Jurgen Klopp told his Liverpool players he had never seen a team “play as bad as we did for 76 minutes” and still win after his side beat Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The hosts took a deserved lead in the second half when Jean-Philippe Mateta converted from the spot. But the game turned on its head after Jordan Ayew was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
“Seventy-six minutes really bad game from us,” Klopp told TNT Sports. “We came here and I think you could see in the beginning Crystal Palace were insecure, really low confidence levels, and I think we could have done so many things and didn’t.
“We know that happens from time to time and intense weeks, first half is sometimes a bit tricky. Obviously we wanted to do better in the second half, I felt we were a bit more in control because they only had counter attacks. That’s fine of course for them but we lost the ball for a moment and had to defend with a lot of effort.
“They get the red card and we score immediately, the equaliser. From that moment on we played really well. You can have much more problems against ten men and we saw today, subs can make a massive difference.
“Harvey played a wonderful game and scored a wonderful goal. Curtis came on and Gomez, oh my god, Cody and I forgot who else we brought on so we changed the system.
“I told the boys that’s the first game I’ve seen somebody play as bad as we did for 76 minutes and still winning.
“In this period of the year, I said it after Sheffield United, we have to get through this, we need results. Nobody is in for the Oscar award, best football game ever, it’s about three points we got them and we are more than happy.”