James Milner has never lost a Premier League game in which he has scored, extending his record to 48Liverpool secured their second successive victory at the start of the Premier League season by beating hard-working Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
James Milner gave them the lead with a penalty after Mohamed Salah was brought down by Mamadou Sakho in the closing seconds of the first half.
Palace had young defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off with 15 minutes left after he brought down Salah when the Egyptian was through on goal.
And Sadio Mane wrapped up the points in injury time when he ran from his own half before rounding Wayne Hennessey to score.
The Eagles had chances, and Andros Townsend curled an effort on to the bar after a mistake by the otherwise impressive Naby Keita.
But Liverpool were worthy winners and join five other teams, including champions Manchester City, on six points after two games.
Were the big decisions right?
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was applauded off the pitch by Palace fans after his potentially goal-saving red-card tackleYes, probably – though opinion was divided on social media.
For the penalty, former Liverpool defender Sakho put his arms on Salah and then had two attempts to trip the forward, who went down.
BBC Radio 5 live pundit Chris Sutton said: “Sakho had a couple of nibbles. I think that’s a penalty. Salah was tripped. There was enough contact and Salah goes down. I can understand Palace fans are frustrated but it’s bad defending.”
The Premier League is the only one of Europe’s top five leagues not to use video assistant referees this season – but even if a VAR official or referee Michael Oliver had the option of watching it again, it may not have been overturned.
The same was true when Wan-Bissaka clipped Salah before he could reach the penalty area. The Egyptian had possibly lost control before the tackle came, and some fans were not convinced about the decision, but Sutton said the referee had “no choice”.
Liverpool do enough to win
Liverpool, who are expected to put in a real title challenge this season, were never likely to follow up their 4-0 opening-day win over West Ham with a similar result at Selhurst Park against a team in good form.
But they dominated, having more possession than the Eagles, who were on the back foot for most of the game.
Salah, who scored 44 goals last season and once on the opening day, did not look at full sharpness – but he was still involved in all of Liverpool’s best moments.
The Egyptian, who was fouled for the penalty and the red card, had a couple of shots blocked and missed with two different chips over Hennessey.
Though Wan-Bissaka is quick, it felt as though the Salah of last year may not have been caught – and it does appear he may have lost possession even had he not been fouled.
But he still set up Mane’s late goal after Palace committed players forward for a corner. Salah played the ball to Mane, who ran 50 yards before going round the keeper and tapping into an empty net.
Keita looked in good form, with plenty of midfield running and forcing two saves from Hennessey, as well as shooting wide.
Reds keeper Alisson kept another clean sheet, performing a good save to touch a Luka Milivojevic free-kick away from the top corner. He also showed good skill and confidence to step past Christian Benteke near his own goalline in the first half.
Simon Mignolet was on the Reds bench, with Loris Karius – who was in the stands – set to join Besiktas on a two-year loan deal.
“We can play better football”- KloppPalace’s unbeaten run comes to an end
The Eagles, who were unbeaten in seven Premier League games going back to a 2-1 defeat by Liverpool on 31 March, worked hard and had chances but were second best against talented opposition.
Their biggest chance came when Townsend got the ball outside the box and sent a brilliant effort on to the crossbar, with Alisson beaten.
Milivojevic also went close with a free-kick, and Wilfried Zaha, who signed a new five-year deal this week, had a low shot saved by the goalkeeper in the second half.
Benteke never looked like adding to his two goals in 2018 when a shot from 20 yards out went towards the corner flag.
Full-back Wan-Bissaka played well and was involved in a good duel with Mane on Palace’s left-hand side – and he was applauded off the pitch by home fans after denying Salah a chance to score with his red-card tackle.
Manager Roy Hodgson brought on summer signing Max Meyer for a late debut, but the German was not able to have an impact.
Man of the match – Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk was impressive at the back for Liverpool, making a game-high eight clearances and completing 73 of his 79 passesStats – Mane scores against Eagles again
Mane has scored six goals in his eight Premier League appearances against Palace, more than he has against any other side.
Liverpool won their 34th Premier League game played on a Monday – only Man Utd (43) and Arsenal (36) have more victories.
The Reds have lost only one of their past 10 Premier League games, winning six and drawing three.
Palace have won just two of their previous 20 Premier League games played against ‘big six’ sides at Selhurst Park (D2 L16).
Hodgson suffered his 100th defeat in the Premier League as a manager (W87 D65).
Wan-Bissaka is the youngest Palace player to be shown a red card in the Premier League (20 years, 267 days).
Milner extended his record for the most Premier League games scored in without losing any of them (48 games: W38 D10).
He has scored 13 of the 15 penalties that he has taken in the Premier League, including nine of his 10 for Liverpool in the competition. Milner is the first player to score eight consecutive Premier League goals from penalties.
Liverpool host Brighton on Saturday (17:30 BST), a day before Palace are at Watford (13:30 BST).