Jurgen Klopp names star Liverpool missed most in Palace draw; bats away Alexander-Arnold criticism
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted his team struggled without striker Darwin Nunez in the final third, while also defending Trent Alexander-Arnold despite substituting the right-back in the 71st minute.
Liverpool nearly went behind in the 13th minute when Joel Matip and Alexander-Arnold got in each other’s way, resulting in Jean-Philippe Mateta having a good opportunity for Palace. He tried to scoop over Alisson but did not get enough power on his effort.
Diogo Jota then hit the post from a tight angle, while Jordan Henderson accidentally got in the way of an Alexander-Arnold free-kick which seemed to be destined for the back of the net.
Palace should have taken the lead shortly before half time when Jeffrey Schlupp stole from Alexander-Arnold and set up Mateta, who only managed to hit the crossbar on his left foot.
Mo Salah hit the bar himself not long after the restart. The ball fell to him in the box and his curling strike beat Palace keeper Vicente Guaita but came back off the woodwork.
The match ended 0-0 and the two sides shared the spoils. The result puts Liverpool in seventh place on 36 points, while Palace are in 12th and have 27 points.
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During a post-match interview with Sky Sports (via BBC Sport) Klopp said: “I liked the start to the game. The dynamic was good, the passes were good. In the end, because we didn’t threaten them in behind enough, we had to play in between the lines.
“They had no shots on target, I think we had three or four. We hit the crossbar from Mo, had a header from Diogo [Jota] and Cody [Gakpo’s] situation late in the game. Usually we score one or two from the chances we had. We didn’t do that tonight.
“I think we killed the atmosphere with the way we played. When football is predictable, it means it’s easier to defend. To be unpredictable you need different movements, that’s what we have to offer in behind the lines as well.
“It was always in the midfield area. We gave balls away, but they were really aggressive as well. You feel something’s not right, but it’s an away point and it’s OK. It’s not brilliant, but it’s OK.”
Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool struggled without Darwin Nunez
Klopp was then asked about Nunez, who was missing from the squad due to a shoulder problem. The German replied: “In moments like this [we miss Nunez], but we can play without him. We have Diogo on the pitch who can be the threat in behind as well. When Mo and Cody are dropping, Diogo has to be there.
“I didn’t see a massive influence [from the Real Madrid game]. If we score, we go home and win 1-0. I can remember standing in this same room talking about a difficult game but we won because we scored from a set piece.”
Klopp was then asked about Naby Keita and Alexander-Arnold looking lethargic at times and ultimately being substituted. He said Keita was taken off due to the worry of a second yellow card, before adding: “Trent plays all the games, so that makes it really tricky. I didn’t take him off because he was bad, but he plays all the games so I had to change.”
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