Sadio Mane scored his 100th Liverpool goal in a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace which sent Jurgen Klopp's side three points clear at the Premier League summit.
Mane pounced on the rebound from Mohamed Salah's header from a corner to reach his century for the club (43), while also becoming the first player in Premier League history to score in nine consecutive games against a single opposition.
"I am really happy for him he could reach it, a massive achievement in the glorious history of this club that only 18 players scored 100 goals," Klopp said after full-time.
Both sides had come close to opening the scoring before Mane's opener in a topsy-turvy opening at Anfield. Alisson turned Wilfried Zaha's goalbound effort onto the post with less than two minutes gone, while Diogo Jota blazed over horrendously from four yards shortly before Mane's goal.
Salah struck from another corner after losing Jairo Riedewald 12 minutes from time, and a stunning Naby Keita volley, from yet another, sealed victory late on (89).
Jurgen Klopp summed up Liverpool's tricky afternoon after full-time by labelling the performance "one of the most hard-fought 3-0s" he had ever seen, with the result at Anfield telling far from the full story.Player ratings
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Milner (6), Van Dijk (7), Konate (6), Tsimikas (7), Thiago (7), Henderson (7), Fabinho (7), Jota (5), Salah (8), Mane (7).
Subs: Keita (7), Jones (7), Origi (n/a).
Crystal Palace: Guaita (7), Ward (7), Guehi (7), Andersen (7), Mitchell (7), Gallagher (7), Kouyate (6), McArthur (6), Ayew (4), Benteke (5), Zaha (6).
Subs: Edouard (6), Riedewald (5), Olise (n/a).
Man of the match: Mo SalahLate mistakes cost plucky Palace at Liverpool
Liverpool have found Crystal Palace tricky customers in the past - before their most recent four straight home wins at Anfield - and must have wondered if a return to form was on the cards as Alisson turned Zaha's lob onto the post inside the opening two minutes.
Palace's tempo was soon matched by a Liverpool side that had scored 12 goals in their previous five matches this season, with Jota shooting over from a tight angle.
He would wish that was his worst miss of the half, because, as the hosts took control towards the end of the opening period, the forward blazed well over from four yards out when left with the goal at his mercy after Vicente Guaita palmed Thiago's header straight at him.Image: Mo Salah continued his scoring run after netting his 100th Premier League goal last weekend
There was probably no one happier than Jota when Mane made amends two minutes before half-time to score his 100th Liverpool goal, making no mistake from a similar distance to bury the rebound from Salah's header.
The hosts finally got a hold on Palace for a period after half-time, until the introduction of Edouard produced a spark in the visitors' performance for the second weekend in a row.
He took only 20 seconds to open his account against Tottenham last Saturday, and seven minutes into his cameo this time he should have levelled. Martin Kelly's cross found him in between James Milner and Ibrahima Konate, and, with the goal gaping, his heavy touch allowed Alisson time to steal in and clear.
Liverpool had no finishing problems of their own as Riedewald allowed Salah a clear run from another corner to powerfully fire beyond Guaita from six yards.
There was still time for a hat-trick of goals from corners, as Keita fired in the pick of the bunch with a spectacular 20-yard volley from a Guaita punch in the final minute of normal time.What the managers said...
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "We were not flying, we had to put out a proper performance. Our fans helped us, and I really liked it. When you look back at the end of the season, you look back at some games which were really fun, and others which were really important - this is one of those.
"The Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday intensity is hard. These are the games you have to win, when you are not brilliant - good, but not brilliant - you have to win. The set pieces were outstanding today."Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on Sadio Mane after he scored his 100th Liverpool goal in their win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, while the manager lauded the potential of Ibrahima Konate after he made his debut in the game
Crystal Palace head coach Patrick Vieira: "I can't say that I'm pleased when you concede three goals from set-pieces, there's a frustration. At times we defended really well, and when you come to Anfield you can't allow yourself to concede three times from set-pieces.
"Our plan was to stay in the game, and conceding the goal before half-time wasn't good for us, but we came back in the second half, we tried, and unfortunately couldn't score."Man of the match - Mo Salah
Not content with reaching his Premier League century last weekend, Salah was determined to add to his tally and made their opener with a fine move from which Mane scored on the rebound.
His movement was also enough to escape the clutches of Riedewald for Liverpool's second in the closing stages to net a 101st goal in the league.Analysis: Mixed bag on debut for Ibrahima Konate
Sky Sports' Ron Walker:
"Ibrahima Konate's debut bought intrigue following his big-money move from RB Leipzig in the summer, coupled with the Reds' personnel woes in defence last season.
