Brendan Rodgers could not hide his frustration after watching Liverpool let a three-goal lead slip against Crystal Palace to draw 3-3 at Selhurst Park on Monday night.

The Reds went ahead in the tie through Joe Allen's first Barclays Premier League goal for the club and extended their lead further with two goals in as many minutes in the second half.

Daniel Sturridge's low drive was deflected beyond Julian Speroni soon after the interval, before Luis Suarez exchanged passes with Raheem Sterling to rifle home Liverpool's third.

However, Palace were undeterred and, in the space of 11 final, frantic minutes, Tony Pulis' men hit three goals, the first from Damien Delaney and two from Dwight Gayle, to stun the visitors and clinch a point.

"It was hugely disappointing," Rodgers told reporters following the final whistle. "For 78 minutes, we were outstanding and did everything that we would want to do.

"We looked solid defensively, didn't have many scares, controlled the ball, ended up getting three goals and looked like we could get one or two more.

"But I think we got carried away; thought we could maybe get one or two more and lost the defensive structure to our game. To concede the three goals at the end was hugely disappointing, having worked so hard to get 3-0 up.

"Tonight was about winning the game, so when we stabilised that at half-time and got the structure back into our game, we came out in the second half and got two quick goals - which put us in total control with half an hour to go.

"We created other chances and looked like we could score, but we just didn't manage the game then. At 3-0, we gave them a little sniff when they were not in the game at all. Obviously, they have got some good players that can punish you.

"It's something that we'll improve on for next season; last season we needed to get better and we've got better this year. It's very disappointing to have only gained a point from a game we had total control over."

Liverpool's players were visibly emotional on the pitch as the final whistle sounded in the capital, and Rodgers admitted there was an atmosphere of despondency inside the away dressing room as the squad reflected on what might have been.


"It feels like a loss when you're 3-0 up and concede goals like that," said the Northern Irishman. "As you can imagine, [the dressing room] is very quiet and the players are devastated really because, for 78 minutes, we were outstanding; some of our football and, importantly, our defending, was good.

"But in those last 12 minutes, we just didn't defend with any sort of cohesion and ended up conceding really poor goals.

"The first goal, they played it short - the guy has got a shot in far too easy, it takes a deflection but we should still do better.

"The second goal comes from a corner; we break away and play a square pass on the edge of the box. That's just decision-making. All of a sudden they skip away, they have quick players - Gayle and Yannick Bolasie break forward, young Thomas Ince is on.


"They got the second goal and for the third, they have momentum then. We were about to make a change and put another defender on and they got the third. It was that crazy spell that we will need to be better in for the future."

The result means Liverpool currently sit top of the Premier League table; however, Manchester City, who have a game in hand on the Reds, are only a point behind.

Manuel Pellegrini's side face Aston Villa and then West Ham United at the Etihad stadium in their final two games - and Rodgers conceded that City must now be firm favourites to go on and claim top spot.

"We needed to win tonight to keep the pressure on," he said. "Obviously, it was still in the hands of Manchester City, so us winning tonight would have given them a little bit of pressure in the Aston Villa game.

"Villa will go and make it difficult, I'm sure, like they have done against the top-four teams this season. But I think everyone will look at Manchester City's squad and look at them as a team that can win the games and get the job done."

While the manager was unable to conceal his disappointment following the final whistle, he was able to retain a sense of perspective on the season as a whole, on the night his side moved to 81 points in the Premier League.

"That's 99 goals we're on this season," said Rodgers. "I came in for my first season and in the season before, the team had finished on 47 goals.

"So for us to keep improving like we have been gives me immense pride. When we've got time to sit down at the end of the season and reflect on it, we'll see that this has been an outstanding season for Liverpool Football Club.

"It doesn't take away the pain now, because we've drawn a game we should have won. But that will be an area we look to improve on again next year, and if we do that then we'll continue to get better.

"We've made great strides this year. But certainly while I'm here, I'm here to fight to win titles. I'll be relentless in my quest for it - that's why I came. This season has given us great hope. We're trying to build something that is sustainable.

"We'll just keep fighting and keep working, and I think next season we'll take more strides forward and hopefully be up there challenging again."