Jurgen Klopp‘s men were given a stern test by a rejuvenated Eagles side on Saturday, but they still got over the finish line in impressive fashion. A “most hard-fought 3-0 win,” assessed the boss post-match.
A superb volley by Naby Keita rounded off the afternoon, as Klopp’s side made it 13 points from a possible 15 so far this season.
Here’s how the media reacted to the victory.
There is a growing feeling that Liverpool look like the team to beat, with shades of 2019/20 about the win…
Oliver Holt of the Daily Mail felt this was the “Liverpool of old” on show:
“This was an emphatic victory for Liverpool and even if they had their scares early in the game, it was a victory that suggested that, after all the adversity of last season, they will be right in the thick of the title race again this season.
“Almost for the first time since they won the title, they looked like the Liverpool of old again in this 3-0 victory.
Neil Atkinson of The Anfield Wrap is confident that Klopp’s men are “ready” to challenge:
“They look ready. Maybe I’ll be wrong, maybe these words will haunt me and us, maybe they’ll have bad luck and hard lines and begin to find it tough but at the minute they look ready for serious business.
“Liverpool have made a tough six days look like a walk in the park, hand and hand. Us and them against Leeds, us and them against Milan, and us and them against Palace. Us and them against an entire division.”
There was more praise for the remarkable Salah, who now has 99 league goals for the Reds…
The Mirror‘s Andy Dunn couldn’t hide his admiration for Liverpool’s No.11:
“For some reason, this one seemed special, this one was worth a booking, this one was worth milking even when his team-mates had drifted away.
“And so Mohamed Salah stood, shirtless and encouraging the Anfield crowd’s acclaim. They did not disappoint.
“The ovation for an emphatic close-range volley that put an end to Crystal Palace’s quest for equality was suitably thunderous.
“But then so was the approval when, earlier, Salah chased back into his own penalty area to carry out successful defensive duties.
“If Liverpool want to compete for the main domestic and European honours, they will need to turn what is already a knack of winning games without key players into a habit.
“And they will need to keep Salah fit and happy.”
Holt was no different, as the importance of tying Salah down to a new deal was again highlighted:
“There were 12 minutes to go when Mo Salah ran on to the ball that had dropped out of the melee of bodies competing for it at a corner.
“He advanced on it without breaking stride and smashed it past Vicente Guaita in the Crystal Palace goal to put Liverpool 2-0 up. His landmark strike, his 100th Premier League goal, had come at Elland Road last week, but Salah celebrated number 101 with even more gusto.
“Perhaps it was because it was in front of the Kop, perhaps it was because there has been so much speculation about whether he will follow the rest of the first team cohort and sign a new contract at the club or perhaps it was because he knew it was the goal that meant Liverpool would end the day at the top of the table for the first time since January 4th. He ripped his shirt off and threw it down on the turf and drank in the celebrations of the fans.”
Atkinson showed his adoration for the Egyptian King:
“Mohamed Salah is the best attacker in the league. This summer some lads moved around and to this division. A lot of money in wages and fees has changed hands. But none of them are Mo Salah. As it stands the only attackers in the world worthy of being mentioned in the same breath spend every other Saturday in Paris or Munich.
“He is this league’s dominant attacking force and he has started this season with aplomb. He loves it. More than ever at the minute he evokes a pulsating sensation that he is a Liverpool player. A Liverpool leader. He has seemed like a lot of things.
“In February 2018 he escalated to global proportions, shot past our eyes and my god did we enjoy the vapour trail.”
Others felt the need to hail Mane after his brilliant achievement…
The Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe discussed whether or not the Senegalese could still be considered Klopp’s most important signing:
“There will be those on Merseyside who will always see Sadio Mane as the man who led the first meaningful cavalry charge under Klopp, laying fertile ground for those later, high class recruits.
“Mane’s arrival in 2016 gave a hint of the world-class entertainment to come, especially symbolic as it ended a prolonged period where Liverpool spent record fees on duds.
“With respect to Palace’s honest but limited striker Christian Benteke, it felt poignant that he was here to see the man who replaced him at Anfield strike his 100th Liverpool goal.
“Mane became only the 18th player in the Merseyside club’s decorated history to hit that century. Already on the same plinth as the Kop greats, the record served to underline his immense contribution to the Merseyside renaissance.”
Ben Husband of the Mirror believes Mane is somewhere close to his best form again, following last season’s dip:
“The forward scored for the ninth straight game against the Eagles, breaking a record previously held by Robin van Persie vs Stoke.
“His first-half goal also made it a century of strikes for the Reds bringing up the landmark in just 224 appearances.
Mane’s below-par form went slightly under the radar last season, but looks back to his very best in the early weeks of this one.”
The Guardian‘s Richard Jolly was similarly gushing with praise:
“Sadio Mane had long since assumed his place in Liverpool history.
“He was a scorer in one Champions League final, a winner in another, a catalyst in ending their 30-year wait for a league title, but in becoming Liverpool’s 18th centurion, he joined a pantheon. ‘It is a massive achievement,’ said Jurgen Klopp. ‘In the glorious history of this club, only 18 players could score 100 goals.’
“Now Mane finds himself in distinguished company, level with Kevin Keegan and with John Barnes next in his sights.
“Perhaps there was no more fitting, or predictable, victim for a milestone strike.”