Of Liverpool's 19 Premier League victories so far this season, Sadio Mane considers Saturday's frantic one over Crystal Palace the biggest.
Jürgen Klopp’s men have posted a series of controlled successes to top the table but had to secure a result in much different fashion against the Eagles at Anfield.
The Reds trailed 1-0 after 45 minutes and were pegged back when they overturned the score with two quickfire goals in the second half.
Further strikes from Mohamed Salah and Mane put Liverpool clear, though Max Meyer’s finish set up a tense final minute with the hosts down to 10 men due to James Milner’s dismissal.
Relief was therefore the overriding emotion inside the stadium at full-time and Mane stressed the importance of securing three points from a testing afternoon.
Asked if it was his side’s biggest win of the campaign so far, the Senegal international told Liverpoolfc.com: “100 per cent.
“For sure, it was not our best performance but the most important thing for us was the three points. We got them and everybody is happy.
“They played very well in the first half. They scored goals, they were very compact and it was difficult for us to pass between the lines.
“In the second half, we tried to push with the fans behind us and we scored two quick goals. At 3-2 it became more difficult and then we scored a fourth goal.
“It was still a very tough game but [we got] three points.”
Mane’s 10th goal of the season ultimately proved to be the winner.
With the clash in stoppage-time and Liverpool’s lead 3-2, the forward collected Andy Robertson’s pass on the stretch and sprinted towards the box before threading a shot past Julian Speroni.
“It was a good goal at a good time. We were a little bit [more] relaxed after so much pressure,” he added.
“After 3-2 and 4-2, them coming again was tough but we did quite well and finally won – that’s the most important thing.”
Neil Critchley felt Liverpool U23s' 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion was a fair reflection of the action at the Academy on Sunday afternoon.
Matty Virtue’s long-range strike in the second half salvaged a point from the Premier League Cup tie, which could have been decided either way with a flurry of late chances at both ends.
The young Reds, who lost Liam Millar and Curtis Jones to injury by the interval, must now gain positive results against Burnley and Bournemouth next month to qualify from Group C.
Read Critchley’s post-match assessment below…
On his verdict of the match…
It was quite an entertaining game, there were lots of incidents. We didn’t start great, then we started to get a foothold in the game, and then we conceded. You then know you’re going to face a wall of West Brom players. It was difficult for us to break that down; we faced that when we played them away. It’s tough and we were a bit ponderous in the first half, not enough energy, crossing, shooting and running. I thought we improved in the second half, there were plenty of crosses and shots and we obviously got the equaliser. After that, tiredness kicked in a little bit. We had to make some changes due to injury and it looked a bit disjointed. We could have lost but we could have won it as well. I can’t fault the boys’ effort; we maybe could have managed the game better towards the end.
On Adam Lewis going to the right wing in the second half…
That was obviously an enforced change – Liam came off holding his hip flexor and Curtis was feeling his groin, so we had to make two changes. Matty Virtue was playing his first game for a number of weeks; he was feeling his quad a little bit, stretching his quad in the second half, so we had to change him as well. But considering those changes, I thought the boys’ character and effort was first-class. The performance looked a bit disjointed and open towards the end. I’d say that was a little bit down to the positions we were playing in and fatigue. I’d have to see that back before I make a big judgement on that one.
On Virtue taking his goal so well…
He did. It was capitalising on a mistake from the goalkeeper but it was a good touch. We’ve seen them go over the bar or wide – it was a lovely little clip over the goalkeeper. At that point in the game I felt we deserved that. After that, we didn’t show the control and patience we should have done, and it became far too open and we couldn’t live with their athleticism on the counter-attack. When we had the ball in their half, I felt more vulnerable than we should have done. Having said that, Adam has had a chance to win it, and Lazar, so it could have gone either way. A point is probably a fair reflection in the end.
Liverpool U23s came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion in their Premier League Cup tie at the Academy.
Kyle Edwards produced the standout piece of quality in the first half, his powerful surge and sure finish giving the away team a lead at the interval.
But the young Reds were a different side from the outset of the second period and levelled on the hour when Matty Virtue beat the goalkeeper from distance.
Neil Critchley’s team could not complete a full turnaround, however, and remain bottom of Group C with two fixtures left to play in the section.
The visitors made a keen start in Kirkby but Curtis Jones, playing as the central focal point of Liverpool’s attack, soon began to influence proceedings.
It was his driving run from deep to the edge of the box that opened avenues to pass either left to Virtue or right to Lazar Markovic.
Jones opted for the latter and Markovic unselfishly attempted to reverse the ball back to his teammate for a shot – but West Brom recovered to block out the chance.
The No.9 then presented Pedro Chirivella with a shooting opportunity by holding up Liam Millar’s cross into the box and laying a pass out to the ‘D’, though the effort was curled too high.
The Baggies’ threat in the opening 20 minutes had been restricted to harmless crosses from wide, and a much more direct route paid instant dividends.
Edwards capitalised on a bouncing knock forward by physically shrugging off Conor Masterson and rounding George Johnston before coolly rolling a finish past Shamal George.
Rayhaan Tulloch went close to doubling West Brom’s lead on the half-hour but, having escaped into space in the left channel and fashioned a yard of space, he dragged his shot wide of the far post.
Liverpool’s search for fluency was hindered by knocks to Millar, who was forced off on 37 minutes, and Jones; he persevered until half-time before being withdrawn.
