Garth Crooks: This ‘exceptional’ Liverpool defender has finally settled

Garth Crooks heaps praise on Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren

The Sport Review staff

Dejan Lovren has finally come to terms with the high expectation levels at Liverpool, according to Garth Crooks.

The Croatia international was named man-of-the-match for the Reds on Sunday afternoon following a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Just why it’s taken Lovren so long to settle in at Anfield isn’t clear but he looks like he’s finally starting to come to terms with the expectation

Garth Crooks

Lovren partnered Mamadou Sakho at centre-half after the former Lyon defender recovered from a spell on the sidelines due to injury and illness.

The 26-year-old has struggled to impress for Liverpool since he moved to the Merseyside outfit in a £20m deal from Southampton in 2014.

However, former Tottenham forward Crooks believes Lovren is finally starting to perform for the 18-time English champions.

“It has taken quite some time for Dejan Lovren to come to terms with the demands placed on him by Liverpool since his arrival from Southampton,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“His performance in Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Crystal Palace – particularly with the Reds having gone down to 10 men – was exceptional.

“Just why it’s taken Lovren so long to settle in at Anfield isn’t clear but he looks like he’s finally starting to come to terms with the expectation.”

Joe Ledley gave Palace a second-half lead against the run of play after Liverpool had dominated the opening 45 minutes.

James Milner received a red card shortly after Palace’s goal to leave Liverpool a difficult task to get back into the game.

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However, Roberto Firmino capitalised on Alex McCarthy’s slip to level before substitute Christian Benteke converted an added-time penalty to seal a 2-1 victory, prompting praise of Klopp’s tactical alterations during the game.

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