"For much of the game, this was the same player who had impressed so much at Leipzig, showing good awareness to hold off Christian Benteke and bail out Virgil Van Dijk following a rare slip early on.
"He needed saving himself after a heavy touch allowed Wilfried Zaha in down the right after half-time and was partly at fault to allow Odsonne Edouard his chance from Martin Kelly's cross.
"But with some bright moments and a clean sheet on his debut, there were plenty of positive signs from Liverpool's newest defensive recruit, and he will get plenty more chances to impress in a red shirt before long."Opta facts: Bogey team run goes on
Liverpool travel to Norwich in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, live on Sky Sports Football from 7.30pm; Kick-off at 7.45pm. Their next Premier League match is another away game at Brentford next Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 5pm; Kick-off at 5.30pm.
Crystal Palace, already eliminated from the Carabao Cup, have a nine-day rest until they appear on Monday Night Football against Brighton on Monday, September 27 on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm; Kick-off at 8pm.
“We have to be sensible,” Klopp explained after the game, specifically noting the need to reshuffle his centre-backs throughout a busy run.
Substitutes: Kelleher, Gomez, Phillips, Robertson, Jones, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Origi
Crystal Palace: Guaita; Ward, Guehi, Andersen, Mitchell; Kouyate, McArthur, Gallagher; Ayew, Benteke, Zaha
Substitutes: Butland, Tomkins, Kelly, Clyne, Riedewald, Hughes, Milivojevic, Olise, Edouard
Premier League Cup, Kirkby
September 18, 2021
Goals: Cannonier 11′ 36′ 68′; Raymond 50′, Ola-Adebomi 71′
After a stop-start season with the Reds’ under-18s last time out, Cannonier has stepped up convincingly as Marc Bridge-Wilkinson’s first-choice striker for 2021/22.
The 17-year-old – known as the ball-boy that helped tee up Divock Origi‘s decisive strike against Barcelona in 2019 – signed his first professional contract with the club in July.
Since then, he hasn’t looked back, with Saturday bringing his second hat-trick of the season to see his tally to nine goals in four games for the U18s so far.
This treble came in the Premier League Cup, with the young Reds hosting Palace three days after victory over AC Milan in the UEFA Youth League, with eight changes made to that under-19s side.
Cannonier was among those brought in, and it took the teenager just 11 minutes to find the back of the net, firing home after a smart interchange with Melkamu Frauendorf.
Palace had chances to equalise, most notably through Jadan Raymond, but Liverpool‘s quality shone through and Cannonier had made it 2-0 before the break as he followed Stefan Bajcetic’s shot and converted on the rebound.
Raymond did grab one back after half-time, however, heading home to reduce the deficit, only for Cannonier to complete his hat-trick with 22 minutes to play.
He won the match ball after some brilliant work from the relentless James Balagizi, who nicked the ball high up the pitch and, driving his side on, laid it across to Cannonier to make it 3-1.
The No. 9 should have had another late on, but after taking the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper he was brought down outside the box for a free-kick.
Another header saw Palace’s Ademola Ola-Adebomi bring the lead down to a solitary goal, but that was enough to seal victory for Liverpool – their third in four unbeaten games so far this season.
Much of their success is down to the predatory instincts of Cannonier, whose record in the box will soon ensure he is known for more than a small role in one of the Reds’ greatest Champions League comebacks.
Liverpool U18s: Mrozek; Mabaya (Pilling 61′), Miles, Bajcetic, Chambers; Stephenson, Frauendorf, Balagizi; Clark, Blair, Cannonier
Subs not used: Davies, Omoruyi, Davidson, Roberts
Next match: Derby (H) – U18 Premier League – Tuesday, September 21, 7pm (BST)
The Reds had a mid-week to remember in the Champions League, with the comeback win over AC Milan keeping the spring in their step during what is a taxing run of games.
Once a bogey side, Klopp’s men have won the last eight meetings between the two teams and they’ll be intent on making it nine from nine this afternoon.
Check This Is Anfield for the latest team news ahead of the match.
You can also follow the game by downloading the This is Anfield app, including lineups, live coverage and all the reaction and analysis.
The match gets underway at 3pm (BST) – or 10am in New York, 7am in Los Angeles, midnight in Sydney, 6pm in Dubai and 5pm in Nairobi.UK Viewers
Check our Rest of the World TV guide below for a list of TV broadcasters showing the match live.
