Jürgen Klopp admitted Liverpool’s disappointment at seeing their top-four hopes dented by a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Anfield, but stressed they cannot dwell on the frustration with a quartet of games left to play.
The Reds’ seven-match unbeaten run was brought to a halt on Sunday afternoon as a Christian Benteke double overturned Philippe Coutinho’s opener from a free-kick.
After the game, Klopp accepted his side were guilty of committing errors that led to their defeat, but insisted they must learn from it and move on as they continue to chase Champions League qualification in the final weeks of the campaign.
Read on for a transcript of the manager’s post-match press conference…
On his summary of the game…
I said it before the game and we knew it before the game – Crystal Palace are a really strong side with a specific [way] of playing football. Three things they do. The first long ball from Hennessey was obviously a really long ball. If they win this long ball then it’s already dangerous. If they win the second ball but cannot go through, they play on the wings and cross to Christian Benteke. The rest is counter attack. Good and strong in this, quick players and all that stuff. We knew it. We dominated the game with all the threats around – each ball you lose could be a counter attack, each ball Hennessey has or another player has is immediately a long ball. Benteke and this long ball, you have to defend really clear because if you don’t then it’s a foul and wherever it is, it’s again a set-piece from Hennessey or another player. But we did well. It was not perfect, of course not.
It was not the most exciting game but we all have to learn that these games are not exciting. If you open it with 1-0, which we did, and you can then score the second, then the opponent maybe changes style of play and in the end there are spaces which they are not used to giving away, and you can use it. We couldn’t, because we gave them the opportunity out of nothing to score the first goal. One long ball, one cross and Benteke alone in the box – there is no excuse, nothing good to say about this moment. You could see immediately their confidence grew in this moment, they started playing football. It was only two minutes because of the half-time whistle. But we knew all the things we did, passing these balls between the lines, we had Roberto and especially Gini and Phil – a lot of times between the lines they could turn. We could have used these balls a little bit better, we wanted to involve Divock a little bit more because Divock made good ways but we didn’t play in this line. If they want to win the ball, it’s a foul if Div does it in a good way. It would be a threat for them also, we could see with Phil’s free-kick ability.