“It’s a reminder to Liverpool that, no matter how good you are and how comfortable it is, if you get sloppy, you can get punished.”
Liverpool put together a mostly scintillating 45 minutes against Crystal Palace, but still survived two self-inflicted scares. Roy Keane felt Alisson Becker saved them, on both occasions.
The Reds went into the break 2-0 up after goals from Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but some careless passing around their defence gifted two chances to Palace.
Michael Olise drew a low save from Alisson with the first gift-wrapped opportunity and the Brazilian got a deflection on Jean-Philippe Mateta’s shot after he had been played through on goal.
Looking back on those two chances for the home side, at Selhurst Park, Keane commented:
“I’m a bit wary of saying they’ve gone sloppy in case Klopp comes after me! But a good save [from Alisson].
“It was too easy and, from your centre-half [Joel Matip] it’s a dangerous pass… Olise will be disappointed that he has not put it into the bottom corner.”
“We can be critical of the striker [Mateta] for not hitting the target,” said Keane of that second Palace chance. “It’s a reminder to Liverpool that, no matter how good you are and how comfortable it is, if you get sloppy, you can get punished.”
"I'm a bit wary of saying they've gone sloppy in case Klopp comes after me." ?
Liverpool were lucky not to concede in the last 10 minutes of the first half ? pic.twitter.com/0Lf330MEMp
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 23, 2022
Roy Keane and Jurgen Klopp’s “sloppy” history
Keane may well have been on to something with those half-time comments. Liverpool resumed the second half with more defensive errors and close calls for Odsonne Edouard and Conor Gallagher.
Palace were knocking loudly on the door, and Mateta set up Edouard, on 55 minutes, to pull a goal back for Palace. It made for an exciting second half before a late Liverpool penalty sealed a win that keeps them nine points off Manchester City, but with a game in hand.
In making those sloppy comments, Keane nodded back to the mini spat with the Liverpool boss in September 2020.
The Reds had just beaten Arsenal 3-1 and Keane had been mostly positive about how the then league champions performed. The former Manchester United captain spoke glowingly about the victors but said they were still guilty of ‘sloppy moments’.
“Did Mr Keane say it was a sloppy performance? Maybe he is speaking about another game,” Klopp fired off, in a Sky Sports interview.
“I’m not sure if I heard it right,” Klopp added. “Maybe it was about another game. It cannot be about this game.
“Sorry, but that’s an incredible description of this game. It was absolutely exceptional. Nothing was sloppy. Noting. It was, from the first second, dominant – a team in form.”
Keeping his cool at the time, back in the studio, Keane advised Klopp to watch back his comments on the game in full.
One wonders if Klopp will be reminded of Keane’s half-time comments after their latest Premier League outing.