[embedded content]Rest of the World
Supporters can find the Reds’ Premier League game at Anfield on the following channels worldwide:
SuperSport 4 Digitalb, beIN SPORTS CONNECT, beIN Sports Premium 1, beIN Sports English, SuperSport Premier League ROA, SuperSport MaXimo 1, DStv Now, Star+, ESPN Sur, RUSH, Optus Sport, Sky Sport 1/HD, A Spor, Sky Go, Star Sports Select HD1, Play Sports, Play Sports 2, SportKlub 1 Serbia, GUIGO, ESPN Brasil, Watch ESPN Brasil, NOW NET e Claro, Astro Go, Diema Sport 2, Play Diema Xtra, DAZN, PPTV Sport China, Migu, QQ Sports Live, iQiyi, ESPN2 Colombia, Sky HD, Sportklub 1 Croatia, Cytavision Sports 3, Cytavision on the Go, DIGI GO, Premier Sport, Viaplay Denmark, TV3+ HD, TV3 Sport, V Sport Premium, V Sport Jalkapallo, Elisa Viihde Viaplay, Sky Ticket, Cosmote Sport 3 HD, 620 Now Premier League TV, Now Player, 621 Now Premier League 1, Digi Sport 1, Hotstar VIP, Star Sports Select 1, JioTV, Mola TV App, mola.tv, Mola TV, Premier Sports ROI 1, Premier Player HD, Sport 2, SKY Go Italia, NOW TV, Sky Sport Football, Setanta Sports Kazakhstan, SPOTV ON, IPKO TVim, Astro Go, Astro Supersport, GO TV Anywhere, TSN2 Malta, Blue To Go Video Everywhere, Ziggo Sport 14, Ziggo Sport Select, Spark Sport, SuperSport Premier League Nigeria, MaxTV Go, TV2 Sport Premium, TV 2 Play, Premier FOOTBALL, Eurosport Player Romania, Eurosport Romania, Okko Sport, mio Stadium 106, Sportklub 3 Slovenia, DStv App, SuperSport Premier League, Viaplay Sweden, True Premier Football HD 1, True Premier Football HD 2, S Sport+, A Spor, Peacock, SiriusXM FC, K+PM
You can follow all the action today and throughout the 2021/22 season with us by downloading the This is Anfield app for iPhone and Android for free.
The Athletic has been invited to work a match day at the cafe renowned for its award-winning selection of pies.
Laura Aney and Evie Mock are the other young women working behind the counter. They make conversation with me as I stand near the doorway that looks out onto the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand.
Luke McKay had been my point of contact in the weeks prior but the Everton fan, who runs the marketing side of things at Homebaked, is already on a coach to Brighton away. In an exchange of messages the night before he reminds me to ask for Angela and to wear comfy clothes.
Angela is also a McKay. In fact, the Homebaked operations manager is Luke’s mum. When she comes to collect me from the front there is a phone clamped between her ear and shoulder. The card machine isn’t working, a problem Angela is keen to resolve with eight and a half hours until Liverpool kick off against Chelsea and with around 800 pies to sell in that time.
While on hold, Angela roots out a black apron and blue hairnet for me to wear. She gestures for me to sign in and I am given a locker.
Once the card machine has been revived, Angela then gathers her staff, which is also made up of her niece Jamie-Leigh Dooley and close friend Julie Coyle — the latter of whom is introduced to me as “Our Ju”.
Last week, the team had completed their “first proper match day” in 18 months as Liverpool hosted Burnley. Angela is congratulating her team for their hard work but knows this Saturday with the kick-off slot scheduled for a later time of 5.30pm it is going to be “chaotic”.
After Angela’s pep talk is over the group conversation switches to who supports who.
The Reds won an unforgettable Champions League clash with AC Milan midweek, but attention now returns to league action.
Here’s our match preview with 10 key things you need to know ahead of the game…1. Palace make solid start under Vieira
With former Reds disaster area Roy Hodgson retiring at the end of last season, Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira was drafted in as Palace’s new manager.
There has been plenty of promise in the last two matches, however, with a 2-2 draw away to in-form West Ham an impressive result.
A 3-0 victory over Tottenham last Saturday was even more impressive, however, suggesting things are starting to click for Palace.2. Edouard one to watch
Much of the focus may have been on Cristiano Ronaldo’s second debut for Man United last weekend, but Palace saw their own attacking hero emerge on his first appearance.
Odsonne Edouard secured a late-summer move to Selhurst Park from Celtic, having scored an impressive 86 goals in 179 appearances for the Scottish giants.
