Erling Haaland is the name on everyone's lips.

Europe's elite are reportedly queuing up to sign the Borussia Dortmund and Norway sensation.

If Haaland leaves Dortmund, the Bundesliga outfit have a replacement in mind.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND OUT, CHIESA IN AT BVB?

Borussia Dortmund see Juventus forward Federico Chiesa as a replacement for in-demand star Erling Haaland, according to Calciomercato.

Haaland is tipped to leave Dortmund at the end of the season amid links with Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Barcelona, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

Should Haaland depart, Dortmund are eyeing Juve and Italy star Chiesa, who has previously caught the attention of Chelsea and Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato reports Juve, Inter and Milan are interested in Madrid forward Luka Jovic, who has been linked with a January exit.

- A contract extension for Liverpool's Naby Keita is not as close as previously thought, claims Bild. It comes as Liverpool reportedly eye Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham.

Tottenham will make a January move for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, according to Calciomercato. The Serbia international forward has also been linked with City, Arsenal, Juve and Atletico Madrid.

Defending champions Manchester City will travel to West Ham in the EFL Cup fourth round, while Arsenal host Leeds United.

Pep Guardiola's men are in search of an unprecedented fifth successive triumph in the competition and they will face Hammers, who beat City's rivals Manchester United 1-0 in round three on Wednesday.

Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 victory over League One AFC Wimbledon and they take on Leeds at the Emirates Stadium next after Marcelo Bielsa's side edged past Fulham on penalties.

There are five all-Premier League ties in total, with Leicester City pitted against Brighton and Hove Albion after being defeated at the weekend in the top flight by Graham Potter's men.

European champions Chelsea needed penalties to sneak past Aston Villa and they will host Southampton, who also required spot-kicks to defeat Sheffield United.

Burnley crushed Rochdale 4-1, but a much tougher task awaits them as they face Tottenham after their shoot-out triumph over Nuno Espirito Santo's former club Wolves, while Brentford meet Stoke City away from home in the next round.

Liverpool make the trip to Deepdale to do battle with Championship side Preston North End, who demolished Cheltenham Town 4-1 on Tuesday.

There will be at least one non-top-flight side in the last-eight stage as Sunderland face Queens Park Rangers after Mark Warburton's men upset Everton.

The fourth-round clashes are set to take place during the week commencing October 25.

EFL Cup draw:

Chelsea v Southampton

Arsenal v Leeds United

Stoke City v Brentford

West Ham v Manchester City

Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion

Burnley v Tottenham

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland

Preston North End v Liverpool

Anfield will be expanded to include an additional 7,000 seats, taking Liverpool's stadium to an overall capacity of more than 61,000, the club has confirmed.

Liverpool City Council gave the plans to redevelop the Anfield Road Stand approval in June, and on Wednesday the Reds revealed the expansion will officially start with a ceremony next week.

It is set to be completed ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Liverpool confirmed the redevelopment works will be conducted while the ground is still in use for matches.

Andy Hughes, managing director of Liverpool FC, said: "We have been clear from the beginning that in order for this expansion to go ahead we needed the co-operation of local residents and the community, to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape, and to ensure the project is financially viable. 

"We needed certainty for this project to progress and are now in a position to be able to move forward. We began this journey in 2014 and are grateful to everyone for the contributions they have made to bring the project to this stage."

Liverpool have also been awarded permission to hold up to six concerts and major events at the stadium for a period of five seasons.

After plans of relocating to a new ground were scrapped altogether, Anfield was previously redeveloped between 2014 and 2016, with the main stand having been extended to take the capacity to 54,074.

France forward Anthony Martial's future at Manchester United is unclear.

The 25-year-old is struggling to fit into United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans.

Martial signed a five-year deal with United in 2019, meaning he is contracted until 2024.

TOP STORY – MARTIAL FREE TO LEAVE IN JANUARY

Martial will be free to leave United in the January transfer window with Barcelona an option, according to Eurosport.

