Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson praised his side’s ruthlessness after the Reds romped to a 7-0 win over Crystal Palace to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Jurgen Klopp surprised many – and angered a few fantasy football managers – by naming the in-form Mo Salah on the bench for the game at Selhurst Park, yet the league leaders didn’t seem to miss the Egyptian international too much as they took an early lead through Takumi Minamino, the former Red Bull Salzburg man finishing well inside three minutes.
The hosts had a bright spell with the game still at 1-0 yet spurned a few good chances, before they were made to pay as Sadio Mane added a well-taken second for the visitors, with the impressive Roberto Firmino making it 3-0 at the break after rounding off a scintillating Reds counter-attack.
Any hope of a Dwight Gayle-esque 2014 Palace comeback was then extinguished seven minutes after the interval as Henderson curled in a delightful effort, before substitute Salah played in Firmino who produced an excellent chip over the onrushing Vicente Guaita. Salah then got in on the act himself with a quick-fire brace, his first a rare headed effort from a corner, with his second a stunning curling effort that wrapped up a thumping victory for the champions.
That win moves Liverpool to six points clear of Tottenham at the top of the table and goalscorer Henderson was full of praise for the ‘ruthless’ nature of his side’s performance.
“I thought we were ruthless today and took our chances which is always important,” Henderson told BT Sport.
Seven different players with assists for the Reds today 👏 pic.twitter.com/m7KKZIDEKe
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 19, 2020
”We dominated the game for large periods but I still thought we were sloppy at times. Overall, we’re delighted with the performance. To finish this week off with the win after midweek is important and we managed to do that.
“It was coming I felt as over the last few games we have had chances and not taken them which has cost us at times.”
The former Sunderland man was also asked whether it was his side’s best performance of the season so far, although despite the remarkable scoreline, he suggested that there is still things to improve heading into the hectic festive schedule.
“In some ways but we don’t just look at the scoreline. I thought we were very good midweek and again today so we just need to keep the momentum going and work hard.
“In the first half they had one or two half chances – a little on the counter-attack. They are always going to create something but we limited that today. We managed the game well in the second half.
“Overall, the performance level, we have to be happy. Now we have a week leading to the next game. Then another tough test again.”
The Reds host West Bromwich Albion on 27 December, before they face a trip to St James Park to play Newcastle United three days later.