Patrick Vieira said Crystal Palace should have defended better for Virgil van Dijk’s opener against Liverpool but that he was proud of the desire his side showed to get themselves back into the match afterwards.
The Eagles went a goal down inside ten minutes at Selhurst Park when van Dijk powerfully headed home Andy Robertson’s corner past Vicente Guaita at the near post.
Both Joachim Andersen and Jeffrey Schlupp failed to track the Dutchman who had the simplest of tasks to rise above the Palace backline and plant a strong header into the goal to put the Reds 1-0 up.
Palace have now conceded 12 goals from set-pieces this season – more than any other side in the Premier League – and have conceded four times from corners against Liverpool across two fixtures.
“Sometimes you have to accept that the corner has been taken really well,” Vieira told reporters after the game.
“And then van Dijk, the timing and the accuracy he had and the way he played the ball – it can happen.
“Yes, we should defend better. But in situations like that, when you look at the physicality of the two teams and you look at the goal that he scored, sometimes you have to accept it. But that [still] doesn’t mean we shouldn’t defend it better.”
Despite being 2-0 down at half-time, Vieira said he was pleased with the spirit and determination that his side showed to haul themselves back into the game.
Like they have done in recent games against West Ham and Millwall, the Eagles made up for a lacklustre start by coming more alive as the game wore on, and after halving the deficit via Odsonne Edouard they looked good value to score another.
Late VAR drama soon put an end to that, though there was still enough courage and commitment on display for the Palace boss to commend his side at the full-time whistle despite the defeat.
“I was really proud,” he added. “That was a really positive reaction. This is what I expected. This is what I wanted from them.
“They gave it to me by looking at the fans behind us as well. I think we tried our best to get back and try to get the points from them.”
Palace now have 13 days off before they’re next in action against Hartlepool in the FA Cup.
Source by Football London