Football

Klopp vows to solve defensive woes

Reds' title credentials on show, even if mistakes crop up again at the back

CRYSTAL PALACE 2

(James McArthur 18, 33)

LIVERPOOL 4

(Emre Can 16, Dejan Lovren 21, Joel Matip 44, Roberto Firmino 71

Juergen Klopp is unconcerned about Liverpool's defensive lapses, despite them leading to Crystal Palace's two goals in their 4-2 victory at Selhurst Park.

The German also refused to say his team could win the Premier League title if they eradicate those errors.

After the unexpectedly strong start to the season continued with another victory yesterday morning (Singapore time) - courtesy of finishes from Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino - only goal difference is keeping Liverpool from top spot in the English Premier League.

Their total of 23 points is the same as Manchester City and Arsenal, but only one team in the division's top 10 has conceded more than their 13 goals, the latest two of which were headers from James McArthur after more unconvincing defending.

The concession of too many goals cost Liverpool the title under Klopp's predecessor Brendan Rodgers in 2014, and also undermined their pursuit of silverware under Roy Evans in the 1990s.

Klopp's team are similarly impressive in the attacking third, but when told a stronger defence would make them title defenders, he responded: "We will sort the defence: what then happens, we will see.

"They can defend really well; it's normal (to have lapses). I know that everybody will talk about this, but... I don't go in the dressing room and say, 'You're a really bad defender, and you are the goalkeeper, where are you?'

"I was happy with the reaction (to conceding). Not with the situation, not with the style of the game, that's what we have to work on, but I'm happy with the reaction.

"We'll work on it and we will see where it leads."

PRAISE

Palace manager Alan Pardew did not hesitate to rate Liverpool's chances of winning a first English title since they lifted the old First Division trophy in 1990.

"I don't know about winning the league but they are certainly going to be close," he said.

"The two centre-halves were terrific even if they made a mistake. That's an area they are not so strong, but played well.

"We were a bit too open against a side as good as they are; some brilliant technical play at times."

Pardew questioned the decision to appoint Andre Marriner as referee.

Marriner awarded Liverpool a contentious last-minute penalty in the same fixture last season, which was converted by striker Christian Benteke - who has since moved between the two clubs - to give the Reds a 2-1 success.

The official was booed by sections of the Selhurst Park crowd during the game and Pardew was also frustrated Marriner turned down three penalty appeals from the Eagles.

Pardew told BT Sport: "It was too open at times for us and we gifted possession a little bit too much to Liverpool.

"But there were still some decisions that went against us today. I don't think Andre Marriner should have reffed this game. He gives the penalty last year so we've got a negative in our mind anyway.

"Why was Mike Riley (manager of the Professional Game Match Officials) giving him the game today? I can't understand it.

"And then we get three penalty calls, okay they are tight but they are probably no worse than Christian's last year, so it's just a little bit frustrating that part." - Wire Services.


They are all human beings, we work on it. I am completely convinced about the quality. If they make mistakes and stay in the game then, it’s a very good test for them, and they stood it again.

— Juergen Klopp on the Liverpool defence

BY THE NUMBERS

8

Liverpool have scored four or more goals in a league game for the eighth time in 2016.

8

Jordan Henderson made eight tackles against Palace, the most by a Liverpool player in a league game this season.

2
Palace are one of only two teams to have conceded in every league match this season, along with bottom club Sunderland.

2

James McArthur is the second Palace player to score two headers in the same league game, after Glenn Murray against West Ham in 2015.

eplliverpooljuergen klopp