Patrick Vieira was unhappy with the manner of Crystal Palace’s defending from set-pieces against Liverpool on Saturday as the Eagles fell to a 3-0 defeat on Merseyside.
All three of Liverpool’s goals came from corners, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah both taking advantage of lapses in concentration to score their goals from close range before Naby Keita volleyed in the third from the edge of the area after Vicente Guaita had punched the ball to him.
This frustrated Vieira, who in his post-match press conference bemoaned how his side could defend set-pieces well the week before against Spurs but then come to Liverpool and fail to do the same.
“You can’t concede three goals from set-pieces at Anfield if you want to take something from the game,” said the Frenchman.
“The last game against Spurs we did really well against set-pieces but we need to spend more time working on that.
“At the moment it’s more frustrating because we knew how difficult this game was and I believe that we played at times some really good football.
“But the frustration really was to concede those three goals on the set pieces because you expect, especially here, to concede in open play. There was a lack of concentration at times and we made that.”
Liverpool’s first goal came right at the end of the first half after Guaita had made a string of great saves to keep the match goalless.
Salah was allowed a free run to meet the corner with his head and force Guaita into a good stop down to his left, though he could only parry the ball into the path of Mane, who had been left unmarked after James McArthur tried to stop the initial effort.
For the second goal in the 78th minute, Palace were again guilty of not following their men, as this time Salah had a simple task at the back post to smash the ball into Guaita’s goal after substitute Jairo Riedewald failed to follow the Egyptian’s run.
The final nail in the coffin came in the final minutes as Guaita decided to punch clear Salah’s corner to the edge of the box instead of attempt to catch the ball, with Keita expertly sending the clearance straight into the goal with a first-time volley.
There were still some positives to take from the game for Vieira, whose side registered a number of shots on Liverpool’s goal and hit the post twice in the opening two minutes.
Christian Benteke also had a call for a penalty waved away by referee Andy Madley after he collided with Kostas Tsimikas in the box, while substitute Odsonne Edouard had a good chance to equalise with the game still at 1-0 but miscontrolled the ball at the crucial moment.
“You need a little bit of luck, we didn’t have it today,” added Vieira.
“But we created chances, we conceded chances as well but when it comes to a place like that with players like that it will be difficult.
“At times we defended well, we showed a lot of solidarity and unlucky for us we couldn’t score that goal, especially in the first 15/20 minutes.”
Palace now have a week to pick themselves up and focus on another big game next Monday, against bitter rivals Brighton at Selhurst Park live on Sky Sports.
Source by Football London