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Hodgson Reaction: Support for Speroni, Possible Handball for Mane Goal, and Pride in Palace Performance

19 January 2019

During his post-match media commitments, Roy Hodgson took the opportunity to throw his support behind club legend Julian Speroni who made his 404th appearance for Palace, as his side ended up on the wrong end of a seven goal thriller.

It was ultimately a comeback for Speroni that ended in heartache for the club legend, as his misjudged punch at Milner’s cross resulted in a tap-in for Mohamed Salah’s second and Liverpool’s crucial third – a moment Hodgson described as “the cruelty of football showing itself as its absolute most wicked.”

He added: “There aren’t many better club servants than Julian Speroni at any football club in the world. For him to make that kind of mistake was really unfortunate and put Liverpool undeservedly back in the lead. We’ve got to consider ourselves hard done by in that respect.”

Reflecting on an extraordinary game of football, the manager was left praising his side’s efforts, whilst also cursing their luck.

The boss said: “It was a good performance in both halves. In the first, our defensive organisation and discipline was excellent. We went in 1-0 thanks to a couple of good counter attacks – one of which presented a goal.

“To find yourself 2-1 down to a 45 metre deflected shot, and then a deflected shot in the penalty area – that can count as being a little bit unfortunate. But for the players to come back to 2-2 is very commendable in my view, and they deserve a lot of credit for it.

“But still at 3-2, the boys kept going, we were asking questions, creating chances. We go 4-2 down which was a cruel blow because the players who the were close to the action – and they don’t lie about these things – assure me it was a clear handball, which unfortunately no-one saw.

“But strangely enough, we came back even then and score a third to keep the margin of defeat to one goal. Had that goal [Mane’s, Liverpool’s fourth] been chalked off, there’s no guarantee we’d have scored the third – it might still have been a one goal margin.

“We didn’t deserve to lose by 2 goals, I don’t think we deserved to lose by one goal. I’m extremely proud of the players performance. It was a really good team performance in every respect.”

Liverpool sit seven points clear at the top of the table, and judging by their players and manager Jurgen Klopp’s reaction at the full-time whistle, this was one of the sternest tests they have faced as they target their maiden Premier League title.

Hodgson said: “We were playing against a team who don't lose at home, and they have a wealth of talented players. For large periods of the game we held our own against them, more than held our own towards the end of the game.

"But you need a bit of luck if you’re going to win the game. Goals often have an element of luck involved, and their 3 had more luck than ours did.”

For extensive post-match reaction, head to Palace TV on the club’s official app.

  


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