Critchley adjusted his front line as a result of those injuries and Adam Lewis, switched from left-back to right wing, helped to forge a series of good chances as the hosts seized control of the tie.
His pressing led to a close-range effort from substitute Glen McAuley being well saved by the legs of Brad House, his own driven hit was palmed away and the rebound evaded Markovic, who might have then done better with a back-post header from Lewis’ excellent cross.
West Brom had appeals for a penalty rejected when Edwards’ blast struck Johnston’s arm in the box – and their frustration was compounded within moments.
House carelessly sent the ball straight to Virtue and the Reds midfielder expertly took advantage with a clever first touch and precise lift back over the goalkeeper into the open net.
By now, the encounter was end to end.
Edwards’ dribbling pace drew out defenders and allowed a reverse pass into Tulloch – but his low shot was flicked wide by the diving George.
Lewis had the ball in the West Brom net soon after, though a narrow offside call denied him after collecting Chirivella’s through pass and stepping around House.
Neither side were able to muster a winner, though, with George superbly denying Jamie Soule and then Dan Meredith one-on-one in the final minutes.
So Liverpool will now require positive results at Burnley and Bournemouth next month to have any hope of qualifying from Premier League Cup Group C.
Liverpool U23s: George, Whelan, Lewis, Masterson, Johnston, Chirivella, Millar (McAuley, 37), Virtue (Brookwell, 80), Jones (Juanma, 46), Christie-Davies, Markovic.
Unused substitute: McKenzie-Lyle.
Mohamed Salah led the charge as Liverpool battled to a precious 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace and was rewarded with another two goals.
The Egyptian's endeavour and quality helped to haul the Reds from a goal down and maintain their Premier League lead on a frantic afternoon at Anfield.
Watch the best moments of Salah's performance in the LFCTV GO montage above.
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Virgil van Dijk takes inspiration from Sir Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool's legendary former players as he aims to achieve modern success with the club.
The centre-back has been a formidable influence on the Reds team – who lead the Premier League and are safely into the Champions League last 16 – since sealing a switch from Southampton a year ago.
It was at the time Van Dijk completed his transfer to Liverpool that the Netherlands international swapped phone numbers with Dalglish, with the pair occasionally in touch ahead of matches.
And the No.4 uses the feats of the past as motivation to write history himself.
“Kenny Dalglish gave me his mobile number in the very beginning and told me to ring him at any time,” said Van Dijk.
“It is unbelievable when he sometimes sends me messages before games. That is what Liverpool is about.
“Like most clubs, Liverpool have some private boxes for players available. I have my own box for my family here. To get there, you have to walk through the boardroom.
“On matchdays, that is like walking in a museum. Almost every Liverpool legend is present. I just love to hear all the stories from the guys who used to play for this magical club.
“When you have meant something to this club, they will never forget you. You are Liverpool for ever.”
Mohamed Salah scored twice as Liverpool fought their way back from a goal down to beat Crystal Palace 4-3 at Anfield on Saturday.
Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were also on the mark on a dramatic afternoon that saw the Reds again strengthen their position at the top of the Premier League.
Here is what the media made of the match...
James Pearce, Liverpool Echo
The scenes after the final whistle spoke volumes. A pumped up Jürgen Klopp embraced his captain before delivering a flurry of fist pumps in front of the Kop and beating his chest. Anfield let out a collective roar. Liverpool had emerged unscathed from a rollercoaster afternoon to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table. There were more twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster as the Reds overcame a major scare to keep their title charge on track. You could hear the groans coming from Manchester. On the day when Liverpool honoured the legendary Bob Paisley, Klopp's side also delivered a nod to the past. This was a throwback to their previous guise when they were potent going forward but horribly vulnerable at the other end. When the pressure was cranked up, they refused to buckle. Instead they stood tall and showcased their powers of recovery. The character and hunger of this side is just as impressive as their quality and work ethic. Captain Jordan Henderson led by example as he thundered into tackles with Milner and Andy Robertson equally combative.
David Lynch, Evening Standard
It is often said that difficult moments are when you find out whether teams are truly great or not, and Klopp could not have asked for more from his players on a tricky day at Anfield. To their great credit, Palace provided the sort of test that the Reds have not seen much en route to the summit of the Premier League with 23 games gone. But, no matter how many blows they landed across the 90 minutes, Hodgson's men could not extinguish their hosts' belief, or their desire to claim another crucial three points. Liverpool's watertight defence has been crucial to their brilliance this season but, when that failed, they possessed the character to find another way to win. That bodes incredibly well for their chances of sustaining a title charge until May.
Neil Jones, Goal.com
You never thought it would be straightforward, did you? Liverpool are seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, but boy did they suffer to get there! Anfield had forgotten what a Klopp rollercoaster felt like, but they got a thrilling, terrifying reminder here. This was a throwback to days gone by, heavy metal football, organised chaos and all that. Crystal Palace, 14th in the table, gave the league leaders the fright of their lives. The noise which greeted the final blast of referee Jon Moss' whistle said everything. This was a victory to be enjoyed, at the end of an afternoon to be endured. At the end, Klopp made his way down to the Kop. A clench of the fist brought a guttural roar from English football's most famous stand. He knew how important this was, and so did his supporters. "Someone asked me the main feeling, the main emotion, at the final whistle," he said. "It was relief." Early in his reign, a defeat here to Palace left him "feeling pretty lonely" as fans gave up on their team as they toiled, but things have changed dramatically since then. Now, there is a perfect harmony, from the stands to the field. The faith is there, and so is the belief. Nobody was leaving this game early. But the long and the short of it is simple; Liverpool remain in the driving seat, and passed yet another examination of their championship credentials. They've won 19 of their 23 league games so far; 14 more victories will end that long, painful wait for a league title, no matter what happens elsewhere.
