Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp is adamant he will “sort the defence” after his backline were culpable for both Crystal Palace goals in a 4-2 Premier League win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
James McArthur cancelled out Emre Can’s opener after latching on to a huge Dejan Lovren error, only for the Croatian to make amends a few moments later with a header that put Liverpool ahead.
McArthur equalised again just after the half-hour mark, though – Alberto Moreno in the firing line this time as he failed to close down Wilfried Zaha, whose cross teed up the former Wigan Athletic midfielder.
Further Liverpool goals from Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino ultimately sealed victory for Klopp’s men and the German is certain they will sharpen up at the other end.
“We will sort the defence and then, what happens [regarding a title challenge], we will see,” he told reporters.
“They can defend really well, it’s normal and I know for this game that everybody will talk about this
“But inside a football team I think it’s not new. I don’t go into the dressing room and say ‘you are a really bad defender and you are the goalkeeper where are you?’
“They are all human beings. We work on it and 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 stayed.
“I’m happy with the reaction. Not with the situation, not with the start of the game, that’s what we have to work on. I’m fine, we will work on it and see where it leads us to.”
Palace manager Alan Pardew was rather more impressed with Liverpool, though, praising centre-backs Matip and Lovren for their performances, in spite of the latter’s early error.
“I know there was a mistake early on but I thought they [Matip and Lovren] were terrific today,” he added.
“They took the challenge of Christian [Benteke], who had his hands full dealing with those two.
“I thought that was a really interesting battle because that’s an area Liverpool have not been as strong in, so I thought they played well today.”