Rodgers delighted with Reds' SAS showing in Palace win but still demands improvement from his table-topping side

By Carl Markham, Press Association

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised strikers Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez but his exacting standards meant he was not totally satisfied with their 3-1 win at home to Crystal Palace.

The pair both scored within the opening 17 minutes before Steven Gerrard netted his 99th Premier League goal with a penalty before half-time.

Palace improved after the break and notched through Dwight Gayle and, while there was no danger of the visitors preventing the Reds returning to the top of the table, Rodgers felt there was plenty still to work on.

VIDEO Scroll down to watch Brendan Rodgers: We were brilliant in final third

Fearsome duo: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge, left, celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace with Luis Suarez

Fearsome duo: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge, left, celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace with Luis Suarez

More to come: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants his team to improve, despite the Reds currently sitting top of the Premier League

More to come: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants his team to improve, despite the Reds currently sitting top of the Premier League

'The two boys up front are as good as any in the league, so you know you're always going to be in with a chance with them,' he said.

'There are not many better at combining. You can see the link-up that they have already. It was a really good performance by those two.

'They give you a real thrust and a real edge. If we're away from home and sometimes under the cosh, we counter-attack because we've got that pace and people willing to join in. It can be a real threat.

'If teams sit off and drop in that bit deeper, those are guys that are really clever in and around the box and can get goals.

'They were outstanding. Those two occupy a back four on their own because of their movement and cleverness.

'When they get other players around them, they're a real threat. You saw the telepathic nature they have to play with each other today.

'For the team, it really bodes well for us going forward.'

Start of the scoring: Suarez celebrates his goal against Crystal Palace

Start of the scoring: Suarez celebrates his goal against Crystal Palace

Further Palace misery: Sturridge scores Liverpool's second at Anfield

Further Palace misery: Sturridge scores Liverpool's second at Anfield

Captain marvel: Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard scores the third goal from the penalty spot

Captain marvel: Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard scores the third goal from the penalty spot

Further behind his strike pair, however, there were issues the Reds boss feels need addressing.

'I'm not the type of coach who only wants to win,' he added.

'I worry about how the team plays and how we can control a game.

'In the final third of the pitch, it was hard to argue with the fact that we were outstanding - the movement, the combination play to arrive in there.

'But we've still got a lot of work to do behind that because the lack of control in the game was disappointing.

'Second half was nowhere near what we want it to be, but without playing great, we won the game and that was something that in the first season (of his reign) we were guilty of - playing ever so well but not getting the result.'

Tussle: Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak holds off a challenge from Liverpool's Victor Moses
Battle: Liverpool's Raheem Sterling holds off Palace forward Yannick Bolasie

Anfield machine: Liverpool's Victor Moses tries to escape the attentions of Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak, left, and Raheem Sterling shields the ball from Eagles forward Yannick Bolasie

Palace boss Ian Holloway felt their 3-0 half-time deficit was harsh, especially as he disputed the penalty awarded after Dean Moxey was adjudged to have pulled back Raheem Sterling.

'Having watched it again, I'm pretty upset. I thought he's made a mistake there,' he said.

'Unfortunately, we are being punished for any singular mistake we make.

'Shape-wise we got it wrong for the first goal - I didn't want to leave three up, I wanted one of my front three to work back but we got that slightly wrong.

'The second goal was self-inflicted. I didn't think my centre-half (Adrian Mariappa) should have tried to win that (a challenge with Suarez which allowed Sturridge to run free).

Tough day at the office: Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway, right, saw his side lose 3-1 at Liverpool

Tough day at the office: Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway, right, saw his side lose 3-1 at Liverpool

'But that was probably our best spell. We had a couple of chances and unfortunately if you don't take them at this level it can be pretty unforgiving.

'It is not good enough but I didn't think we deserved to be 3-0 down on the balance of overall play.

'You have to keep trying and keep going and digging in.

'I thought the character in the second half was terrific but when you are 3-0 down you can relax and play a little bit and maybe Liverpool took their foot off the gas.

