LIVERPOOL — On a day that was about one man, at times it was hard to remember that there was a game taking place.
Liverpool lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace on Saturday with the Eagles continuing their superb second half of the season since Alan Pardew took charge of the south London club.
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On Saturday the pace and trickery of Yannick Bolasie, Marouane Chamakh and Jason Puncheon caused Liverpool countless problems as the Merseyside club fluffed their lines with the aim to send captain Steven Gerrard off with a win in his Anfield finale.
Brendan Rodgers spoke glowingly about Gerrard’s sendoff as the skipper was given a marvelous send off from the home fans.
“He got a wonderful send off. He gave everything right to the very end. He was the one that was driving forward in the game that was trying to get us goals in the game,” Rodgers said. “The support he got was absolutely brilliant and probably what you would expect having been a wonderful player here and given his all for the club. It terms of that it was fantastic for him and his family and a special day for him.”
[ VIDEO: Gerrard says goodbye to Anfield ]
Rodgers then touched on Liverpool’s disappointing display as they let their early momentum go after Adam Lallana’s superb finish put them 1-0 up. Silly defensive mistakes costs the Reds dear and Rodgers wasn’t particularly pleased with Liverpool’s second half performance.
“In terms of the result and the performance. It was disappointing,” Rodgers said. “I thought we started reasonably well. We scored a fantastic goal through Adam [Lallana] but we made poor defensive errors today across the field and that punished us at the end of the first half and in the second half. We didn’t defend well enough and their attacking players caused us problems and we didn’t cope with that. Overall, the second half was a disappointing performance.”
As for Pardew, his side continue their stunning form as the Eagles can still make the top 10 if they win their final game of the season against Swansea City. Palace played the role of party poopers magnificently as they hit Liverpool on the counter and were deserved 3-1 winners. Pardew was pleased with the victory and also honored to be involved in Gerrard’s finale game at Anfield.
“It was an honor to be here today,” Pardew revealed. “The start of the game was special and the end of the game was even more special I thought. I don’t think many stadiums getting beat 3-1 would have carried that end for Steven Gerrard. It was a lovely moment.”
Pardew then paused and instead of summing up what Gerrard means for Liverpool, Palace’s manager focused on Gerrard’s influence for the English national team.
“It is very difficult to put into words what he has done for Liverpool because I can’t talk about it. I can only speak really as a fan of football and a lover of football for what he has done for England,” Pardew explained. “Everybody knows what he has done here. For me he has carried the nation at times. The way he carries himself in the media and as a person. Speaking to Brendan [Rodgers] privately, that isn’t a facade. That is what he carries through his life. We should all be honored as Englishmen to have someone who has conducted himself in that manner in this game.”