 72 per cent of the possession and took 23 shots, of which 13 found the target.

"We had moments in the first half but had to be more patient because they were deep. We didn't score but we didn't give counter-attacks away.

"We defended brilliantly and we had the ball all of the time - it felt like 85 percent possession. You need to make the right decisions and in the first half we didn't.

"The second half was much better and I loved the goal we scored because it was not our best one-two in the game. It was a nice goal and we deserved it a lot."

Palace conjured four shots, with just one on target.

The Eagles - who were beaten 3-0 at home by Huddersfield Town a week ago - have lost their opening two games for the second straight season. But manager Frank de Boer remains confident his side can turn their form around if they remain as resilient as they did for large parts of this encounter.

"We were quite concentrated for almost all of the match," said the Dutchman. "I saw a team who wants to fight for one another."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2017, with the headline 'Klopp hails Reds' defence and tenacity after Palace win'. Print Edition | Subscribe