Jurgen Klopp Relieved as VAR Helps Liverpool to Win at Crystal Palace

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There was certainly plenty of palace intrigue for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool today. The German was exceedingly relieved to escape Selhurst Park with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, a win that was certainly aided by VAR.

The Reds were far from their best today, and they beat the Eagles without the help of their best player, Mohamed Salah, but these are the kinds of resilient wins that Premier League champions achieve. Can you find a way to grind it out when you’re on the road and not at your best, and playing a tough side? That’s what the Merseyside club did, and in the process they extended their undefeated run in Premier League competition (back to last season) to 30 games.

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“I’m fine with it,” Klopp said of the result, decided by a Roberto Firmino scoring strike in the 85′.

“When you finish the game on the up then it is okay. They [Crystal Palace] worked hard, I can only imagine what Roy Hodgson is feeling like because they would have deserved a point today. But we won the game and it was deserved today as well.”

Sadio Mane opened the scoring in this one, early in the second half, but Wilfried Zaha equalized in the 82′. In the end, the current table toppers got it done, even if they had to play “pragmatic” to get there.

“We had today to fight with different things. We weren’t compact enough. Our distances between the full backs and midfielders, the half spaces, were too big.”

“The set pieces were really dangerous and gave them the time to go there. It was a tough job to do today and at the end of the day I am happy with the result and big parts of the performances as well.”

Palace had what would have been a 43′ goal waived off by VAR. Jordan Ayew pushed Reds central defender Dejan Lovren prior to James Tomkins heading the ball in. These are the kind of breaks you need to stay on top of the league by a margin of eight points, as the Reds did with both themselves and Leicester City winning today.

“We know it’s tough place to come to and we weren’t compact enough in the first half,” Klopp continued.

“At half time we knew we had to improve. I have no problem that we weren’t brilliant today because in a game like this, you have to make sure you are ready to fight for the result.”

“Could we have played better? Yes. But we never take a result at Palace for granted, so it feels good. We are not out there to show that we invented football because we didn’t.

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“We have a job to do and hopefully we can continue.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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