Crystal Palace showed exactly how to cope with Liverpool's pressing

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CRYSTAL PALACE

It's always been said that taking all three points without playing well is the mark of champions. 

Liverpool did just that on Saturday afternoon as they beat Crystal Palace 4-3 in a nervy afternoon at Anfield. 

The Eagles had taken the lead through Andros Townsend before goals from Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino looked to have turned the game on its head. 

The story was far from over, however, with James Tomkins equalising and Salah then adding a third for the hosts thanks to some hapless goalkeeping from veteran Julian Speroni. 

Sadio Mane slotted home what proved to be the winner in the 93rd minute but even deeper into injury time, Max Meyer powered the ball past Alisson to set up a tense last few seconds. 

Roy Hodgson will have been kicking himself that his side weren't able to take the point they probably deserved, a feeling no doubt echoed across the north-west in Manchester. 

There are two ways City can look at the result. On the one hand, they ought to be frustrated that Liverpool just squeezed over the line, as they did against Brighton, when they weren't at their best and might well have dropped points. 

Yet there were clear signs that Jurgen Klopp's men aren't infallible.

City are the only side to have actually beaten them in the Premier League this season, but they are still being exposed at the back due to defensive injuries.

How to overcome Liverpool's press 

Joel Matip's return was a positive, but Joe Gomez's absence continues to be felt. 

At the other end of the pitch, most sides find it very difficult to play the ball out because the Reds are notoriously good at pressing, not allowing their opponents any time on the ball. 

However, a clip which is quickly being circulated on Twitter has shown how Palace dealt with that tactic. 

In the run-up to Townsend's opening goal, the visitors stayed composed and each defender held onto the ball for long enough to allow their team-mates to make themselves an option.

They eventually switched it out to Patrick van Aanholt, who found himself in acres of space because so many of Liverpool's attackers were chasing the ball down - a key element of Klopp's gegenpressing, but one which Palace found a way to prey on. 

Liverpool FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Wilfried Zaha still had it all to do as he took on James Milner before sliding a low cross into the box. 

It's an overstatement to say that Liverpool were found out - they scored four goals and showed tremendous grit, after all - but it's another reminder that they can't afford any complacency to sneak in between now and May. 

Will Liverpool be champions? Have your say in the comments.

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