JAMIE Carragher believes Liverpool’s win over Crystal Palace on Saturday sent a message to their Premier League rivals that they are up to the challenge.
The Reds currently sit third in the table level on points with Manchester City and Arsenal, and only behind on goal difference, despite tough away games against The Gunners, Spurs and Chelsea.
And the former Liverpool defender thinks that they have given the fans hope by staying in touch with those at the top, after such a difficult looking start to the season.
Speaking on Sky’s Monday Night Football, he said: “I think, with the start Liverpool had, if they had been sixth or seventh, a couple of points off top four at this stage of the season then Liverpool fans would have been delighted, because of the tough start they had.
“To be that close to the top of the table gives you great hope going forward. We’ve spoken before about the no Europe situation, and we saw them in midweek not play their full team against Spurs”
Despite their impressive win at Selhurst Park, the Reds still gifted two goals to Alan Pardew’s side and their defence has been constantly identified as a major weakness, if they are serious about a title challenge.
Carragher added: “Against Crystal Palace, the defence was not great, but their intensity with the ball, and the way they closed people down was reminiscent of a couple of years ago.
“I go back to that season under Brendan Rodgers. Don’t forget that is what nearly took Liverpool to the title – that extra energy, intensity, closing people down, fast football.”
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The Palace manager, and several of his players, claimed after the game that the Reds were the best side they had faced and Carragher believes they sent a message to their rivals with that win.
“Alan Pardew and his players said it was the best team they’ve come up against this season. Some of the football was fantastic. Crystal Palace away, you’re not playing one of the big boys but you do think ‘we can easy drop points there’.
“To go there and win emphatically sent a message. They are the real deal.”