Mohamed Salah won a first-half penalty converted by James Milner and also played in Sadio Mane for a late goal as Liverpool beat 10-man Crystal Palace 2-0 on Monday for its second straight win to open the Premier League season.
In a typical all-action display by Salah, the Egypt forward was also the player fouled by Aaron Wan-Bissaka that earned the Palace right back a straight red card in the 75th minute because he was the last man.
The score was 1-0 at the time, Milner having slotted in the penalty on the stroke of halftime after Salah tumbled under a challenge from Mamadou Sakho.
Mane secured victory in the third minute of stoppage time when he ran onto a pass from his own half by Salah, advanced half the length of the field, and rounded the goalkeeper to shoot into an empty net at Selhurst Park.
“It was a very tough game. We knew before the game it would be,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk said. “I don’t think the big teams ever win here comfortably. I think a well-deserved three points.”
Liverpool started the season with a 4-0 thrashing of West Ham and is living up to its billing as a potential threat to title favorite Manchester City, the defending champion.
“I’m not interested in sending a statement to Manchester City or anyone else,” manager Juergen Klopp said. “I want to win football game and that’s what we did tonight.”
Liverpool has yet to concede a goal and carries a constant threat with its front three of Salah — last season’s top scorer in the Premier League — Mane and Roberto Firmino. Mane already has three goals this season.
The closest Palace came to scoring was when Andros Townsend curled a long-rage shot against the crossbar in the first half.
“I thought we pushed them very hard. We should have come in at 0-0 at halftime and the second half would have been even tougher,” Palace manager Roy Hodgson said. “We gave them enough problems and we can consider ourselves unlucky to lose 2-0.”
Liverpool and City are two of six teams with the maximum six points.