Today’s victory away at Crystal Palace was a hard fought one, but nonetheless brings Liverpool a very important three points closer to Champions League qualification for another season. Roy Hodgson’s team were the better performers for long periods of the game, but the away side’s quality proved too much for them in the end.
The Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson felt similarly about the game, admitting that the performance was lacking but praising the resilience of the players on the pitch.
“It was a big result”, Henderson told Sky Sports (as quoted by BBC Sport). “We were not at our best, but we kept going and fighting”.
”It is a sign of a good team to win while not playing our best”, the captain claimed, drawing on one of the classic clichés of English football. “We kept finding [a way through] and Mo got another goal to win the game.
”At half-time we thought we could get back in the game and win it. The lads reacted brilliantly. We grinded out the result and that gives us momentum for the game on Wednesday.”
The Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp had a similar view of the game, citing a “difficult start”, but ultimately taking the view that the victory “was deserved”.
“You saw it was difficult and really intense today with the atmosphere as it was, but in the end I think it was really well deserved. We got two wonderful goals after a tough start”, Klopp went on to say.
It’s long been claimed that any top side needs to be able to win without playing especially well. While football may have evolved from some of those older ideas about winning by pulling one’s sleeves up and putting in the hard work, days like today suggest that there is still a place for this. While the reds struggled in the first half, the team showed enough ambition to work their way back into the game, and had the quality in the final third to finish Palace off.
One step closer to finishing in the top four.