Red Devils officials have given Martial's representatives the green light to explore his options, although he is understood to be willing to remain in the Premier League.

Cash-strapped Barcelona are willing to take a chance on Martial who has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford with Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival along with competition from Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani.

ROUND-UP

- Dean Henderson is pushing for a loan move away from United in January, according to The Sun. Henderson has lost the battle with David de Gea for the number one shirt at Old Trafford.

- TeamTalk claims Manchester City are keeping an eye on Real Sociedad's Spain international forward Mikel Oyarzabal.

- Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has set his sights on signing Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi in the January transfer window, reports the Daily Express.

- The Daily Star claims that there is a "special release clause" in Chelsea target Matthijs De Ligt 's contract with Juventus that becomes active in mid-2022.

United are monitoring Milan's Franck Kessie, who they see as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba, claims The Sun.

Jurgen Klopp hailed Takumi Minamino as a "top character" after the Japanese forward fired Liverpool past Norwich City in the EFL Cup.

The Japan forward's two goals, either side of a header from Divock Origi, guided the Reds to a 3-0 win at Carrow Road.

Minamino's influence at Liverpool has not reached the levels some expected it might after he joined from Salzburg in January of last year, and he spent the second half of the 2020-21 season at Southampton.

For now he is back at Liverpool and keen to make an impression, and a smart turn and finish for Liverpool's opening goal was an example of his quality.

A recent minor knock set Minamino back slightly, but he looked sharp against the Canaries as both sides made sweeping personnel changes for the cup clash.

"Players need time to get back on track after an injury. But Taki is in a really good moment," Klopp said in a post-game news conference.

"He trained very well and deserved his two goals. For the first one he showed really good awareness, quick in mind and finished the situation off.

"He was really good in pre-season then he got injured, and now the rest of the season can start. 

"He was injured at the wrong moment. Coming back, it's sometimes not so easy, but he is a top character obviously and enjoyed the game tonight and that was important for him and important for us, so that will help him and it helped us."

Although Minamino caught the eye, his prospects of a run in Klopp's Premier League team look remote for now and it may be his appearances prove sporadic, spread across competitions.

Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino returned to training on Monday, Klopp said, after a hamstring injury lay-off, and when fit he remains ahead of Minamino in the pecking order.

"It is not too far away when he will play again," Klopp said of Firmino.

Liverpool's manager watched on appreciatively as teenagers Tyler Morton, Kaide Gordon and Conor Bradley helped Liverpool get the job done, all three making their first-team debuts.

"I'm really happy for the boys, it was a big one for all three," said Klopp. "These boys are good and thank God they're ours."

Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino delivered for Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool heaped on more misery for Norwich City by powering to a 3-0 win at Carrow Road in the EFL Cup.

Both forwards scored for the first time this season, Minamino's double sandwiching a fine header from Origi, as Klopp's fringe men proved too good for the Canaries.

There was a scare for Liverpool at 1-0 when Norwich were awarded a penalty, but Caoimhin Kelleher saved from Christos Tzolis as the hosts squandered their best chance.

With Norwich bottom of the Premier League after five consecutive defeats, this was a chance to lift spirits, but it only served as a reminder of their squad's shortcomings.

Liverpool took a fourth-minute lead when Minamino turned sharply inside the six-yard box after Divock Origi headed down a corner from Tsimikas. The Japanese forward fired low past Angus Gunn for the swift breakthrough.

Ibrahima Konate powered a header just over the bar from another corner as Liverpool chased a quick second goal.

Kaide Gordon, a 16-year-old winger, showed promise for Liverpool and cut in from the left in the style of Mohamed Salah before flashing a left-footed shot just wide of the right post, while Curtis Jones shot just over from 18 yards.

