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Rodgers: "Only a Matter of Time" for Composed Liverpool in Win over Crystal Palace

Recent history suggested that Liverpool should have collapsed after conceding an early goal at Crystal Palace on Saturday, but an excellent, composed second half gave them a win that manager Brendan Rodgers felt was coming.

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Clive Rose/Getty Images

After yet more calamity at the back gifted Fraizer Campbell the opening goal on Saturday night at Selhurst Park, it was easy to fear the worst. This was the sight of one of last season's enduring memories, and this season's rock bottom. There was an aura of doubt and fear when Campbell and Dwight Gayle, who's scored against Liverpool in each of the previous three meetings since Palace earned promotion, danced in celebration, signalling that another painful result was on its way.

But getting to the break 1-0, even if they should have at least had a chance at an equalizer on a clear penalty that was denied, gave hope, and Liverpool's refusal to rattle gave them a platform to dominate the second half and push on to earn the win. Their confidence after getting the goals was equally impressive, as Brendan Rodgers' side killed any chance of a Palace comeback.

It was clear to Rodgers that his side could respond, and the manager was impressed with a second half showing that saw them take the lead and effectively end the match off with a controlled display:

"The players turned it around. We just felt at half-time that we weren't creating enough chances. I felt we needed to be more aggressive. We started the game not as aggressively as we would have wanted. They have players who want to compete. We felt once we shortened the pitch in the second half, we moved the game higher up the field, kept the ball and it was only going to be a matter of time. I thought the players showed great composure and great character in that second half."

Rarely in the first half of the season was such confidence on display, with the win at White Hart Lane one of the few matches in which Liverpool appeared to be in complete control. Even then the scoreline was more comfortable than today's, and recent history against Spurs has Liverpool as comfortably better when the two sides meet. That's not been the case at Selhurst Park, with two complete capitulations in the past 10 months, and to see a match off in such style is very encouraging.

Now they'll need to continue their progress across two more competitions, and in fixtures with similar stakes against even better opposition. These are the types of performances that can and will see them make yet another charge across the final months of the season for the second year in a row.

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