The Frenchman was introduced as a second-half substitute against Spurs and swiftly netted a brace inside eight minutes, suggesting he could be a top-class signing.
Liverpool beware…3. Who’s missing out for Liverpool?
There are no new injury concerns for Jurgen Klopp, but that’s not to say there aren’t absentees for the Palace game.
In terms of selection, Klopp could opt to bring Virgil van Dijk, Thiago and Sadio Mane back into the team after they were all rested on Wednesday, while Divock Origi is touch and go after cramp forced his exit in mid-week.4. Debut for Konate?
The risk of playing Matip three times in six days means he could be left out on Saturday, potentially paving the way for Ibrahima Konate‘s debut.
The youngster has had to bide his time to date, not getting a single minute of action, but Klopp may consider playing him and the Dutchman together.
Liverpool‘s transfer activity has been so quiet in recent times that it would be nice to see a debutant in action!5. Palace’s starting XI could be…
Palace aren’t playing in Europe this season, so they are afforded the luxury of often having week-long breaks between matches.
That means Vieira could decide to field a very similar starting lineup to the one that won convincingly at home to Spurs.
New centre-back duo Joachim Anderson and Marc Gueye are expected to start again, having been praised by Palace fan Alex Jonesin our opposition Q&A this week.
Youngster Conor Gallagher has had an excellent start to the season on loan from Chelsea and will likely play, while Eoudard could make his first start in place of ex-Red Christian Benteke.
Potential Crystal Palace XI: Guaita; Ward, Anderson, Gueye, Mitchell; Kouyate, McArthur, Gallagher; Ayew, Zaha, Edouard.6. Eagles’ past success against Reds
While Liverpool have been dominant against Palace in recent years – they have won the last eight meetings – there is often an undercurrent of pessimism that exists when the fixture arrives.
That’s because of the PTSD that remains from results in the past, whether it be the excruciating 3-3 draw in 2013/14 or the loss at Anfield on Steven Gerrard’s final home game for Liverpool.
It has, admittedly, been a while since Palace threatened to cause an upset, but they are a team who always seem capable of raising their game at Anfield.
A narrow 4-3 win for Liverpool in the title-winning season is proof of that.7. Madley takes charge
Unlike last year, when the world seemed to be against them, the Reds have not yet been undone by poor refereeing this season.
The hope is that that remains the case after Saturday’s game and the relatively unknown Andy Madley will take charge of proceedings.
This will be the first Liverpool game he has officiated in the Premier League, having refereed the 1-0 FA Cup win over Shrewsbury in 2019/20 and the penalty shootout triumph over Carlisle in the League Cup in 2015/16.
Frankly, his performance can’t be any worse than many of those we’ve seen at Anfield down the years.8. Did you know?
On current form, there is no doubt that Van Dijk and Matip is Liverpool‘s strongest pairing at the back.
The duo have looked imperious so far this season, conceding just once together and allowing the Reds to control matches.
In fact, Van Dijk and Matip are unbeaten in their last 34 league matches as a partnership, outlining how formidable they have been alongside one another.
Their only defeat was in their first game together away to Swansea way back in January 2018, but they haven’t looked back since.
It may be that Klopp again breaks up the Van Dijk-Matip axis against Palace, but there will be few complaints if he plays both.9. “Sadio looks really good!”
The No. 10 has been far from prolific so far but his build-up work and the number of chances he creates has certainly caused no issue for Klopp.
“Sadio looks really good, he looks really sharp,” the manager said.
“I know we talk about these things when a striker misses some chances, but that he has the amount of chances he has, the amount of finishes he has, that’s actually the important stuff.”
And goals haven’t been a problem for Mane in the past against Palace as the last eight league meetings have all seen him on the scoresheet. The same again please Sadio.10. Saturday 3pm blackout
This is Liverpool‘s first Saturday 3pm (BST) kickoff of the season, which means one thing: the game isn’t live on UK television.
Whether you like the rule or loathe it, you will have to find a way to track the match, unless you’re fortunate enough to be at Anfield.
Your best bet? Follow our matchday liveblog from 2.15pm, with Joanna Durkan keeping you up-to-date with the action.
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Harvey Elliott suffered a confirmed left ankle fracture-dislocation according to the club’s official medical statement, but just what is his recovery to look like?
After Elliott went to ground at Elland Road, club medical doctor Jim Moxon and lead physiotherapist Chris Morgan responded quickly to reduce the ankle (put it back into place).
