Mohamed Salah and Alisson Becker starred as Liverpool picked up a hard-fought 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday in the Premier League.
In what was a frantic start to the game, Crystal Palace came close to scoring through Wilfried Zaha, only for his effort to be tipped onto the post by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker. At the other end, there were chances as well, with Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah drawing saves from Vicente Guaita, while a fair few efforts were blocked by the Eagles’ defenders.
Diogo Jota had the best chance of scoring but sent his effort over the bar from just 2-3 yards out after Thiago Alcantara’s header was stopped. However, Liverpool did manage to break the deadlock in the 43rd minute as Sadio Mane found the back of the net after Salah’s header was saved brilliantly by Guaita.
Post the break, both teams enjoyed their fair share of chances and it should have been 1-1 but Odsonne Edouard’s heavy touch allowed Alisson to make a stop before Salah made it 2-0 in favour of the hosts in the 78th minute before Naby Keita scored a stunning strike to add more sheen to the scoreline in the 89th minute.
Liverpool were pushed by Palace, who posed a serious threat on the counter, but ultimately, the Reds were the better team in the key moments, leading to an impressive 3-0 win that has put them at the top of the table. Here are our player ratings for Jurgen Klopp’s brigade after the win at Anfield.
Alisson Becker: 8/10
Everyday I thank God for Alisson Becker🙏
— Bass (@lfcbass11) September 18, 2021
Did well to tip Zaha’s early effort onto the post. Wasn’t called into action a great deal for the rest of the first half apart from a straightforward save to stop Joel Ward. But had to be alert on more than one occasion after the break, denying Edouard a couple of times to keep Liverpool’s noses in front.
James Milner: 7/10
Drafted into the starting XI in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back, the veteran did a good job at handling the threat of Wilfried Zaha, although there were occasions when he was forced into uncomfortable territory. Gave away a few fouls but also provided a handy outlet on the overlap, delivering some teasing crosses.
Ibrahima Konate: 7/10
Making his debut for Liverpool, the summer signing was a tad bit nervy at the beginning but grew into the game with time. Did well to deny Zaha and Benteke a clear shot at goal on a couple of occasions while did just enough to put off Edouard in the second half. Still a bit rough around the edges, but there were positives in the display.
Virgil van Dijk: 7/10
Back into the lineup after being rested against AC Milan, the towering Dutchman had his task cut out against a vibrant Palace frontline and did well to hold them off for the most part, all the while guiding his new partner along on his debut. Solid as always.
Kostas Tsimikas: 7/10
📊 | Tsimikas vs Crystal Palace:
1 blocked shot
3/3 tackles won (100%)
6 crosses completed
4 chances created
Simply sensational. His crosses today were absolutely sublime. Pinpoint. pic.twitter.com/cq1fzboVgT
— The Anfield Buzz (@TheAnfieldBuzz) September 18, 2021
Stepping in for Andrew Robertson, the Greek full-back was Liverpool’s main outlet going forward in the opening half, making darting runs forward and delivering threatening crosses. Did have some problems against Jordan Ayew at the back and was fortunate not to give away a penalty for an ill-advised tangle with Benteke. But carried a great threat with his forward forays down the left.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
An energetic display from the Liverpool skipper, who dovetailed well with Salah and Milner down the right flank and got into good positions to deliver dangerous balls into the box. Even forced a save from Guaita in the first half, and was always willing to drop deep and help out defensively. Booked.
Solid and reliable as ever at the base of the midfield. Pressed well, broke up play when needed to and was generally looked in control from start to finish, making good use of the ball as well. Such a crucial cog in the middle for the Reds.
Thiago Alcantara: 7/10
Showcased his ability to dictate the tempo with his distribution from the middle as he made some fine passes forward. Even had a couple of shots at goal, one of which was blocked while the other was saved by Guaita. Came off injured around the hour mark, and Klopp will be hoping it is not serious.
Mohamed Salah: 8/10
130 Goals & 49 Assists in 209 Games for Liverpool. That's a total of 179 Goal Contributions in 209 games at a rate of one goal or assist every 96 minutes!
Truly sensational numbers for Mohamed Salah 👏 pic.twitter.com/9RICjQS2S7
— Nouman (@nomifooty) September 18, 2021
Always a threat with his pace and directness, the Egyptian superstar forced the opening goal for Liverpool as his header drew a save from Guaita, with Mane converting the rebound. Then added the second goal to put the game to bed with a well-taken effort in the 78th minute.
Diogo Jota: 5/10
Sent a header wide off the mark in the early stages before missing a huge chance to put Liverpool in front, firing well over the bar from yards out of the goal-line. Subbed off after the break.
Sadio Mane: 8/10
Lively in the attacking third with his movement and pace causing troubles to the Palace defence. Linked up well with his teammates and got his 100th goal for Liverpool when he reacted to the rebound from Salah’s effort to put his team in front.
💯 Reds goals for Mane 👏😍
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 18, 2021
Naby Keita: 7/10
On for the injured Thiago in the 62nd minute. Worked hard off the ball before thumping a volley into the back of the net for 3-0.
Curtis Jones: N/A
Replaced Jota in the 76th minute. Looked bright in bursts.
Divock Origi: N/A
Late sub for Henderson.