Steve Bates, Daily Mirror
They lined up at half time with more title medals amongst them than probably any group of men in Liverpool's history. Talk about timing. Just when Klopp's modern day stars most needed inspiration and a reminder that you have to dig deep to win the most prized trophy in English football, the heroes of Liverpool's glorious past took their place in the centre circle at half time. Kenny Dalglish, Phil Neal, Graeme Souness, Terry McDermott, Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Case, David Fairclough and more. If any Kop stars know how to win a title it's them. They were at Anfield to honour the 100th birthday of former managerial legend Paisley, no stranger to winning the big prizes himself. And their presence proved a divine intervention of sorts as Klopp's men responded to a hitch in their title plan exactly the way the legends of yester-year did all those seasons ago. With guts, determination, belief and, on this occasion, the handy slice of luck all teams need on the long road to glory. But when you have Salah in attack anything is possible – even on the off days. It's hard to think of fresh superlatives for Salah who is back to his best and making the decisive contributions just when Liverpool need him most.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Check out a schedule of local community events planned by the LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams in the coming week.
Monday January 21
Premier League Kicks sessions
Walton Hall Park - 7pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Speke Community Centre - 6pm-8pm (age 11+)
Respect 4 All Ability Counts session (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-12), 7pm-8pm (age 13+)
Tuesday January 22
Premier League Kicks session
Toxteth Firefit Hub - 5.30pm-6.30pm (age 8-13), 6.30pm-7.30pm (age 14-19)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)
Red Neighbours Walking Football
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 3pm-4pm
Seaforth in Bowersdale Park (meet at Bowersdale Resource Centre) - 5pm-6pm
Wednesday January 23
Premier League Kicks sessions
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 7-11), 6pm-7pm (age 12-17), 5pm-6pm (age 8-13 girls only)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5+)
Crosby in Coronation Park (meet at Alchemy Crosby Youth & Community Centre) - 4.30pm-5.30pm
Thursday January 24
Premier League Kicks sessions
Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-7pm (age 14-17)
Gateacre School - 6pm-7pm (age 8-11), 7pm-8pm (age 12-16)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 8pm-10pm (age 13+)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 7pm-8pm (age 5+)
Netherton Goals - 5pm-7.30pm
Friday January 25
Premier League Kicks sessions
Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)
Croxteth Sports Centre - 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Kirkby Leisure Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-8pm (age 14-17)
Netherton Activity Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 8-11), 7pm-8pm (age 12-19)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)
Red Neighbours Walking Football
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11am-12pm
Red Neighbours Walking Netball
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11.30am-12.30pm
Saturday January 26
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Woodchurch High School - 10.30am-11.30am (SLD Child), 11.30am-12.30pm (Ability Counts), 12.30pm-1.30pm (SLD Adults)
Wavertree Sports Park - 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm
Stanley Park - 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm
Norris Green Park - 1.30pm-3pm
Jubilee Sports Bank - 1.30pm-2.30pm
Sunday January 27
Walton Hall Park - 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm
Belle Vale Park - 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm
Doric Park - 11am-12pm
LFC Academy - 3pm-5pm
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Jordan Henderson insisted Liverpool have to improve on their performance against Crystal Palace but took solace from three important points in the Premier League title race.
The Reds emerged victorious from a frantic, topsy-turvy clash at Anfield on Saturday by a 4-3 scoreline – having trailed 1-0, been pegged back at 2-2 and conceded in the 95th minute.
On the day, the win was ultimately the highest priority but Henderson cut through the relief post-match to warn that his side must take lessons from how the game played out.
“It is [a huge win]. Every game is massive. It’s an important three points again,” the captain told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It was a tough game and not what we would want in terms of performance – we can be much better in controlling [the match].
“We’ll analyse the game to see what we didn’t do as well. But, overall, we’ve got to be delighted again with the result.
“You’re not going to play as well as you’d like in every single game. So when you’re not flying or playing as well as you can, it’s important to find a way to win and keep going right until the end – and we managed to do that.”
Mohamed Salah kick-started a remarkable second half with a close-range finish to equalise Andros Townsend’s opener for the Eagles.
The No.11 also pounced on a Julian Speroni error to notch Liverpool’s third – a goal that brought up his half-century in the Premier League on his 72nd appearance.
The Egyptian’s fellow forwards, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, were on the scoresheet too on a day when the Reds’ firepower, rather than defensive resilience, proved the difference.
“He causes defenders nightmares all game. Again, he was brilliant,” said Henderson of Salah.
“There are still positives to come out of it but still a lot to improve. But it’s the Premier League, it’s tough and you need to grind results out – that’s what we did.
“We wanted to start quickly in the second half, which we did, and still be patient with the ball and try to keep them moving.
“It was a great start for us but we’re disappointed, definitely, with the set-piece that they scored to get back level.
“But, again we showed great character to keep going and find a way. It’ll feel like a massive win, of course, but still we need to improve.”