They provided assurance and comfort to a clearly shaken player and placed his leg into a vacuum splint to further stabilise it. This quick action and implementation of training are key and I’ll discuss the importance later on.The injury explained
Considering Elliott’s mechanism of injury (how it happened), the fracture aspect of the injury very likely refers to the fibula (outer lower leg bone) and/or tibia (shin bone):
The dislocation – meaning a joint came out of place – likely refers to dislocation of the ‘talocrural’ ankle joint:
Additionally, the injury comes with damage to the ankle ligaments and in this case with the ankle rotating outwards, it is most likely the medial (inner) ligaments:
And syndesmotic (think high ankle) ligaments:
Further, there’s potential for damage to the articular cartilage tissue – namely in the talocrural ankle joint – which helps provide cushion for and reduce friction forces:
Two days after the injury – the wait was likely to allow for swelling to subside – Elliott was taken into surgery and, according to the club’s medical release, it was successful in repairing a fracture and ligaments.
So now begins young Harvey’s road to recovery and return to the pitch. No timeline was provided by the club – and astutely, more on that later.
These injuries typically come with a high variance that can be short as 3.5 months to 6+ months depending on the full extent of the injury specifics. There are two recent ankle-fracture dislocations that illustrate both ends of the spectrum.
Everton midfielder Andre Gomes had minimal ligament damage, returning to training in 89 days and back to games in 116 days, whereas Leicester’s Wesley Fofana is expected to be out for six-plus months due to severe ligament damage.
For Elliott, there are some positive indicators that bode well for the extent of damage and timeline.
Firstly, as mentioned in the introduction, the quick response by Dr Jim Moxon and lead physio Chris Morgan to reduce the ankle can decrease soft tissue (namely ligament) damage because putting the joint back in place alleviates major stress.
Secondly, in the club’s medical release, they referred to the repair of a ‘fracture’ singular where ‘ligaments’ was used in plural, as expected — which may indicate he only has one fracture.
If you refer to the first anatomy picture in this piece, you’ll see the possibility of dual fractures in each type of fracture. The fewer fractures the better, obviously.
Thirdly is Elliott’s age. At just 18 years old, he has very minimal injury history and wear on his body which can aid with the recovery and rehabilitation process. However, his younger age and a long career ahead also may mean the club is more conservative because there’s no need to rush him back and sacrifice potential long-term for the short term.
Fourthly, Elliott showed an incredibly resilient and growth mindset following the injury – beginning with clapping the fans and teammates as he was stretchered off the field to providing multiple social media updates pre and post-surgery that were very upbeat and taking the injury as a challenge rather than woe.
The importance of this mentality cannot be stressed enough in how it positively impacts recovery.
These are all just indicators without any assurances, of course, and more telling will be Liverpool’s media updates as their staff do an excellent job of providing rehab pictures and video which may eventually clue us in on where Elliott stands on that spectrum.Post injury performance
The injury is so rare – accounting for less than one percent of ankle injuries – that there simply isn’t enough of a sample size to make valid conclusions on return to performance.
However, having spoken to multiple foot and ankle surgeons, podiatrists, and specialising in the foot/ankle region myself (have treated a number of these), the consensus is that if there’s no damage to the articular cartilage, a return to sport and pre-injury levels is highly likely – especially considering the level of care Elliott will have.
That being said, just returning to training isn’t the end of the recovery process as players can deal with fitness issues, other injury risks as intensity ramps up and low confidence or fear of movement/reinjury, known as kinesiophobia.
These factors are why it’s important Liverpool placed no definitive timeline on Elliott’s return. It alleviates any pressure on the player to return and he can navigate these obstacles with the club’s medical and training staff without constantly looking at the clock.Keep up the support
On balance, the injury is certainly one that creates a visceral response but it’s one that Elliott can certainly come back from effectively, particularly with the multiple positive signs we’ve seen thus far.
My guess is if/when Harvey does return this season, Klopp and co. will use this season as games to rebuild his fitness and confidence heading into next season.
The process will certainly be up and down and require patience so I encourage everyone to continue the incredible outpouring of support for Harvey as he gets into the rehabilitation and return to play process.
That feeling of community and support that Elliott has already acknowledged as “an incredible support network” plays an intangible factor in overcoming the many challenges that lay ahead.
Check out our gallery from Liverpool FC Women's Friday afternoon training session at The Campus.
Matt Beard's side are without a fixture this weekend due to the international break, but are back in action a week on Sunday when they host Crystal Palace at Prenton Park in the FA Women's Championship.
Take a look at how the Reds' preparations are going below.
Photos by John Powell