Roy Hodgson admitted that seeing Liverpool snatch a late winner to deny Crystal Palace a point was a “bitter blow” after his team had matched the Reds for the majority of the game.
The Eagles boss has seen his side take the lead into half-time thanks to Luka Milivojevic’s 13th minute penalty, however Sadio Mane equalised not long after the restart before Mohamed Salah struck six minutes from time to deny Palace a draw for the third time home game in succession, having suffered a similar fate against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
Speaking in his post-match press conference after the game, Hodgson talked about a number of issues, including:
The game: “The second half performance was very good, as was the first in terms of our defensive shape and discipline as we kept them at bay and limited their sight of goal. In the second half, especially after it was 1-1, we evened the game out, our possession and movement was good and our ability to ask some questions of the Liverpool defence was much better.
“It was a bitter blow to concede the second goal because I thought that at least a point was the minimum that we could have accepted from the game today.”
Christian Benteke: “He’s been working hard and his performance up to the missed chances had been extremely good, both in terms of his work-rate and discipline, as well as his ability to bring players into the game. He was responsible for the flick-on for the penalty that put us into the lead, so his performance was very good.
“Of course, when you’re a centre-forward and haven’t scored for a while and miss chances, that’s all people want to judge you by. I have to make certain I judge him on different values because he is the centre-forward we have and is trying hard to do the right things. He’s getting himself into goalscoing positions, but I have to encourage him as much as I can to keep getting in those, and trust him because he is a good technicians and the goal chances that come his way will be taken.”
Favourable run-in?: “On the three occasions that we’ve been narrowly beaten by the top teams people have been very generous in their judgement, saying that we can be proud of the performance and that if we continue to play like that we will get results. I don’t think like that; I think that every game has its own history and good and bad moments, and every team in this league will work as hard as we work and be as organised and disciplined as we are.
“They [the teams Palace have to yet to play] might not be at the absolute highest level like three of the top four teams we’ve played here, but they certainly won’t be easy to beat. All we can do is continue to be hard to beat and realise what it takes to put in a good performance, take goal chances and hope that it’s going to work out our way.”
Potential Mane second booking: “The judgement of the people who analyse it will probably see a bit of a bias towards those who think it is a yellow card offence, but the bottom line is that it’s a refereeing decision – sometimes they go your way and sometimes they don’t.
“I’m not going to sit here and suggest the only way we came away with another defeat is because the referee didn’t send one of their players off. You can discuss this until the cows come home – it is part of the ‘referee watch’ that is so popular these days, I prefer ‘football team watch’.”
For more post-match reaction, head to Palace TV on the club’s official app.