Jurgen Klopp has described Liverpool’s performance against Crystal Palace as “Jekyll and Hyde” but feels getting through a tough period without Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Naby Keita was of massive importance.
The Reds claimed a 3-1 win over the Eagles to cut Manchester City’s lead to nine points with a game in hand.
Klopp was thrilled with how his side started the match, as goals from Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave them a half-time lead. But Palace dominated the second half, and it needed a late penalty from Fabinho to ease the nerves after Odsonne Edouard had brought the home side back into the contest.
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"It was a bit Jekyll and Hyde football today,” Reds boss Klopp said. “You could see how good we can be. We were incredible in the first 35 minutes. Then after an intense week - away at Arsenal - I don't have any real explanation but the intensity might be one. We became sloppy in the last line.
"In the second half we were not compact, the first line pressed too high and the distance was not right. We played a high line and did not catch them offside which was our fault of course."
Mane, Salah and Keita are still on Africa Cup of Nations duty, but they will be back in the fold by the time the Reds return to league action against Leicester on February 10.
The Reds came through the period in a better position compared to City, and Klopp was delighted with how his squad coped.
“The important thing is we did it without them,” Klopp said. “It made it so intense. When you don't have that maximum speed on the wing that they have you obviously have to change in these areas. The boys did well to get on the scoresheet. The boys put a proper shift in and I'm more than pleased for that.”
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