But we actually won the second half and there was enough fidgeting by Brendan next to me.'

 


The comments below have not been moderated.

To all those liverpool fc haters we have 3 points in our pocket today go f..... Urself!!!! - yk, liverpool, 05/10/2013 22:24 I don't hate Liverpool , you can only beat who is in front of you but you do get carried away sometimes over beating poor sides. The games you must win or at least get anything from to be champions are teams in the top eight. You have played only one so far, Southampton and lost, at home. I know that sounds like a hater, I am not, just a realist who knows there are much harder games to come. The very good news is Man United aren't a threat anymore. Hahaha

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Won't even make the Europa League again.

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Where are all of the smart-alecs saying Liverpool would be struggling near the bottom of the table ? Humble pie time...we are staying in the top four all season ! Man United and their horrible to watch football, Everton and their soon to be slide down the table...it`s going to be a blast ! - Wigaton, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 06/10/2013 10:03 The only side you have played thats in the top eight so far you have lost to so don't get all unnecessary yet, wait until you have played the teams in the top eight and then see where you are. Coutinho is a big miss at the moment, hopefully he will be back soon before you do play a top eight side because his passing will be needed I think.

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Why stop at top 8 ??? why not top ten, or does not not suit your agenda ??? here's another one for you to run with, Liverpool are only a first half team you should get a bit of mileage out of that, at least until they hammer some poor team, look mate every team in the EPL have been beaten at least once, let's not get carried away with the Southampton result, it was a poor game in which neither team played well, Liverpool got what they deserved, they'll learn from that and move on, Getting back on topic SAS have the makings of an outstanding partnership and will only get better the longer they play together, fact.

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all the big talk is about our strikers, and great they were to be sure, but i thought henderson played a great game, he looked better there then lucas, and i like lucas but henderson seemed to have more to his game there. and little raheem when you see him shielding the ball from the skyscrapers that he comes up against its funny but it shows his talent and his guts for the game, he is not scared no matter how big.

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Old big mouth Rogers at it again wait till the meet the big boys there midfield will be overrun still not a top 4 side. not certain but thought we did meet the biggest boys as in man utd and we beat them by a goal which is usually what happens at utd all the important matches are won by one goal . and toady arsenal drew spurs lost chelsea it is true but it seems to me no one is showing their best yet however considering we were in bottom fourth last year this season is a better start and we are not bragging yet but all those years in the wilderness and the only team who passed us was utd and it took them years to do it and no one has overtaken in the european cup in england yet have they so please do not call us rubbish we have had bad times and we had years of bad owners but this guy is putting his money where is mouth is and letting us spend so we will rebuild . but sometimes the more you pay for a player and the less you get

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who you support, or do you know.

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7 games played and plenty writing off of Man U. Would wait to see if Suarez goes in Jan window (which is possible) and one injury to Sturridge wrecks the strike force. Wouldn't gloat just yet, do it with 7 games to go and top of the table.

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Where are all of the smart-alecs saying Liverpool would be struggling near the bottom of the table ? Humble pie time...we are staying in the top four all season ! Man United and their horrible to watch football, Everton and their soon to be slide down the table...it`s going to be a blast !

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I don't think we should be getting carried away, Title challenge is good but unrealistic though, Top 4 is what we with this squad, ofcourse if we add some more in winter, who knows :)

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a foul? yes. Inside the box? no Palace fans blame Sterling? yes. Cue manc trolls? they should look closer to home.

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The contact from the foul continued into the box so therefore the penalty was rightfully awarded.

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Old big mouth Rogers at it again wait till the meet the big boys there midfield will be overrun still not a top 4 side.

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which big boys?....already beat united, we'll have coutinho back for Arsenal (they have a better midfield, but we have a better defense and attack) and we play city, chelsea in last week of the year, when we usually do well.

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which big boys?....already beat united, we'll have coutinho back for Arsenal (they have a better midfield, but we have a better defense and attack) and we play city, chelsea in last week of the year, when we usually do well.

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