Liverpool win at Crystal Palace to cut Man City lead

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says it is too early to think about his side catching Premier League leaders Manchester City despite cutting the gap by mixing early class with late resilience to hold off Crystal Palace.

A day after City dropped points for the first time since October, Klopp's side were sharp and ruthless early on to take the game away from Palace at Selhurst Park.

However Liverpool laboured in the second half and Klopp said his side showed how "insanely good we can be and how bad as well", as a controversial late penalty was needed to make the win safe.

The German's side are nine points behind City but have a game in hand on Pep Guardiola's team and face them in the league at Etihad Stadium in April.

When asked if his side can overhaul City, Klopp told BBC Sport: "No. The distance is too far to talk about it but we don't have to. We just need to win football matches. We will see what happens in the final few months."

The intensity of Liverpool's press and crisp use of the ball overwhelmed Palace early on and Virgil van Dijk rose to deliver a bullet header for their opener before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain finished a sweeping team move for their second.

Palace, though, eventually offered moments of threat, with Liverpool keeper Alisson forced to save well from Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta before Conor Gallagher glanced a header wide with the opening attack of the second half.

They finally broke through when the ever-willing Mateta raced onto Jeffrey Schlupp's superb through ball and unselfishly squared for Odsonne Edouard to tap into an empty net.

"For 35 minutes we were outstanding," Klopp added.

"We looked really sharp and ready to play in small spaces then two or three sloppy passes and the stadium is back, Palace is back and we did not start well in the second half.

"We had our moments but we did not control it any more. If you lose a little bit of focus it showed how tired we could be as Palace played a really good game. We opened the door for them and they ran through."

Fabinho's 89th-minute penalty settled any Liverpool nerves and arrived after referee Kevin Friend was told by the VAR to check the pitch side monitor in order to reconsider his initial decision not to award a foul when Diogo Jota was brought down Vicente Guaita.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said the decision was not a penalty "in a million years" but helped secure victory for Klopp's side, who have taken maximum league points from the fixtures missed by Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane while they play in the Africa Cup of Nations.