Brendan Rodgers praises Liverpool’s character in Palace cup win

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers lauded the “immense character” in his side after seeing them come from behind to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 and reach the FA Cup quarter-finals.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 14, 2015: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers during the FA Cup 5th Round match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The in-form Reds had only lost once in 15 games coming into the match but looked at risk of suffering another defeat after finding themselves trailing at half-time at Selhurst Park to a Fraizer Campbell goal.

However, fit-again striker Daniel Sturridge drew the teams level soon after the break and then Adam Lallana scored what would prove to be the winner after following up a Mario Balotelli free-kick to net on the rebound.

Rodgers told BT Sport: “We had to be patient but of course we had to show character, and the character in the team has been immense in the last few months.

“Once we got the (equaliser), we got our confidence back into the game again.”

Rodgers was also pleased to have “natural” goalscorer Sturridge available again after injury, and believes “the penny has dropped” at last for Balotelli.

The Italy international has largely failed to impress since moving to Anfield last summer but he scored the winner against Spurs last weekend and had a hand in Liverpool’s decider against Palace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wODd1QSKl6I

Rodgers said: “He’s been working really hard in training and I think now the penny’s dropped… I assess players in training every day, no matter how good they are, and they have to put the work in.

“It has been difficult for him, because he’s come into a style maybe he’s never been in before, but one thing he has got is quality, and he’s got big quality and the last couple of games he’s come off the bench and been effective for us.”

Palace manager Alan Pardew described the cup exit as an “opportunity missed” but felt Liverpool deserved their win.

He said: “I felt we didn’t put enough pressure on Liverpool today. We had a great chance at half-time. We should have done better today.

“I’m not too disappointed but I do feel it was an opportunity missed.

“But we’re not going to make excuses and I think Liverpool deserved to win, and you have to accept that sometimes.”


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