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Benteke shows Klopp what Liverpool needs.

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Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace

Liverpool lost 1-2 to a well organised and disciplined Crystal Palace, at a packed Anfield stadium on Sunday. The match was described as an encounter that no team could afford to lose; with Liverpool fighting to stay in the top four and getting back into Champions League football, and Crystal Palace battling to stay clear of relegation.

Klopp would have been quietly confident that his star studded line up would have been able to overcome Sam Allardyce’s team, especially with the Anfield faithful behind their team. This seemed to be case, with an absolutely brilliant strike from the Brazilian Coutinho in the 24th minute. However, this was far from the case, as the Eagles and especially Christian Benteke had something completely different in mind. The Belgian striker inspired a comeback with an equaliser just before the half time break; and then scored the winner in the 74th minute to move Crystal Palace up to 12th place in the English Premier League table.

Some may argue this is poetic justice, after the way in which Benteke was ignored and deemed to be of no use in Klopp’s master plan for Liverpool FC domination of the English Premier League. Although the striker has very little to say on the topic, and was dignified when scoring his last two goals; it was pretty clear he was deliberately humiliated by the German as he was the only player not to play a single minute in Liverpool’s US pre-season tour.

Benteke quickly became the last choice behind Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings; but fortunately, Crystal Palace offered the perfect opportunity to prove Christian’s  worth and the player has excelled under Allardyce’s tutelage.

The game on Sunday has made it pretty clear as to what Liverpool lacks, and this is a potent striker.

When Klopp first came to Liverpool FC, there were real expectations that he would be able to instil his winning ways on the club. This was indeed the case at the start of the season, as we all witnessed attacking, high intensity football that brought The Reds success over the likes of Manchester City and saw Liverpool sitting in second place in the EPL table just before the start of 2017. But this all quickly changed with the draw against Sunderland, and Liverpool’s belief began to falter. The team then began to look predictable, with very little imagination and players would could change the course of a game.

This has not been helped with the loss of Klopp’s star striker, Sadio Mane; but this cannot sole reason for their poor performances and inconsistencies. There has been the added complication of Origi struggling to find the confidence and belief required to make him a potent force, Danny Ings is out injured and Sturridge has been either injured or showing no real interest on the pitch.

As a result, Liverpool has been relying heavily on Firmino and Coutinho; both of whom have been outstanding, with 11 and 10 goals respectively so far this season. But alas, it has not been enough to mask Klopp and his team’s failings.

So much so, that the odds of Liverpool finishing in the top four at the end of the season is lengthening with red-hot star, .

Benteke may have been the final straw to break Liverpool’s belief that they can become a force to reckon with; and even though it is widely agreed that Klopp’s team has the easiest set of games left to play, it may not be enough to see them into the Champions League next year.