Klopp: I had to say a few words to the boys

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino scores against Crystal Palace

Liverpool's Roberto Firmino has scored in his last two league games against Crystal Palace

"He is a very good defender, especially when you defend deep like Crystal Palace do often".

The Palace boss has never won a Premier League game at Anfield in 13 attempts.

"Christian is an outstandingly good striker", Klopp said of a player who didn't fit Liverpool's high-energy style of play and was sold for 27 million pounds (now $34.6 million).

"But if you leave him alone like we did for the first goal I am not sure he needed all his skills for this goal".

"Today it was a defeat and makes sense for me to say a few words". One can see Palace sitting deep and allowing Liverpool majority of possession, but the Reds should get the job done.

Liverpool didn't heed the warning about Benteke's ability to come alive in the box. Jason Puncheon's inswinging corner from the right was low and poor and should have been cleared by Roberto Firmino at the near post.

A right-wing corner by Andros Townsend was not cleared by Liverpool and Benteke headed home from a couple of yards.

The result gave Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, an FA Cup victor six times, a welcome boost in a season that many supporters would like to be his last at the club.

Palace who also earned a brilliant win at leaders Chelsea on April 1 have now won six of their last eight league games to move on to 38 points.

Emre Can should have added a second, but the German - teed up by Georginio Wijnaldum 12 yards out - inexplicably scuffed a first-time effort so badly that it nearly hit the corner flag.

"If I could have had a bet", he added, with a grin, about Benteke, "I would have betted on him to score".

"We are capable of getting points out of these games this week, as we have proved in the last six or seven games".

"We're almost there now", said Allardyce.

But their profligacy demonstrated their undoing and Palace penalized them, with Benteke supplying Jurgen Klopp a costly reminder of his abilities with all the successful goal 16 minutes from time, giving Allardyce's side an enormous increase and leaving Liverpool's top four hopes a little less specific.

Allardyce may have tightened up Palace's defence but, as he suggested, Liverpool's rearguard, having conceded more goals than any of the other leading clubs, looked vulnerable again.

"Only if we let it slip", Klopp said.

"We have to try everything to squeeze everything out of this season".

"We all know it is not easy to create 10 chances in 45 minutes against West Brom because they are too well organised, so scoring the goal (just before half-time) was fantastic".

Sam Allardyce's side carry not only the strength but also the attacking fire power that demands another courageous and mature performance from Klopp's side if they are to have any chance of making it three wins in a row. Their fate could well be decided on the final weekend.

Liverpool old boy Christian Benteke haunted his old club, scoring twice after Philippe Coutinho had given the home side the lead.

So, ahead of kick-off, here is how key men Coutinho and Zaha match up so far this term...

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