Crystal Palace produced their best performance of the season in their 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool according to Roy Hodgson.

The Eagles manager praised his side despite Roberto Firminio’s late winner after Wilfried Zaha cancelled out Sadio Mane’s opener.

The manner of defeat against his former club left a sour taste in Hodgson’s mouth, particularly after having what he felt was a legitimate goal ruled out when Jordan Ayew was adjudged to have fouled Dejan Lovren in the build up to James Tomkins header to open the scoring.

“It's the usual close but no cigar,” Hodgson said.

“I would go further than saying it was one of our best games of the season, I thought it was our best performance of the season.

“I thought we really did play well.

“We were very pleased at half time with the team's performance and that carried on into the second half.

“It's bitter blow after getting what we thought was a deserved equaliser to have to concede that second goal from the unfortunate corner kick and take away that point that we thought we were more than worth.

“It's football we have to learn to live with that, there's nothing I can say about it but I do honestly believe that was a very good team performance and on another day would have got us that point.”

Palace’s fourth defeat in five games leaves them 13th in the league ahead of next weekend’s trip to Burnley.

One man who has been criticised in the Eagles recent run of form was goalscorer Zaha, but Hodgson leapt to the Ivorian’s defence.

“I think drawing criticism from quarters when it comes to being a professional football player is part and parcel of the job.

“He was very good, today he was certainly back to his best form.

“I've not seen him play games against top level opposition much better than he did today.

“That gives me great heart and hope for the future because we believe in him.

“He's not just loved by the fans, he's loved by the players and the coaching staff as well because we know what he can do.

“Criticism is something we have to learn to live with and the most important criticisms that Wilf needs to take to heart come from myself or my coaching staff regarding the job we ask him to do.

“He also needs to understand, which he does, that it's a big responsibility and we are all looking for him to give these sort of performances and to score the goals that he deserves.”