Jurgen Klopp was hopeful Thiago Alcantara’s calf injury would prove not too serious after Liverpool beat Crystal Palace in “one of the most hard-fought three-nils ever”.
The Reds went top of the Premier League, three points ahead of Manchester City and Manchester United, who play West Ham on Sunday, by seeing off a spirited Palace side who twice had chances in the opening three minutes at Anfield.
Liverpool shrugged off an unconvincing start to claim an ultimately comfortable win thanks to goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.
Mane’s goal saw him net his 100th for Liverpool, but the victory was somewhat marred by Thiago limping off just after the hour mark.
Klopp said of the former Bayern Munich man: “He felt the calf. So far I don’t know exactly but we hope it is not too serious.”
Liverpool are now 15 games unbeaten and looking in ominous form as they try to regain the Premier League title, having seen City scoop the trophy last term.
But Klopp accepted they were not at their best in defeating Patrick Vieira’s side.
“It is one of the most hard-fought three-nils I ever saw. We had to give everything. Really hard but fair challenges. Physicality in the game was immense and we had to be ready in each situation,” Klopp said on Sky Sports.
100 – Sadio Mane has scored his 100th goal for Liverpool in all competitions, 10 of which have come against Crystal Palace, his most against a single opponent for the Reds. Centurion. pic.twitter.com/gJ4x7qNl34
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 18, 2021
“The chips in behind our full-backs gave us a struggle. The longer the game went, they used that more and more.
“We had to run. We’ve said it plenty of times, the Wednesday/Saturday rhythm is really hard. We came through, we scored wonderful goals and used our set-pieces. It is really massive in games like this. If it would have been 1-0 I would have said these are the games you have to win, when you are not brilliant. That’s what we did today.
“We were not flying today. We had to grind out a proper performance. I really liked it. When you look back at the end of the season you have these games when it was really fun. And some when it was really important. This is one of those important games.”
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