Ton on Mane in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Palace

LIVERPOOL (Reuters) – Liverpool striker Sadio Mane scored his 100th goal for the club to secure a 3-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Mane converted the ball from close range just before half-time as he scored a Premier League record for the most consecutive goals against one club – his ninth in a row against Palace. He has 10 in all competitions against the London club.

Mohamad Salah and Naby Keita, with a superb volley, added late strikes to give the scoreline a certain look after fans earlier panicked at striker Diogo Jota’s early rival who misses the season.

Liverpool temporarily climbed to the top of the table with 13 points from their first five matches, despite having played a game more than most of their title rivals, while Palace sit 13th with one win so far this season.

“It’s one of the toughest 3-0 wins ever,” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp told Sky Sports. “We had to give everything. Tough challenges but fair. The fitness was massive and we had to be ready.”

“We scored great goals and used our set-pieces. It’s tremendous play in games like this. These are the games you have to win, when you’re not being great.

“We weren’t flying today. We had to put in a proper performance. I loved it. When you look back you have these games when they were really fun. This is one of those important games.”

Mane delivered his century-long goalscoring run for the Reds in all competitions, the 18th player to do so, when Salah’s header was pushed his way by Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to give him an easy goal from close range after 43 minutes.

The goal came after a shocking mistake by Jota from a similar position as Thiago Alcantara headed the forward only for Guaita to pass but the goal was at his mercy, the Portugal international swooping over the bar from every two yards.

Salah added a second to end the match in the 78th minute, as Virgil van Dijk kicked a corner kick and the striker provided a wonderful touch.

But there was still time for Keita to add an impressive third when he volleyed home from the edge of the box as the clock approached injury time.

Liverpool were largely in control of the game, but there were some shining moments for the visitors, including early on when goalkeeper Alisson hit the post in a desperate attempt to clear Wilfried Zaha’s repeated effort.

Palace also thought they should have been awarded a penalty as Konstantinos Tsimikas appeared to head Christian Benteke into the penalty area as the former Liverpool forward tried to reach for a cross.

Klopp made six changes to the team that beat Napoli in the Champions League midweek, with Trent Alexander-Arnold fine and James Milner replacing him at right-back.

However, he will be sweating as Thiago’s calf injury forced the midfielder off in the second half.

(Reporting by Nick Said). Editing by Ken Ferris and Hugh Lawson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.