Merry Christmas, Reds!
Liverpool will sit at the top of the tree on Christmas Day after dismantling Roy Hodgson’s side with a sensational attacking display.
The media loved what they saw from Klopp’s men, and here’s all the key analysis from the victory.
Members of the media reflected on a historic victory, assessing it as one of the very best of Klopp’s tenure…
The Guardian‘s Barney Ronay described the performance as one of “champion quality”:
“On a damp day in south London Liverpool produced a performance of ruthless champion quality, swatting Crystal Palace aside and raising a thrilling reprise of last season’s steamrollering rhythms.”
The Independent‘s Miguel Delaney called it an “era-defining” win as the Reds produced the ideal Klopp performance:
“And that in a season when they have been someway off their highest level. It was that good, that ominous for everyone else.”
The Telegraph‘s Jason Burt was in awe of how Liverpool showed “no mercy”:
“Jurgen Klopp’s side were utterly ruthless in everything they did, scything through the Crystal Palace defence with minimal fuss and no mercy on an afternoon when their forward players were simply untouchable.”
Meanwhile, the Mail‘s Oliver Holt reflected that this result, and performance, felt like it restored some normality in a season that has been anything but:
“As a year that has challenged so many of our familiar certainties and eroded so many of our traditions begins to draw to a close, English football at least was able to find some sanctuary in the re-establishment of the old order on Saturday.
“Their biggest-ever away win in the top flight was an emphatic statement that normality is being restored and that, after a few early blips including that 7-2 defeat by Aston Villa and an extensive injury crisis, the team that swept all before it last season is ready to repeat the feat this season.”
Reporters feel Liverpool are starting to look unstoppable after recent ‘season-defining’ results…
BBC Sport’s Josef Rindl thought this was a display that showed Klopp’s men are getting “back to their best”:
“The side that had been hit for seven at Villa Park in October were back to their brilliant best, creating attack after attack against a sorry Palace side to win away from home in the league for the first time since September.”
Burt saw signs that Liverpool look like they’re about to “run away with it all over again” as there is no side that can match them:
“Fourteen games into the season, they are threatening to run away with it all over again
“Who can realistically expect to match Liverpool on days like these? Who can realistically expect to stop them from regaining their title?”
The Mirror‘s Mark Jones explained that Klopp’s side have “put down a real title marker” with these back-to-back wins:
“You got the sense that the good feeling that rolled on from the last gasp victory over Tottenham in midweek just rolled on into this game, and the sense that Liverpool have put down a real title marker is a very real one.
“They have been beset by issues throughout the campaign, but things are starting to look a little ominous for those who hoped that these setbacks would knock Liverpool off course. They look in the mood to defend a title.”
“On that, this does have the potential to be a juncture week, and you could sense how transformational the victory over Tottenham Hotspur might have been.
“You could see its significance in the reaction, and the response at Selhurst Park. There is also something instructive there, given Spurs’ own performance at this stadium only six days ago.”
Moreover, Delaney pointed out the difference in approach of Klopp and Jose Mourinho in the trips to Selhurst Park, noting how it showed why the Reds’ bravery will prove decisive:
“Jose Mourinho’s side had the lead and the chance to go top before such a crucial game, but sat back and squandered it, before suffering from a similar approach at Anfield.
“Liverpool won that, moved up, and stepped up to something so dazzlingly resounding here. They suddenly look in full command on top, and close to their top level.”
Journalists provided alternative analysis – from the importance of an away win to the best individual displays…
First of all, ESPN’s Tom Hamilton thought Liverpool gave a “masterclass in focus” and explained that sitting top of the table this Christmas is an extra special feat:
“In so many ways, being top of the holiday table this year is an even bigger feat than the previous two seasons. Jurgen Klopp‘s side have kept their heads in a season in which so much has been thrown at them.
“This performance was a masterclass in focus. Just 62 hours separated this match from Wednesday’s 2-1 win over top-of-the-table rivals Tottenham Hotspur.”
Jones praised the attack for consistently producing the firepower needed to relieve pressure on the depleted defence:
“While their defence has been decimated, Liverpool’s tried and tested forwards are still there and are still firing.
“All have scored in the past week as well, and that more than anything is likely to be the decisive factor if indeed they do go on and reclaim their crown.”
Karl Matchett, writing for the Independent, reflected on the importance of the win for away form and the goal difference column:
“For Liverpool it’s far more relevant: the scoreline eradicated the bad memories and goal difference from the defeat at Aston Villa earlier in the season, and sent the Reds six points clear ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
“Away results had not been impressive for some time for Jurgen Klopp’s team, but this thumping puts all those draws behind them in emphatic style.”
Jones labelled Firmino’s performance “electric” and noted how an in-form Bobby brings the best out of the Reds, which can be the difference in retaining the title:
“Taking that confidence and form into Saturday at Selhurst Park, Firmino was electric as Liverpool thrashed their hosts by seven goals to move six clear at the top of the table.
“His brace, following on from Wednesday, should ensure that he remains confident in front of goal, but it is the fact that his all round play is clicking now which should worry the contenders to Liverpool’s crown. When he’s playing this well then Liverpool are too, and if that continues then another title looks a distinct possibility.”
Hamilton was impressed by Minamino and attributed the Japan international as “integral” to the attacking masterclass:
“Minamino was superb on the left side of Liverpool’s attacking trio.
“Again he spent time off the ball pressing, but was integral in their link-up play, bringing in the likes of Mane and Firmino.”
Doyle praised Fabinho for another fine outing and for the way the Brazilian continues to deputise so brilliantly at centre-back:
“The outcome could have been significantly different but for the efforts of Fabinho during a lengthy first-half spell in which Palace forwards Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze were too often allowed to run at the visiting defence.
“That Liverpool stand clear at the summit without long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez owes much to the calming influence of Fabinho, who is forging a strong partnership with the again-solid Joel Matip.”
Finally, the Liverpool Echo‘s Paul Gorst, among others, pointed out that we can now confine the ‘Crystanbul’ loss to the distant past as the Reds have dominated at Selhurst Park since:
“So let’s put this Crystal Palace myth to bed then, shall we? Pre-match, there had been talk, as there always is, of this team and this venue being something of a stern test for Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool. A banana skin, if you like.
“Conventional wisdom somehow still dictates that Palace are the perennial thorn in the side; the bogey-team who force the Reds to come a cropper. The reality, however, is far different. Liverpool have now won seven successive games against this opponent.”