A late Mohamed Salah goal snatches three points in a game Liverpool could easily have lost…
Liverpool claimed a vital 2-1 win in their continued pursuit of a top-four Premier League finish at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
It was far from a straight-forward afternoon for Jürgen Klopp and his players however, with a dogged Crystal Palace, looking for points of their own to aid a relegation fight, causing them plenty of concern.
Former Reds striker Christian Benteke missed two golden chances with the score at 1-1, allowing Mohamed Salah to snatch victory in the final 10 minutes from close range.
A first half devoid of quality was dominated by two penalty decisions; one given to the hosts and dispatched by Luka Milivojević after Loris Karius had felled Wilfried Zaha and the other overlooked as Sadio Mané received a booking for belatedly going to ground following a sliding James McArthur challenge.
The Senegalese speedster, who was later fortunate not to pick up a second booking for deliberately picking the ball up, made amends for his dive shortly after the restart by turning home a James Milner cross to begin the visitors’ fightback.
It wasn’t pretty at times but Salah’s 29th Premier League goal of the season, which saw him equal the league record of scoring in 21 separate matches in a 38-game season, was reward for Liverpool’s determination and persistency.
Analysing his 100th Premier League game in charge of the Reds at a post-match press conference, Klopp remarked: “This game was intense until the last second. Four minutes [added on] was really hard – right, for sure, but really hard. I’m absolutely over the moon about it.
“It is so difficult to come here… You saw that physically we were not at our highest level. Then the pitch was difficult, it was a little bit slippy. Being 1-0 down, everything was served for a really average day.
“So coming back like this is really good. We were not at our best but these ‘dirty’ wins on an average day are really important to stay up [there]. Cool.”
The victory was dampened somewhat by a possible season-ending muscular injury suffered by Adam Lallana, which forced the England international off just minutes after he himself had replaced Georginio Wijnaldum.
With only six league fixtures left to play, and the small matter of a two-legged Champions League quarter-final tie against Manchester City starting on Wednesday night, the new setback couldn’t have come at a worse time for a previously influential player who has managed just one start this term.
Liverpool remain third in the standings but with fourth (Tottenham Hotspur) playing fifth (Chelsea) on Sunday, their place in the top four is beginning to look increasingly secure.
So that’s what both we and Klopp thought about the game, how about you? Let us know your views below…
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