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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Jurgen Klopp hails 'world-class' player after Liverpool win over Crystal Palace

Jurgen Klopp hailed ‘world-class’ Wilfried Zahaafter Liverpool’s thrilling victory overCrystal Palace at Anfield.

Zaha assisted Andros Townsend for Palace’s first-half opener on Saturday, but Liverpool stamped their authority on the match shortly after the break.

Mohamed Salah scored his 50th Premier League goal immediately after half-time, before Roberto Firmino gave the home side the lead seven minutes later.

Defender James Tomkins levelled for Palace but Salah found the back of the net again ten minutes later to restore Liverpool’s lead.

Sadio Mane added a fourth for the Reds in injury-time before Max Meyer’s consolation goal with virtually the last kick of the game.

Speaking after the win, Klopp said: ‘They are really good at counter attacks and set pieces, Wilfried Zaha is a world-class player and he gets into a one-on-one situation and we’re one down.

‘We had to stay positive, being one down is not a massive blow, we just needed to win the second half and did what we had to do.

‘It’s a massive relief. We knew for different reasons the game would be difficult.

‘Crystal Palace traditionally do well against Liverpool and with the physicality it was clear it would be like the first half was.’

The 4-3 victory sees Liverpool move seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City, who travel to Huddersfield Town on Sunday.

Klopp added: ‘We tried to control the game but we were not patient enough. They didn’t come out of their half so we were trying to play in really small spaces.

‘They had their counter attack still and that’s how they got their set pieces. I think it’s a foul on Virgil van Dijk, they always block heavily but then they go and score the goal for 2-2.

‘We got lucky for 3-2 and with all the set pieces they’re still a threat so it stayed interesting until the end.

‘The result is massive, we have 60 points now it’s crazy, it’s an important number.

‘I’m really proud, a few things happened that we don’t really need, we’re a bit short now on players but we have a few days and need to use the time now for recovery.’

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