Striker defended by boss

Jurgen Klopp jumped to the defence of Christian Benteke after he was accused of diving for the decisive penalty against Crystal Palace.

Liverpool: Striker defended by bossLiverpool: Striker defended by boss

The Reds came from a goal and a man down to beat Alan Pardew’s side, with Benteke controversially scoring from the spot in the sixth minute of stoppage time after going down in the area under Damien Delaney’s challenge.

Joe Ledley’s powerful 48th-minute finish had given Palace the lead and, after James Milner’s red card, Liverpool were struggling until home goalkeeper Alex McCarthy slipped under little pressure while attempting a routine clearance and gifted Roberto Firmino an equaliser.

Benteke then beat McCarthy from the spot to secure Liverpool’s third straight Premier League win, but the way he went to ground to earn the penalty angered many. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp insisted the decision was correct.

Klopp, whose side are six points off the top four, said: “I’m sure. If you run and you get this touch, you fall down.

“Try it. Both things. With the knee and with the foot. In my opinion, there was more than enough of a touch.”

Klopp was thrilled with the way his side responded to Milner’s dismissal, adding: “We played with more focus [with 10 men]. We started well, but we didn’t have a shot at goal. It was not bad, but not good enough.

“Usually the plan was to play with more direction in the second half, but then we conceded the goal and the red card. Then we had nothing to lose. When you’re 1-0 down, you have to be greedy.”

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