Jurgen Klopp knows he was fortunate to have a top goalkeeper at Selhurst Park on Sunday as Liverpool was dominant in the first half of its 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
You’ll note the first-half modifier, as Palace boss Patrick Vieira helped the Eagles flip the script for a second frame that had the home side looking more likely to get the game’s fourth goal before a late penalty restored the two-goal space between the two.
Liverpool stormed out of the gates and scored twice, holding 65 percent of the ball and getting loads of playmaking from Andy Robertson on the left. The Scot would finish with two assists.
But Alisson had to stand firm off of two first-half Liverpool gaffes and then Palace’s second-half control, leaving the Reds holding on at times in London.
“I said to him now, thank you for saving our backside again,” Klopp said on Sky Sports.” He said ‘that’s my job’. Of course it is very helpful to have a world-class goalkeeper at the back.”
Klopp said the club was “Jekyll and Hyde” at Selhurst Park.
The Reds boss said that perhaps midweek League Cup action played a part in the second-half slip-ups, but wouldn’t use it as a crutch.
“It showed how insanely good we can be and how bad as well! For 35 minutes we were outstanding,” Klopp said to the BBC.
“We looked really sharp and ready to play in small spaces then two or three sloppy passes and the stadium is back, Palace is back and we did not start well in the second half. We had our moments but we did not control it anymore. If you lose a little bit of focus it showed how tired we could be as Palace played a really good game. We opened the door for them and they ran through.”
That they did, as Virgil van Dijk’s powerful first-half goal papers over an uncharacteristically slow batch of reactions at the back. Liverpool will need to do better when it returns from the international break chasing plenty of silverware.