Liverpool may have battled their way to a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace, but the watching media bemoaned some all-too-familiar frailties from the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side were fantastic for about 35 minutes on Sunday, leading 2-0 after goals from Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
They were abject from that point on, however, with the Reds arguably lucky to leave Selhurst Park with three precious Premier League points.
Fabinho finished the game off with a late penalty, but the visitors looked shaky as soon as Odsonne Edouard made it 2-1 earlier in the game.
Here’s a look at how the media reacted to Liverpool’s hard-fought win.
There was only one place to start: the outstanding Alisson…
Goal‘s Neil Jones hailed a superb performance from the Brazilian, saying he kept Liverpool’s title hopes alive:
“The Premier League still has a title race, and for that we can thank Alisson Becker.
“Liverpool believe their goalkeeper is the best in the world, and we saw exactly why at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
“They might not be at the level we saw a couple of seasons ago, but they are still in the hunt, still clinging on. And with their No. 1 in this kind of form, they will take some beating.”
This Is Anfield gushed over Liverpool’s world-class No. 1:
“Be very clear: the only reason Liverpool were winning and not losing after an hour is because of the man wearing the gloves.
“His save from Mateta, one on one in the first half, was absolutely elite. Beyond world class. And the offside flag going up afterwards doesn’t change that, only the fact that if it had been Adrian in goal instead, it’d still have been 1-0 after a VAR review.
“Another from Edouard was superb, then Mateta tried to round him and finish. Both were denied, as was his lunatic, lightning-reflex stop from a four-yard backheel.
“Even Ali can’t stop a two-on-one every time though.
“Man of the Match whatever might have happened later, but his tip around the post from an attempted lob was maybe the best of the lot.”
Other Liverpool media outlets hailed Alisson on Twitter:
Alisson Ramses Becker. Unreal.
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) January 23, 2022
Alisson Becker. pic.twitter.com/tRHltEU9Ki
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) January 23, 2022
Alisson looking like the Brazilian Lev Yashin with that performance in his all-black kit today ?? pic.twitter.com/VbaP9sM2bS
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) January 23, 2022
An unconvincing performance was dissected by some…
A horribly below-par Joel Matip was viewed as a weak link by the Independent‘s Dylan Terry:
“There are very few holes in their side. But with City coming off the back of a 12-match winning streak, any sign of weakness could prove fatal in Liverpool’s pursuit of the defending champions.
“And it was clear for all to see that Joel Matip’s chaotic display was not of the standard Liverpool come to expect.
“He gave the ball away in dangerous areas, looked shaky in possession, and often relied upon Van Dijk to bail him out of trouble. He exposed the Dutchman for Palace’s goal, stepping up too far and allowing both strikers to run in behind.
“It would be a shock not to see Ibrahima Konate come back in alongside Van Dijk after the winter break.”
Ian Herbert of the Mail felt Liverpool sloppily gifted Palace a way back into the game:
“It took Liverpool’s own sloppiness to give Palace some belief that attacking intent was within them.
“A poor pass across his own penalty area by Joel Matip, as he tried to move out of defence, was sent straight to Michael Olise who had a clear sight of goal and despatched a shot that Alisson extended his left leg to block.
“When Roberto Firmino sacrificed possession almost as easily, Olise sent though a ball that Jean-Philippe Mateta accelerated past van Dijk to meet, finding an angled shot which Matip managed to put out of play.”
TIA echoed that sentiment:
“Within half an hour, Palace fans were berating their own players as much as the officials, as perceived injustices and sloppy passing out from the back meant they turned into anything but the fabled 12th man.
“So why did the Reds step off entirely after that?!
“Concentration, intent and execution were nothing short of woeful from 2-0 through to the hour mark, with Palace having about five great chances in that period.
“As soon as they scored one it was a different game in terms of atmosphere and fragility.
“We used to shut these scorelines down, lock and key, as soon as we went a couple up. That needs to return, pronto.”
The title race is still alive, just about…
The Mirror‘s Mark Jones believes Liverpool’s victory still gives them a chance of glory in May:
“It has ultimately been a very good week for Liverpool, then.
“Back-to-back Premier League wins and a place in a cup final is a more than decent showing, with Manchester City‘s dropped points at Southampton the icing on the cake.
“The Reds are still unlikely to catch the runaway leaders at the top of course, but they have to put themselves in a position from which they could theoretically strike when the chance comes.
“They go into the winter break nine points back, with a game in hand and still with City to visit.
“Stranger things have happened.”
The Guardian‘s Jonathan Liew gave Liverpool some leeway because of tiredness, as they dug deep in south London:
“For a while, it felt as if Liverpool were about to let another Premier League title slip from their grasp at Selhurst Park.
“Jurgen Klopp’s exhausted side looked as if they were playing on fumes. Nine of them had played a gruelling League Cup semi-final against Arsenal on Thursday night.
“Two nights’ sleep, some ice packs, some light training, and then back on the bus. Crystal Palace were 2-1 down but well on top. Chances came and went.
“But Liverpool held on. They even managed to burgle a third goal, a richly undeserved penalty converted by Fabinho to give them a little breathing space. Now they can rest up a little, recharge their batteries, welcome back Mo Salah and Sadio Mané from international duty. It is a full 18 days until their next league fixture. This was their one last push, and it means we still, just about, have a title race.”
Finally, Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph thinks there is a “ray of light” for the Reds:
“It might be premature to speak of a fully reignited Premier League title race but, following Manchester City’s rare slip on Saturday, one familiar challenger is at least still smouldering dangerously beneath the surface.
“City’s run of 12 consecutive wins has seen off pretty much every realistic threat to a fourth triumph in five seasons but, with this 3-1 win, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have narrowed the gap to nine points which, with a game in hand and a trip still to the Etihad Stadium to come, does at least provide a ray of light.”