PREMIER LEAGUE

Klopp cheers Liverpool’s “passion” after fightback

Jürgen Klopp said that “passion” had been the determining factor in his side's gritty 2-1 comeback win at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Klopp cheers Liverpool’s “passion” after fightback
Eddie Keogh REUTERS

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said that “passion” had been the determining factor in his side's gritty 2-1 comeback victory at Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday. His side fell behind to Joe Ledley's 48th-minute strike and then had James Milner sent off for two bookable offences, only for Roberto Firmino to level before substitute Christian Benteke won and scored a 96th-minute penalty.

Klopp gambled following Milner's dismissal, sending Benteke on up front alongside Firmino, and his punt paid off as the visitors secured a third successive league win that lifted them to seventh place in the table. “You can try, but the rest is passion,” the German told Sky Sports at Selhurst Park. “For defence, you always need more passion than formation. We changed to 3-4-2. That's what we tried, a little bit risky. Dejan Lovren had to be the right-back and centre-half. We brought on Kolo Toure to save the result at the end, but you take what you can get. We had moments to score, but now everything is OK. Football is like this. You make a plan at the end, but the lads did great. This is the third league win in a row. I can't believe how it feels - really good, a big moment for us.”

Palace manager Alan Pardew, whose side have now gone 12 games without a league win, was critical of referee Andre Marriner's decision to award Benteke a penalty. Damien Delaney pulled out of a sliding challenge on Benteke inside the box, but the Irishman had already gone to ground and replays showed that his right knee had clipped the Belgian's left foot.“[Benteke] is looking for it. Our player is pulling out of it,” said Pardew, whose side are nine points above the relegation zone. If the linesman gives it for the touch of the knee in the last minute, I think it is harsh. Damien Delaney literally pulls out of it and the follow through of his knee gets it. Blimey, that's tough. He certainly made a big meal of it. If it had been us, we would not have got it.”

Benteke, an 80th-minute replacement for Divock Origi, said: “I think he touched me, otherwise I don't go down. The referee knows better than us and he took the right decision.”