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Jurgen Klopp lauds Zaha's influence in Liverpool-Crystal Palace cracker

1:16 PM EST 1/20/19
Wilfried Zaha - Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace
The game ended in a seven-goal thriller, with the Reds managing to overcome their visitors' overtures
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha 'had a really good game' and was a constant threat to Liverpool, admits Jurgen Klopp.

The Cote d'Ivoire international created the first goal of the game, easing past James Milner to center for Andros Townsend's 34th-minute opener.

The Reds came back more clinical in the second half, with Mohamed Salah - who disclosed that a pep talk during the interval triggered Liverpool's comeback - netting a brace to see them topple the stubborn Eagles 4-3.

However, Klopp, while reflecting on the tense encounter, singled out the 26-year-old for his troubles.

“Oh yes! Somebody asked me what was the main feeling, the main emotion at the final whistle. It was a relief," Klopp said after the match.

"A game like this, it can go in all directions. We were extremely dominant in the first half but we were 1-0 down, we created chances but not clear enough. We had not enough players in the decisive areas, we had a lot in the preparing areas. That can happen.

“At half time it was clear we had to change, to be more decisive, more bodies in the box, all that stuff. Thank God it worked immediately! We came back and everybody felt the atmosphere, then obviously it was not 100 per cent clear for the boys, do we control the game or chase the game?

“Pretty much each ball we lost was immediately a counter-attack because Zaha had a really good game, and gave us a lot of things to sort. Milly did outstandingly well. You cannot defend him alone, so we didn’t, besides the goal he set up.

“There were a lot of set pieces in the second half, especially the one for 2-2. So then, it was an open game, but we scored the third goal. We had these situations in the first half, plenty of diagonal balls for the fullbacks and this time Milly could get it, difficult for the goalie and Mo is there to finish it off.

“Fourth goal, Sadio world-class run, full of desire. Then you look at the watch and think ‘OK it could be the moment!’ but football teaches you always; don’t close the game before it is finished! They scored the third one, and Rafa Camacho wins the ball in pretty much the last second against Zaha – I don’t want to think about if he had missed that ball!

“There are different ways to win football games. Today we had to dig in with all we have, and the boys did that. So I’m really happy.”

Palace are 14th in the Premier League log after collecting 22 points from 23 games. Next, they play Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup encounter on Sunday.