It was a nail-biting afternoon but the Reds finally got their first three points of the season, thanks to new star man Sadio Mane lashing home after a defensive mix-up. The way he’s started the season Barcelona should probably be bidding for him rather than Philippe Coutinho…
So who were Liverpool’s three stars from Saturday’s game?
An excellent debut from the young Scot. Solid enough defensively and his performance yet again illustrated the value of having a natural left-footer down the flank.
He looked far more reliable than rival Alberto Moreno and didn’t get caught out of position upfield as the Spaniard has a habit of doing; and surged forward to put some excellent, dangerous crosses in that really should have been rewarded with a goal.
Robertson’s overall delivery was very good and one can only imagine what a full-back duo of he and the rested Trent Alexander-Arnold would offer in terms of a threat to the opposition, something we have lacked for years from our full-back department.
Admittedly, it was only one game against an average-looking Palace side but there was definitely plenty to be pleased about and if Robertson can keep it up, having left-back sorted will be a massive relief for both Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool fans alike.
His defensive colleagues Joel Matip and Joe Gomez also put in solid shouts here, but I’m going for Klavan based on how much more composed the heart of our defence looked overall, a lot of which was down to him.
Klavan got a lot of stick in his first season but was only bought as a fourth-choice which is often forgotten, he’s easily good enough to step in for the odd game like today.
It would have been the most obvious thing in the world for Christian Benteke to do his usual and score but Klavan played a huge part in keeping the big Belgian quiet and also allowed Joel Matip to get forward more than he is able to when forced to cover for the more erratic Dejan Lovren.
Is he even potentially a better long-term option than Lovren, barring any incomings. Only a run of games alongside Matip would tell.
A clear Man of the Match, Mane was yet again at the heart of nearly everything good we did going forward. He seems almost to have kicked on a level from 2016-17 in the first three games of the season; tormenting his markers on both flanks as well as drifting inside and offering a regular threat to the centre backs.
You almost feel sorry for opposing defenders because he truly must be a nightmare to face; always on the move, blessed with terrific touch and control, a deadly finisher and with pace to burn but crucially also lightning fast with the ball at his feet too.
If he can stay fit all season as we will all be praying, he could be a contender for the club’s top goalscorer such is his cutting edge and eye for goal.