Sam Allardyce praised his team’s mental fortitude to once again come from behind to shock one of the Premier League’s elite as they beat Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield.
A Christian Benteke brace was enough to cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s opener and give Palace their fifth win from the past seven games to move them up to 12th in the Premier League table, five points above the relegation zone with a game in hand, and echoed last month’s shock win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea to surge ahead in the fight for survival.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Eagles boss talked about:
Another comeback: “Our spirit, mental resilience and belief means we can go a goal or two down and don’t think we’re going to get beat, so we fight back and get results. The more of those that we can get then the more confidence we build.
“No-one would have expected us to get the results we have recently – maybe the odd shock but we’ve had three in just as many weeks – Chelsea away, Arsenal home and Liverpool away. We still have a difficult run-in but we’re nearly there now. We’re in fantastic form at the moment.”
The gameplan: “I thought that we were tactically exceptionally good from start to finish today. You realise in games of football that you’ll come in as underdogs and so you’ll set out a gameplan. We applied the right amount of tactics and didn’t get involved in any type of thing that wouldn’t allow us to counter-attack the opposition and expose their weaknesses.
“With our limited possession we did that time and time again today and that’s ultimately brought us from 1-0 down to win it. I have to give the players a huge amount of credit for the way they defended and how they exposed the weaknesses. They had to rely on Coutinho’s wondergoal to get themselves in front and I couldn’t fault my players for that as it was an outstanding goal.”
Benteke: “If I could have had a bet I would have bet on him to score today, but obviously I couldn’t! He’s been in great goalscoring form since he came back from Belgium where he scored two, and he’s not stopped getting in the right places in the box and popped up with a brace today.”
Liverpool’s weaknesses: “Liverpool at home play a superb attacking style with both full-backs going right up the pitch. It means that Matip and Lovren are very exposed and if you get the right runners in behind then they’re two big men who don’t like turning and running towards their own goal, which is exactly where Yohan Cabaye came in today [for the first goal] as he left them for dead. His ball to Christian was outstanding.
“On the corners everyone knows that Liverpool are pretty weak as they’ve conceded six goals from corners, and it’s the seventh now that’s got us the win.”
Safe?: “38 points has been safe for a long time, but mathematically we’re not safe. In our games to go we have to pick up as many points as we can, and then when mathematically we’re safe we’ll have a little celebration.”