Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was understandably pleased after his 10-man side came back from a goal down to beat Alan Pardew’s struggling Crystal Palace team at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Selhurst Park has not been a happy hunting ground for Liverpool in recent seasons, and it looked as though that trend would continue when the home side took the lead through Joe Ledley just after half time. To make matters worse for the Reds, midfielder James Milner received his marching orders in the 62nd minute, giving Klopp’s side a mountain to climb.
Liverpool did not lose hope, however, and capitalised on Crystal Palace’s errors to stage a dramatic comeback. The in-form Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino first took advantage of a massive goalkeeping howler from Alex McCarthy, before substitute Christian Benteke won — and converted — a late penalty to seal all three points for the visitors.
Klopp insists Liverpool forced Crystal Palace errors
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp insisted that his side’s willingness to press high up the pitch forced the errors from the hosts. The German praised the Reds’ ability to put pressure on Alan Pardew’s side, and then to take advantage when the opportunities presented themselves.
Klopp is quoted by the Liverpool Echo as saying, “The game cannot work without mistakes, but I think we forced the errors. We were playing a high formation, near to the box even though we had only 10 men.
“We made pressure on Crystal Palace, and when they made mistakes we took advantage.”
The 48-year-old also revealed his thoughts on Milner’s red card, and the impact it had on the team in a tactical sense. Asked in his post-match press conference how he felt about the incident, Klopp replied: “Rubbish! We wanted to bring Coutinho on, and to be more offensive on the right wing with Milner instead of (Jon) Flanagan. And then in the first moment after the change, we get the red card.
“It was not the biggest problem offensively, but we had to find a solution defensively. It was more about passion than formation.”
Benteke penalty decision was the right call — Klopp
The Belgian centre-forward was introduced into the game with ten minutes remaining, and ultimately made the decisive contribution. Referee Andre Marriner awarded Liverpool a penalty after what looked like the very slightest of touches on Benteke from Palace defender Damien Delaney.
However, the Reds’ boss insisted that there was no controversy about the decision, and that he was sure it was a penalty.
“I am sure (it was a penalty),” Klopp said, addressing the media after the game. “Do you not think so?
“What can I say? I am sure. If you run, and you get this touch, you fall down. Try it!”