Jürgen Klopp’s side are not in action again until Leicester City visit Anfield on January 30.
And with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum the latest to pick up knocks, and Fabinho limping off late on against Palace, the skipper expects the break to be beneficial.
“We have a few knocks and injuries in the squad, so it gives them a chance to try to recover and get fit again. We’re going to need everybody over the next few months,” he added.
A relieved Jürgen Klopp was delighted to have seen Liverpool ‘dig in’ to secure a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield.
Andros Townsend’s goal meant the Reds were behind at half-time on Saturday, but Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scored to make it 2-1 to the hosts by the 53rd minute.
Palace got back on terms through James Tomkins, before Salah put the Premier League leaders back in front with 15 minutes left to play.
Sadio Mane’s 93rd-minute strike – which came shortly after James Milner had been shown a second yellow card – appeared to have wrapped up the win, only for Max Meyer to quickly pull one back for the Eagles.
Liverpool, though, saw out the remainder to extend their advantage at the top of the table to seven points.
Read on for a transcript of Klopp’s post-match press conference…
On his reaction to the game and result…
Somebody asked me already what was the main feeling or emotion after the final whistle and it was relief. A game like this can go in all directions. We were extremely dominant in the first half, but we were 1-0 down. We created chances but not enough, maybe not clear enough. We didn’t have enough players in the decisive areas, we had a lot of players in the preparing areas. That can happen of course, so at half-time it was clear we had to change that – we needed players in the decisive areas, more bodies in the box and all that stuff. Thank God it worked pretty well immediately. We forced these two goals to come back and everyone felt the atmosphere. Then, obviously it was not 100 per cent clear for the boys: do we control it now or do we still chase the game or whatever. That can happen as well, it’s not a big problem. We had good moments and controlled it most of the time, but pretty much each ball we lost was immediately a counter-attack because Zaha had a really good game and gave us a lot of things to solve. Millie did outstandingly well because you really cannot defend him alone and we didn’t - besides the goal, of course, which he set up. Apart from that, we could defend him but there were a lot of set-pieces – especially the set-piece which they got for the 2-2. It was an open game now with more possession for us - and we scored the third one with a similar situation that we had plenty of in the first half, these diagonal balls into the box for the full-backs.
This time Millie could get the ball in the last second I would say, a difficult ball for the goalie and Mo was there to finish it off. Fourth goal, Sadio - a world-class run, full of desire and all that stuff. Then you have a look at the watch and think ‘OK, that could be the moment’, but football teaches you always don’t close the game before it’s finished, so they could score the third one. Rafa Camacho wins the ball in pretty much the last second against Wilfried Zaha – I don’t want to think about if we’d missed that ball and what then would have happened! It is like it is. There are different ways to win football games, today we had to dig in with all we had and the boys did that, especially in the second half. It was a different game in the first and second half. We did it and so I am really happy.
On the character of his team…
Nobody should be surprised about the character of the boys. If something was really here before I came in it was character. I have known the boys since October 2015, all the boys that were here, and they have outstanding character. The work-rate was always unbelievable and all that stuff, so you have to mix it up with a few other attributes. Confidence is important, self-belief and all that stuff. The boys are ready to fight for all, that’s clear. It’s not the first moment in the season where we had to do it, but today it was pretty special and I really liked it. I think it was not too easy for the crowd to get the first half – so what do you do with that? It’s all OK on one-hand side, but on the other you are 1-0 down. I am pretty sure a lot of people though that it’s not only difficult today, but probably the day where we lose it. We were not like this. I told the boys, most importantly we have to stay positive and it’s now allowed to lose the nerves – there was no reason for it, nothing happened and we had to improve a few things and do a few things again and again. Yes, of course, we had to protect especially the left wing extremely well, we needed to be there, we needed to win the ball back there as well. The boys did it, you always need a bit of luck in football but it was not too much necessary. The boys deserve these three points in a very difficult game.
On Salah reaching 50 Premier League goals in just 72 appearances…
Exceptional - an exceptional achievement from a world-class player, that’s how it is. I think he made a few steps in the last couple of months in the right direction, so it’s really, really an outstanding number. I heard the names of the other players who did it a bit quicker: Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Andy Cole - yeah, good strikers as well! Maybe he would’ve scored more earlier if I wouldn’t have played him that often on the right wing, so [that’s] my fault! But no, it’s not bad and it helped us a lot and the boys know that. I think it’s a typical win-win situation: he benefits from the style of play with the other boys and the boys benefit, of course, with his scoring desire, so that’s cool.
On the 11-day gap to the Reds’ next game, against Leicester City…
It is a break in that period. If I would imagine Millie out and Fabinho for sure a doubt it would’ve been a massive challenge if we would play on Wednesday or Saturday again. I have no idea how that would’ve worked - we couldn’t do that, honestly. It will be now two days of recovery for the boys with the most minutes and the others train of course, and then we start the preparation for the Leicester game, which is another tough task. That’s why we are here but it will not be a real break, we have to use it for training.
On when Trent Alexander-Arnold will be ready to return from injury…
I don’t know. We have to look day to day, that’s what everybody tells me. [For] Leicester? I don’t know. Trent is a very quick healer so that gives us a little hope. That’s it. We have to see.
Liverpool ultimately took three points from a remarkable, and often nerve-wracking, 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday.
After a single goal for the visitors in the first half, six were split between the teams after the break – with the Reds ultimately triumphant by virtue of their fourth goal, Sadio Mane’s curled strike.