Norwich lacked a punch up front and that was summed up by Adam Idah's tame side-footed shot that Kelleher smothered easily, and doubly so when the goalkeeper saved the spot-kick from Tzolis with his feet after 18-year-old debutant Conor Bradley fouled Dimitris Giannoulis.

Security of a second goal came in the 50th minute when Tsimikas played a lovely cross from the byline to Origi on the edge of the six-yard box, and the striker did the rest with a precise header into the right corner.

Origi went close again as he placed a shot just wide, before Gordon smashed the ball over from a presentable chance, 10 yards out, lacking the composure that will come with experience. Minamino showed him the way with 10 minutes remaining, slotting past Gunn after being set up by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Manchester United and Liverpool have been urged by Rio Ferdinand to consider rescuing Raheem Sterling from "the wilderness" at Manchester City.

Sterling has played a big part in helping City to three Premier League titles since arriving from Liverpool in 2015, but his playing time has reduced this season.

The England international, who was late returning for pre-season training after reaching the Euro 2020 final with his country, has started two of City's six matches this term in all competitions.

He was linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium during the close season at a time when Pep Guardiola's side were trying to bring in striker Harry Kane from Tottenham.

Barcelona are reported to be showing an interest in signing Sterling on loan in January, meanwhile, and fellow LaLiga giants Real Madrid have also been credited with an interest.

United great Ferdinand is unsure why Guardiola has not used Sterling more often of late and believes the 26-year-old will have plenty of suitors waiting should his situation not improve.

"Where is Raheem Sterling? He's lost confidence because he’s been taken out of the team," Ferdinand said on his FIVE YouTube channel.

"He was the go-to guy when they needed a goal, for so many years, and now all of a sudden he's in the wilderness. I'm baffled by it, I just don't understand. 

"With Pep, he gets things right more often than not, but with this one there must be clubs sitting there going, 'Let's see how this pans out because I would take Sterling all day!'

"If I'm Liverpool, I'd buy Sterling tomorrow... If I'm him, I wouldn't go to Barcelona or Real Madrid right now, that's why I said Liverpool. Man United will take him!"

Sterling finished as City's top scorer in the Premier League two seasons ago with 20 goals in 33 games, while his 10 goals last season were bettered only by Ilkay Gundogan (13).

Since Guardiola's first campaign at City in 2016-17, Sterling has been directly involved in 160 goals in all competitions – 104 goals of his own and 56 assists.

No City player has directly contributed to more goals across that period, while only 14 others in Europe's top five leagues can better that return, with Lionel Messi (309) leading the way.

Former Liverpool attacker Sterling has played just 265 minutes so far this season, however, with his only two starts coming in the two games City failed to score in, against Tottenham and Southampton.

Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners over Crystal Palace on Saturday, to take their place at the top of the Premier League.

Title rivals Manchester City could only draw at home to Southampton, but Manchester United and Chelsea subsequently joined Liverpool on 13 points.

Here are some of the more curious facts from across the Premier League weekend.


Premier League first for Reds trio

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita scored Liverpool's goals in their win over Palace at Anfield.

It is the first time in the Premier League that a game has ended 3-0, with all three goals being scored by African players.

Mane opened the scoring with his 100th goal for Liverpool. The Senegal forward has now scored in each of his last nine league appearances against Palace, making him the first player in Premier League history to score in nine straight matches against a single side.

All three of Liverpool's goals came from corners. Not since City beat West Brom in March 2015 has a top-flight game ended 3-0 with all the goals coming from corners.

Dave saves... finally

There was late drama aplenty at London Stadium on Sunday as United joined Liverpool at the top of the table thanks to a 2-1 win over West Ham.

After Cristiano Ronaldo continued his fantastic start to his second United stint to drag the Red Devils level, Jesse Lingard came on to break West Ham hearts late in the game.

London Stadium is the 66th different stadium that Ronaldo has scored at in matches played in Europe's big five leagues, and he has scored at more unique venues than any other player since his United debut in 2003-04, ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (64).

