Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said his side were guilty of playing “childish football” despite claiming a 4-2 Premier League victory over Crystal Palace.
Another thriller between these sides at Selhurst Park followed the template of many of their recent meetings and reflected Liverpool’s season at large – as they played some scintillating football – but shot themselves in the foot at the back.
Dejan Lovren was at fault for a pair of James McArthur goals, but scored one of his own in between as the Reds emerged from a pulsating first half with a 3-2 lead, Roberto Firmino capping the performance late on.
Victory keeps Liverpool level with Manchester City and Arsenal at the top of the league, but Klopp concedes his side have improvements to make at both ends of the field.
“The first 15 minutes, I was not too happy. It looked like childish football, but no greed, no direction,” Klopp said.
“We were very good, but that should not work, it didn’t work, actually.
“But then we scored and we started playing football and I’m not sure that we played a lot of times better than we played [today] offensive-wise.
“For half an hour we created chance after chance after chance but did not score often enough.
“We were not really 100 per cent. We had no aggressiveness that we need in a game like this when the opponent is only waiting. They expected it, invited a little bit of pressure so it’s not a problem for them.
“We didn’t play football in the beginning as good as we could. So… close game, deserved win at the end it’s clear, I would say, and I’m very happy.”
When asked to clarify which area of play Klopp considered “childish”, he confirmed Lovren’s mistakes were not in his mind.
“Offensive things. The defensive error that we made for the first goal was only because we are not at the limit of concentration,” he said.
“The game felt, in the beginning, a little bit too easy. We had play here and there and came through, [but] we didn’t shoot and then it’s a big challenge and a big job to keep aggressiveness in this moment.”