Here are five talking points from a thrilling encounter…
A huge second half
The importance of the events that unfolded in the second half at Anfield may only be fully understood at the end of the season.
Trailing after 45 minutes to Andros Townsend’s neat finish at the Kop end, Liverpool needed a strong response – and it began more quickly than Jürgen Klopp could legitimately have hoped.
Salah cushioned a strike past Julian Speroni just 56 seconds after the referee restarted the action and prompted a flurry of goals that ensured the match was in the balance until, literally, the final seconds.
Roberto Firmino, James Tomkins, Salah again, Mane and Max Meyer all registered on the scoresheet amid a chaotic passage of football, which nevertheless ended with the Reds three points better off and still clear in the Premier League.
When the final whistle finally – thankfully – put the drama to bed, Klopp’s fist pumps in front of the Kop told you everything.
Salah keeps on scoring
Both of the Egyptian’s goals came courtesy of considerable slices of fortune.
Virgil van Dijk’s hopeful punt from distance created the first, the ball looping off a Palace man and towards the unmarked Salah inside the area, though the calm finish that followed exhibited his composure and class.
His second came via a Speroni error, the Eagles goalkeeper pushing James Milner’s cut-back from Fabinho’s raking pass over his own head and Salah rushing in to tap the ball in from the goalline.
The double lifted Salah clear in the race to retain his Premier League Golden Boot, on 16 goals, and moved him onto 50 in the English top flight – 48 for Liverpool and two for Chelsea – in just 72 appearances.
“World-class,” was Klopp’s succinct description of his No.11 post-match.
Speaking of goals and statistics, Firmino’s second-half strike brought up a milestone for Liverpool in the Premier League era.
With his shuffle and shot – a trademark from his playbook – the Brazil international claimed the 1,000th goal scored by the Reds at Anfield since the competition’s inception.
The first? Mark Walters’ effort that kick-started a 2-1 comeback win over Sheffield United on August 19, 1992.
Another way to win
The hallmark of Liverpool’s Premier League form this season has been control, their hitherto formidable defensive record laying the foundations for results both slender and emphatic.
This, clearly, was something different – a test of character for a team so accustomed to getting in front and staying there.
They answered the challenge of a half-time deficit, they answered the challenge of seeing their subsequent lead levelled at 2-2, and they answered the challenge of Palace’s refusal to give in.
And they got their reward.
“We showed great character,” said the captain, Jordan Henderson. “We’ve got to be delighted with the three points. We found a way to win.”
A club record
Liverpool’s determination did not just yield three crucial Premier League points on Saturday, the result set a new club record as Klopp’s men continue to set an astonishing pace at the summit.
Their total of 60 from 23 matches is the highest the Reds have ever accrued at this stage of a top-flight campaign, bettering the sum of 59 in 1893-94 and 1987-88.
This was their 19th victory of the term and further extended the unbeaten run in the league at Anfield, which now stands at 32 matches since Palace won here in April 2017.
And so they re-established a seven-point advantage in the division, with closest rivals Manchester City set to take on Huddersfield Town away from home on Sunday.
Mohamed Salah revealed that Liverpool’s players discussed the need for mental strength to overcome the adversity of a half-time deficit against Crystal Palace.
The Reds eventually ran out 4-3 winners over the Eagles at Anfield on Saturday - a victory that extends their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.
The final outcome does not tell the full story of a thrilling match, though, with Andros Townsend’s opener having put Palace 1-0 up at the break.
Salah equalised just a minute into the second half, and Roberto Firmino edged the hosts into the lead soon after.
Roy Hodgson’s team then levelled through James Tomkins before Salah’s 50th Premier League goal made it 3-2 and Sadio Mane added a fourth in stoppage time following James Milner’s dismissal for a second bookable offence.
Max Meyer’s 94th-minute strike ensured there would be more nerves around Anfield in the closing stages, but Liverpool held out to secure a vital three points.
Salah told BBC Sport post-match: “We expected before the game that the game was going to be very difficult.
“First half they played well and they played well also [in the] second half but they were staying [close] to the box and it was a tough game. But in the end the most important thing for us is the result and we had a good result.
“We conceded three goals, it’s hard a little bit but we have to accept it. This is football and we have to live with that.
“We talked to each other [at half-time] that we had to be strong mentally because this is a tough time.
“This is the most important time for us, when you are struggling you have to be strong in mind, so we talked together and the manager also gave us information and we played well and we deserved the game.”
Liverpool strengthened their advantage at the top of the Premier League table with a dramatic 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday.
In a hard-fought encounter, Andros Townsend gave the Eagles the lead on 34 minutes when he finished off a counter-attack by converting Wilfried Zaha’s low cross from close range.
Mohamed Salah equalised immediately after the restart, touching in Virgil van Dijk’s deflected strike, before Roberto Firmino put them in front moments after.
James Tomkins headed in a leveller from a corner just after the hour; however, Salah claimed his second when he tapped in from on the line after Julian Speroni had misjudged James Milner’s cross.
Milner was shown a second yellow card with a minute of normal time left to play following a challenge on Zaha, but Palace’s hopes of salvaging a point were ended when Sadio Mane netted in stoppage time.
There was still time for Max Meyer to reduce the deficit for Roy Hodgson’s side, though, but the Reds held on to go seven points clear ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.
