Liverpool 3 Crystal Palace 0: Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Naby Keita send Jurgen Klopp's Reds top of Premier League

GAMBLING MAN JURGEN KLOPP’S luck continued with a somewhat streaky win.

Don’t be fooled by the scoreline.

The Liverpool boss rolled the dice again with his team selection and his side did not deserve the first-half lead given to them by Sadio Mane.

Palace kept the pressure on and should have equalised through last weekend’s super sub Odsonne Edouard.

But moments later Mo Salah grabbed a nerve-settling second and Naby Keita rounded things off in style with an even better volley from the edge of the box.

On another day, Klopp’s tinkering might have cost his team dear and Palace were much, much better than the final scoreline suggested.

After leaving Virgil Van Dijk out of the Champions League clash with AC Milan, Klopp shuffled his pack again.

He rested Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip and Andy Robertson from his first choice back four and it almost cost the Reds inside two minutes.

After a set-piece had caused initial panic, Wilfried Zaha kneed the ball towards goal and Alisson pushed it on to his left-hand post.

Liverpool were shambolic at times and second best for much of the first half, surviving penalty appeals and more defensive lapses.


But they should have taken the lead when Diogo Jota blazed the ball over the bar from three yards after Vicente Guaita had saved Thiago’s initial header.

The goal was not long coming, though. This time when Guaita kept out Mo Salah’s header, Mane made no mistake with the rebound from close range.

Liverpool started the second half better, but Palace still looked dangerous, especially down the left where Zaha was up against 35-year-old stand-in right back James Milner.

The Reds never looked comfortable and it was yet another of those games when you felt they desperately needed a second goal.

There was no little sign of it arriving, though, until Van Dijk headed over the bar in the 64th minute.

Then Guaita made a double save from Mane and Salah but it was still nip and tuck, as Jordan Ayew wasted a four-on-three opportunity.

But it was Edouard who missed Palace’s best chance to equalise. A Joel Ward cross found him all alone in the Liverpool penalty area but his first touch and hesitation let him down, allowing Alisson to claim the ball.

How costly it proved.

When a Kostas Tsimikas corner was helped on to Salah, he volleyed home his 101st Premier League goal.

Even then the Reds weren’t comfortable, and Alisson had to save from Edouard again.

But then another corner found its way to the edge of the box and Keita caught it sweetly to claim his first Premier League goal since the win over Chelsea that clinched the 2019-20 title.

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