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Men's Football Roy Hodgson believes Crystal Palace may have inadvertently helped Liverpool win the title in this closely fought contest

ROY HODGSON believes the tough test provided by his Crystal Palace side at Anfield on Saturday could help Liverpool in their title challenge.

The former Liverpool boss saw his team go in ahead at half time courtesy of Andros Townsend’s first-half strike following a ruthless counter-attack.

Liverpool recovered in the second half with goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino giving them a 2-1 lead. The half-time words of their manager Jurgen Klopp were no doubt still ringing in their ears.

Palace equalised through James Tomkins in what was a highly entertaining encounter, before Salah scored his 50th Premier League goal and Sadio Mane gave the home side a two-goal cushion for the first time.

A late Max Meyer effort made for a nervy ending, but the league leaders held on for the win.

“Maybe a game like today where [Liverpool] could possibly have been expected to cruise to victory will remind them, if they ever needed it, that there are very few games in the Premier League where you can do that,” said Hodgson.

“They have the wherewithal [to win it] there’s no doubt about that, and they still have a margin of points at the top. 

“But I’m pretty sure that Jurgen Klopp, his staff and the Liverpool players realise there’s still a long way to go.”

Klopp saw his stand-in right back James Milner receive two yellow cards after struggling to keep up with the irrepressible Wilfried Zaha. But to be fair to the 33-year-old, any full back would have had difficulty stopping the Ivorian in this mood.

Salah was also in the mood, with Klopp describing the Egyptian as “a world-class player” and also said that his striker is still improving. A worrying sign for opposition defences.

The German’s side now have a break until their next fixture a week on Wednesday when they welcome Leicester City to Anfield.

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