Despite playing relatively well from an attacking perspective, Crystal Palace fell to their third consecutive defeat yesterday evening against an utterly rampant Liverpool side.
Whilst it was difficult to pick fault in the work-rate of intent shown by Palace on the night, defensively we were once again, a bit of a shambles. You need only look at the manner in which Liverpool scored their goals (particularly their third) to see why the main topic of discussion amongst fans after the game centred around our inability to keep teams from scoring against us at will.
Now on a run of 15 Premier League games without a clean sheet, it’s an issue which requires immediate attention from Alan Pardew and his coaches, particularly with a pivotal game away at Burnley on the immediate horizon. It’s a well worn adage but building from the back is an absolute necessity at all levels of the game, particularly when a team needs to halt a losing run before it gathers too much momentum.
Make no mistake, we came up against an extremely good Liverpool side yesterday, a statement born out when analysing the statistics attached above but that shouldn’t be presented as a “Get Out Of Jail Free Card” for a group of players who need to take a noticeable step forward when facing off with Sean Dyche and co. at Turf Moore next weekend.
Of course, a trip to the reigning champions and a home clash with a brutally hard working Liverpool side shouldn’t be looked upon as the litmus test for our Premier League credentials but as shown by last season’s wretched post-Christmas run, we often struggle to break out of a slump in rapid fashion; a trend which must be reversed this term if we are to press for that highly prized top half finish in May.