Lingard, meanwhile, became the 47th player to score for and against West Ham in the Premier League. Excluding own goals, West Ham have had more players score for and against them than any other side in the league's history.

But it was David de Gea who proved to be United's hero, as he saved a last-gasp penalty from Mark Noble, who was brought on specifically by David Moyes to take the spot-kick.

De Gea's save ended a drought stretching back to April 23, 2016 of 40 spot-kicks faced without making a save for both club and country, in the process helping United claim a dramatic win at London Stadium. 

Of those penalties, 11 were scored by Villarreal players in May's Europa League final, with De Gea ultimately missing the decisive kick in the Red Devils' shoot-out defeat. 

The 30-year-old did keep out a Jordan Ayew penalty in last September's league meeting with Palace, but that was retaken and scored by Wilfried Zaha after De Gea was deemed to be off his line. 

Veteran Silva helps give Spurs the blues

Aged 36 years and 362 days, Thiago Silva became the second-oldest Chelsea player to score in the Premier League behind only Didier Drogba, who scored against Leicester City aged 37 years and 49 days in April 2015, when the Brazilian headed Thomas Tuchel's side ahead at Tottenham.

N'Golo Kante's deflected effort made it 2-0. The midfielder scored for the first time in 49 league appearances, having last found the net against Man City in November 2019. Three of his last four top-flight strikes have come from outside of the box.

Antonio Rudiger condemned Spurs to a second successive 3-0 defeat; they have lost consecutive Premier League matches by a 3+ goal margin for the first time since their opening two games of the 2011-12 campaign.

Harry Kane, meanwhile, cut a forlorn figure up top for Nuno Espirito Santo's side. He has failed to score in his first four Premier League appearances of a season for the first time since 2015-16, attempting just four shots so far.

Super-sub Bailey bursts Benitez's bubble

Everton's unbeaten start under Rafael Benitez came crashing to a halt as Leon Bailey starred with a blistering cameo in Aston Villa's 3-0 win.

Bailey came on from the bench and had an instant impact. With Matty Cash's first Premier League goal having put Villa ahead, the Jamaica forward whipped in a corner that Lucas Digne turned into his own net.

Digne has now scored three own goals in the Premier League, level with Younes Kaboul for the French player to have done so on the most occasions.

Villa were not finished there, however, and Bailey burst clear to lash home his first Premier League goal. Moments later, he went off with an apparent thigh injury, becoming only the second Villa player to come as a substitute, score, and then be substituted in a Premier League match, after Julian Joachim against Derby in September 2000.

Farke's losing streak rolls on, Toney at the top

Ivan Toney scored and assisted another as Brentford defeated Wolves 2-0 on Saturday.

Since the start of last season, Toney is the outright leading goalscorer in the top four tiers of English football (excluding play-off matches), with 33 strikes to his name.

Another promoted club, Norwich City, suffered their fifth defeat of the campaign. In total, the Canaries have now lost each of their last 15 Premier League games, meaning Daniel Farke is the manager with the longest losing run in top-flight history.

Mick McCarthy (14) was the last manager to go close to almost as long as Farke without a top-tier win, though that was back in 2005.

Jurgen Klopp's assistant Pep Ljinders called for Liverpool to be patient with new signing Ibrahima Konate ahead of their EFL Cup tie with Norwich City.

The centre-back joined for a fee reported to be in the region of £36million (€42.5m) from RB Leipzig in the off-season and made his top-flight debut against Crystal Palace on Saturday, though he remains behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the pecking order.

However, Ljinders suggested Van Dijk was an exception to the rule as he used Andy Robertson as an example of how long it can take to settle into life at Anfield.

"Robbo said to him [Konate] 'we all needed time to adjust to the style'," Ljinders told Monday's news conference.

"Virgil is probably one of the only ones to come and settle in straight away.

