Klopp warns Liverpool over late escapes after Palace triumph


Jurgen Klopp urged Liverpool to stop relying on late goals following the physically taxing 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Roberto Firmino prodded home an 85th-minute winner at Selhurst Park to preserve the Premier League leaders’ eight-point advantage over second-placed Leicester City.

Sadio Mane put Liverpool ahead early in the second half, before Wilfried Zaha equalised eight minutes from full-time.

Firmino’s intervention means the European champions have now snatched vital points with goals in the 85th minute or later from four of their past six league fixtures.

“You can’t take it for granted,” Reds boss Klopp told reporters.

“I don’t like to talk about it. I understand why you are asking. It’s not like ‘very good, seven minutes to go, let’s start winning now’. That’s not what we are like.

“We don’t think about it, we just know. We have had four years together. I know a lot about my team. 

“I know what we want, I know what we have to do for it. But we’re not the only team who knows that. It was difficult fitness-wise at Palace because there were so many different things.

“We know a lot, but we don’t know exactly what the boys have been doing with their national teams. They are nine or 10 days away with their national teams. That’s a lot of sessions.”

Liverpool forged their fruitful habit last season, notably squeezing past Tottenham and Newcastle United in the final weeks of an absorbing title battle with Manchester City.

Andy Robertson, scorer in a thrilling turnaround against Aston Villa earlier this month, admitted decisive goals must start to come earlier.

“Scoring late is good and enjoyable but we would much rather be 2-0 or 3-0 up and see out the game,” the left-back said.

“We cannot keep relying on it but it is good we have that mentality and we did not panic because we have been in this position so many times.

“I think that is why we took control of the game and scored the winner.”