The team news…
Liverpool made three changes from the team deployed at Brighton & Hove Albion one week ago for the contest. With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum ruled out due to injury, Milner and Joel Matip returned – as did Naby Keita in place of Xherdan Shaqiri.
The first half…
Liverpool marked the recent passing of Peter Thompson as well as what would have been the legendary Bob Paisley’s 100th birthday next week ahead of kick off before they set about trying to extend their lead at the Premier League summit to seven points, with Manchester City not in action until Sunday.
They fashioned their first opening in the eighth minute when Milner collected a half-cleared corner and slipped a pass through for Joel Matip; however, his close-range swipe was foiled by Speroni.
Palace were content to sit deep and try an absorb the hosts’ pressure – and after Firmino had clipped over the crossbar, Mane planted a header straight at the goalkeeper from a corner.
Next, Matip nodded wide from another set-piece and Van Dijk looped a header onto the roof of the net via a deflection.
But Liverpool were left stunned just after the half-hour when Palace took the lead with their first meaningful attack as a counter attack resulted in Zaha crossing low for Townsend to sweep beyond Alisson Becker from eight yards.
The Reds’ dominance of the ball continued following the setback, but Palace stood resolute and took a one-goal advantage into the interval.
The second half…
Liverpool eased any anxiety by mustering the perfect start to the second period.
Van Dijk took aim from distance inside the opening 60 seconds. His strike looped up off a Palace defender and fell in the direction of Salah, who was able to turn it beyond Speroni from the edge of the six-yard box.
Suddenly, the decibel levels were cranked up inside Anfield and Robertson drew gasps from the Kop as he arrowed a low shot inches wide of the post.
Nevertheless, the Reds completed the turnaround in the 52nd minute.
Palace’s clearance from a corner made its way back to Firmino inside the area. The Brazilian stepped inside Tomkins and found the bottom corner via a deflection off the visiting defender.
However, it was Tomkins who drew the Eagles level once more when he headed in from a corner 12 minutes later.
Jürgen Klopp responded by sending on Shaqiri in place of Keita – and Liverpool regained the lead soon after.
Fabinho hoisted what’s quickly becoming a trademark pass towards Milner’s run to the back post on the right. The vice-captain managed to nudge it into the middle, where Speroni misjudged its flight and inadvertently directed it towards his own goalline, allowing Salah to arrive and tap in.
The home team were reduced to 10 men when Milner saw a second yellow card for a challenge on Zaha on 89 minutes, setting up a tense finale.
Two goals in five minutes of stoppage time saw Mane nudge Liverpool further ahead before Meyer grabbed one back for the Eagles as the Reds held on to tighten their grip at the top of the table.
Respects were paid to Bob Paisley and Peter Thompson ahead of Liverpool's Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
Wednesday January 23 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Paisley, both a former Reds player and the club's most successful manager in history.
A commemorative mosaic was formed by fans on the Kop before kick-off, reading 'Paisley 100' as a homage to the man known as the 'Quiet Genius'.
Supporters inside Anfield also took part in a minute's applause for both Paisley and Thompson, the Liverpool legend who sadly died in December.
Watch the tributes in the video above.
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Jürgen Klopp confirmed two of Liverpool's three changes against Crystal Palace were enforced by injuries to Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Naby Keita, Joel Matip and James Milner come into the starting XI for the Premier League clash at Anfield, with Xherdan Shaqiri the other player to be replaced.
“We had a couple of issues during the week,” said Klopp of the reasons behind his chosen line-up.
“So I had to find solutions and I like the solution. Millie trained the position the whole week; Naby trained outstandingly well, so I like to show I see something like that.
“And the rest was pretty clear and straightforward that we do it like this – because Gini and Trent are not ready for today. That’s it, that’s the reason for the line-up.”
Liverpool make three changes for this afternoon’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at Anfield.
Joel Matip returns from injury to start in central defence, while James Milner comes in for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Naby Keita in midfield completes the trio of alterations made to the side deployed at Brighton & Hove Albion last time out.
Liverpool: Alisson, Milner, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Shaqiri, Origi, Camacho.
Fabinho on Palace threat
The Eagles served a reminder of their potency with a stunning 3-2 victory at Manchester City before Christmas and, speaking to Liverpoolfc.com this week, Reds midfielder Fabinho insisted the hosts are fully prepared for a difficult test today.
"This is the most closely-fought league in the world," he said. "Any team can take points off any other team, as was the case with Crystal Palace playing against Man City.
"In our first encounter of the season, it was a really challenging game - we won 2-0 but it was a really tough game. They've got a great team and some great attackers.
"It's another motivation that we're playing at home. We'll try to play our game and create as many chances as possible, but while always bearing in mind that they're a dangerous team that can cause us damage."
Trent Alexander-Arnold inked a new long-term contract with Liverpool on Saturday morning, ensuring his lifelong love affair with the club would continue into the years ahead.
The defender put pen to paper on the deal to extend his stay as a Red, having arrived as a six-year old and progressed through the ranks of the Academy and into the first team where he’s now made 67 appearances.
Shortly after adding his signature to the contact, Alexander-Arnold sat down with Liverpoolfc.com to talk us through his emotions as well as outlining his hopes and ambitions for the coming years.
Watch our exclusive interview with the 20-year-old now, or scroll down to read the full transcript.
Trent, congratulations on signing a new long-term deal with the club. How does it feel to have it done and dusted?
