Liverpool can still improve - Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool can still improve - Rodgers

Manager Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool have not been at their best this season despite going top of the Premier League with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

First-half goals by Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Steven Gerrard wrapped up a fifth win in seven league games before Dwight Gayle's late header.

"We haven't hit anywhere near the level, performance-wise, that we want to," Rodgers told BBC Sport.

"But we have shown we can win games even when we don't play at our best."

Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League last season but Rodgers says he is aiming for a top-four spot and Champions League qualification this term.

And the 40-year-old says he wants his side to improve their ball retention.

"It's not enough to just win games, for me, I'm very much someone who worries about playing well," former Swansea boss Rodgers said.

"We will take the three points here but we need to improve our level with the football.

"We put it at risk too much and that's a part of the system with the players that we've lost, so it's meant a shift to the structure and sometimes 3-5-2 is set up more as a counter attack."

Key to Liverpool's success this season has been the form of Sturridge, who scored his eighth goal in nine games and, ahead of England's World Cup qualifiers, came through the game unscathed.

With Suarez scoring his third goal in three games since serving a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Rodgers said the front pair have a "telepathic" understanding.

The Northern Irishman said Liverpool's system allowed both players to express themselves.

He said: "I've played them in a number of positions. I've played one of them up top and one of them in a semi-wide position, I've played Daniel through the middle and Luis in behind but Luis is not a number 10.

"They are both nine-and-a-halves in terms of how they can get in between defenders, and can drop in short or go long.

"They were exceptional today. In the first half in particular, some of their combination play and their link-up was outstanding and they are right up there with the best in this league.

"They have that telepathic understanding. You are doing drills to improve that understanding, but I think top players are on the same wavelength and that's what they are."