I’m ecstatic and really proud. I feel privileged to have the support and the trust the club has in me to offer me a new deal. There was no doubt in my mind to sign and extend the years I have with the club. Hopefully we can achieve a lot of success in those years.
Is it fair to say you were eager to get this done and commit your future to the club?
Yes, definitely. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind. As soon as they offered the contract, there was no hesitation whatsoever. The thing that made it easiest for me was having the people around me to make sure I was able to focus on football as much as possible and get the deal done as soon as possible. That is down to my brother especially, my manager, who took that role and allowed me to focus on football and not get distracted, which is the main thing.
What’s the feeling now that it is done and you’ve signed a new long-term deal?
It’s just a feeling of pure pride within yourself. It gives you a bit more motivation to work harder because you know the club and everyone around the club – especially the manager – have the trust to say they do want me for those few more years. And he [the manager] puts that trust in and thinks you are part of his future plans as well, so it gives you that motivation to work hard and make sure you do him proud.
You last signed a contract here around about 18 months ago. It’s fair to say a lot has happened since then…
Yes, definitely. I think there are things that have happened that were beyond my wildest dreams. Football is a very special game and there are things you want to happen; there have been a lot of ups and few downs, but that’s part and parcel of the game. You can’t only have a steady rise and everything going smoothly. The last 18 months especially have been very special. Hopefully the next 18 months and even further on than that will be even more special.
How do you think you’ve developed as a player since then?
I would say the main thing is I’ve matured. I think that is down to the manager’s trust in me. Especially on the pitch, I have matured and got closer to the lads. I feel a bit more part of the team now; I feel like I am fitting in well with all of the players and feel like I am being myself more in the changing room. As a young lad, you’re always nervous and you never fully come out of your shell, but I think over the last 18 months I’ve come out of my shell, I’ve started being more vocal on and off the pitch and that’s down to all the lads and the staff who’ve made me feel welcome and at home at the club. It’s safe to say I do feel at home.
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You really have established yourself in the dressing room now…
Yes and that’s important. To be in and around your teammates every single day, you’ve got to have bonds and friendships - that’s important for every player in every team to get on well [with their teammates]. We all have the same idea that we want to be successful, we want to win trophies, we want to be the best team we can and that comes with communication and putting yourself on the line for the person next to you. The whole squad has been fantastic, it always has been since I first came up here. Now more than ever, we’ve got that team bond that’s really special.
It’s really important the team bond, isn’t it? It probably transfers out onto the pitch…
Definitely. I think you see that out on the pitch – especially this season more than ever. That we have that desire to work hard for each other and put ourselves on the line for each other. That’s what every good team needs and that’s what we’ve shown this season. Hopefully there will be a lot more of that and it’s only bright for the club going forward.
Who has had the biggest influence on you in getting to this point?
I would say my family, the manager and the players. A main one for me would be Hendo, especially around the time of the World Cup and I was new to the England set-up. He was one that really looked after me and we created a very strong bond over in Russia. We’ve been close ever since. It helps as obviously he’s the captain and such a senior player, he knows what advice to give me when maybe I am not in the team or when things aren’t going well. He knows what to say and he has helped me through this season. This has probably been a season where I’ve played a lot of games, which is what every player wants to do, but to cope with the expectations of such a great club can be hard for a young player. When you’ve got those kind of people around you, it takes the pressure away from you and you can focus on being the best player you can be. They are the type of players that can push you. When you see the senior players going in the gym every single day and working hard, it gives you the motivation to do the same.
I suppose you’re now at a stage where you’re going to have to start doing that for some of the younger players coming up from the Academy…
Yes, definitely. The young lads coming through have got a lot of potential, but they all understand it takes a lot of hard work to push forward and to establish yourself. They’re all willing to do that and hopefully the young lads see me as a bit of a role model; that’s what every player wants to be, a role model - whether it’s for the fans, for young players coming through or people at the Academy. You want to set a benchmark that others can follow. Hopefully I am doing that with the way I act around the training ground, just as when I first came up I saw the young lads at Melwood acting the right way with the right routines that could help them perform on a daily basis.
Is it possible to pick out a highlight of the last 18 months?
I would just say the main thing is the support from the fans that I’ve had that I probably didn’t expect to have. I’ve always wanted it but never expected it. Just to have the support of the fans every single time I go out to play, to know that they’re behind you is something special. I don’t think they understand how much they do for the team and how much we all really need them. They’re turning up every single game – whether home, away, abroad, whether it’s freezing cold, they are still there and singing their hearts out for us, showing how much they love the club and how much they love us as players. It’s our chance to repay them with performances and the things we can do on the pitch. So, it’s probably the support from the fans that’s been the best thing for me.
Being from the city, being a Liverpool fan, that must make everything you’ve achieved so far that little bit sweeter?
Just having the pride to go out and wear the badge when you’re chosen to do so is something that spurs you on; it gives you confidence and motivation to go out there for the fans and try to perform. Effectively you’re living all of their dreams just as when I was a kid, the players on that pitch were living my dreams. Hopefully that’s what the kids see these days when they see us going out onto the pitch – hopefully they want to come and support us.
Looking forward, it feels like an exciting time to be a Liverpool player…
It is, definitely. It is a very exciting time with the players we’ve got and the talent we have within the team, the manager is going about it in the right way and it is hard not to see the exciting project that is going on. That’s what the manager is doing. When he first came in, he was never expected to come over and win everything in his first season, but he laid markers and foundations for us to be successful in the coming years. Hopefully we’re going out there and proving he is doing the right things. Hopefully we go out there and do what he wants us to do. With the right messages and listening to him, we’ve got a chance of being a successful team.
How much are you enjoying the current situation in the Premier League, fighting it out at the top of the table?
You’d rather be at the top battling it out than at the bottom. You get the pressures that come with it, but it is something that is exciting, something that maybe not many players have been able to do. You enjoy it, there is no better feeling than being at the top of the table in what’s probably the hardest league in the world. The old cliché that there’s still a long way to go is applied on a daily basis – we know there is still a lot of hard work to go into it and we know it’s going to be tough, but we have the squad and the manager to hopefully keep getting the results on board and be as successful as we can at the end of the season.
The full-back position is fundamental to the team’s style of play, both defensively and offensively. How pleased were you to see Andy Robertson sign a new deal too?
It’s massive. It’s thoroughly deserved for Robbo. It’s great for him and for the club. He has shown over the last year, year-and-a-half, how good of a player he is with the rise he has had. He has turned into a world-class player. I think he’s always had it in him, but at the start of last season he never had the chance. But when he was given the opportunity he grabbed it. He is also a role model for young players, which is important. He has come into a new club and for the first half of the season he never really kicked a ball, but he never let it get him down and he has shown his passion for the club. I think that’s why the fans and the club love him so much because of the hard work and desire he has – he goes out there and proves he wants to win and is proud to wear the shirt. That’s all the fans or anyone can ask of any player – to go out there and fight for the club. That’s what Andy does every single time he gets the chance.
In terms of ‘wanting to win’, he told us he’s winning the assist competition…
Yeah, it’s assists and goals so I have got my free-kick in there! It is healthy competition between us two, we push each other and there is never any negativity towards it. We don’t focus on it too much either, which is the important thing – you can’t let it take over and you’re trying too hard because it’s in your mind. You’ve got to play for the team first and foremost. Then, at the end of the game, if you’ve got an assist or goal then you’ve helped the team get the result. The team comes first and foremost, as does the result. Whether it’s him or me who wins, the main thing is to win games.
Speaking of ‘healthy competition’, there’s plenty of it in the Melwood pool tournaments…
It’s good for everyone to get involved with activities off the pitch as well. A lot of the lads play pool, some play a bit of darts and things like that. It is good to see the different players coming in and having the confidence to go on the pool table in front of everyone in the canteen. Whenever people get the chance to do so, then they do. It’s also good for bonding, people can have a laugh and just relax and be themselves. It’s important to do that at the club.
You spoke before about this being ‘a dream come true’, but this is no longer a dream for you – this is your reality: you are a Liverpool first-team player…
It’s still hard to get my head around it, but that’s a true statement. It still is a dream come true and every day when I wake up, it’s still a bit surreal and you can’t wait for it to carry on. Hopefully I’ll be a lot more successful, with a lot more silverware and trophies and be able to be a real part of this club’s history.
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This is just the start for you, but have you allowed yourself any time to look back at what you’ve achieved so far?
I think it’s important maybe at the end of a calendar year or the end of the season to look back on what you’ve achieved. It’s something I like to do, but I know the future is also very bright as well. Who knows what it holds? That’s something to get excited about and it’s better to try to look into the future and set aims and goals, to put in the hard work to try to make sure they come true.
It’s a long-term deal you’ve signed – what are your targets in both the short-term and longer-term over the course of the contract?
I think the main thing is trophies and silverware for the club – that is massively important for the club, the players, the fans and the manager. For everyone involved with the club, it is massive. It is definitely trophies and being a successful team, that’s the main thing for the club and definitely the main thing for me.
In terms of you as a player, do you feel there’s still plenty of room for development?
Yes, definitely. There is still a lot of hard work to go into it. I think there is probably still a lot more potential to be seen and uncovered. With the hard work and the right mentorship from the senior players, the mentorship from the manager and coaching staff, from the family and friends leading me down the right path, and the hard work I put in myself to become as successful as possible and, like I say, to try to be a part of the club’s history.
It’s not just bringing the team or the club success that you’re invested in – you also like to try to make a difference in the local community. Why is that important to you?
It’s massive. Whenever given the opportunity for someone to give back to the community, to give back to people less fortunate, it’s definitely something that should be done more often. When I get the opportunity, I try to do as much as possible. It’s important, it’s healthy for people and hopefully people in the city and people around the country and the world can see the work that is being done [by the charities]. Hopefully it will encourage people to do the same as well. All it takes is a bit of time – it’s not so much money, just time. A bit of time and effort to give to someone and it can change their lives. I think the greatest goal of them all is to say you’ve changed someone’s life for the better.
If we were to sit down again in another 18 months, what would you have hoped to have achieved?
Probably, again – I know I am repeating myself – but trophies. As many trophies as possible. That’s the one thing I think is driving me the most. I think everyone in the team would say it, everyone is trying to be a winner, no-one likes losing. The main thing for us is to win things and bring success back to the club.
Lastly, what would you like to say to the supporters on the back of signing your new deal?
I would just like to say a big thank you to them for all the support and the love they’ve given me and the team. It is something I can never repay them enough for. Hopefully I will be able to give them happiness over the next few years – and hopefully even longer.