"Ibrahima is a beast physicaly. He can catch so many players. He's settling in well. He's still so young. It was great for him to get his debut and move on."

Alexander-Arnold missed Saturday's ninth consecutive top-flight win over Palace due to illness, while Thiago Alcantara started but was withdrawn as a second-half substitute due to a calf injury.

As the Reds travel to Norwich, who are winless in their last 15 against Klopp's side, Ljinders confirmed the pair would be absent and also commented on Harvey Elliott, who suffered a serious ankle injury in the win over Leeds United on September 12.

"He [Trent Alexander-Arnold] wanted to play but we took the decision to leave him out," Ljinders continued.

"He's still not feeling 100 per cent. He will not be in the squad for tomorrow but hopefully will be ready for the weekend.

"We try to support him [Elliot] as much as we can. Our group is a proper family. Naby [Keita] had tears in his eyes by the side of the pitch when it happened. In a good moment [of form] we lost one of our best midfielders."

Per Opta, of the 742 defenders to play at least 20 games in Europe's top-five leagues since the beginning of the 2019-20 season, only Bruno Alves at Parma (81 per cent) posted a better aerial duel success rate than Konate (78 per cent).

His tackle success rate of 66.67 per cent sits right in line with those Klopp called upon at centre-back in a see-saw season, level with Gomez – such a key component of the title-winning team from 2019-20 – and well ahead of Ozan Kabak, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool but is now at Norwich.

Could a Premier League switch be on the cards for Kingsley Coman?

Coman is reportedly disgruntled at Bayern Munich amid talks over a new contract.

Liverpool and Chelsea are believed to be ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – COMAN WANTED IN ENGLAND

Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea are monitoring Bayern Munich star Kingsley Coman, according to The Mirror.

Coman is contracted to Bundesliga champions Bayern until 2023 but the Frenchman has been previously linked with Manchester United.

The 25-year-old is tipped to leave Bayern as clubs reportedly queue up.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona are dreaming of signing RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and United midfielder Paul Pogba, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Haaland has been linked with United, Bayern, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. Pogba is also reportedly wanted by PSG, Madrid and Juve.

Paulo Dybala is close to signing a new contract at Serie A giants Juventus, reports TyC Sports.

- Tuttomercatoweb claims Roma are trying to prise Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach.

- Jaime Ojeda claims Bayern are among the teams interested in United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona all pursued Erling Haaland in the recent transfer window.

The 21-year-old Norway forward opted to stay with Borussia Dortmund.

But the race will heat up again at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA INTERESTED IN STERLING

Manchester United still want to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and will make a move next European summer, reports the Express.

United made a major transfer splash when they landed Cristiano Ronaldo last month but remain in the Haaland race.

The Red Devils are looking to end their trophy drought and added Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho along with Ronaldo for this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are leading the way in the chase to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund, according to The Sun. The 18-year-old is being pursued by Chelsea and Manchester City too.

- The Sun reports that United are planning a clear-out at the end of this season, including Donny van de Beek , Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial to free up funds.

- Calciomercato reports that Juventus have identified Real Madrid forward Luka Jovic as a transfer target in the January window on loan.

- Ligue 1 club Lens could make a bid for Liverpool's Belgium international forward Divock Origi , claims Fichajes.

- Crystal Palace are interested in signing US international forward Daryl Dike from Orlando City, reports The Sun. Dike is set to command a £18m fee.

- Transfer expert Ekrem Konur claims that Flamengo have tabled an offer to sign Brazilian veteran Dani Alves.

Arsenal continued to recover after a dreadful start to the season with a successful trip to Burnley, but Manchester City dropped points at home to Southampton. 

City's failure to find the net was a welcome boost for Liverpool, who cruised past Crystal Palace thanks in part to Sadio Mane making Premier League history with his 100th goal for the Reds. 

Brentford became the 14th promoted side to accrue eight or more points after five games, and the first since Wolves, as they recorded a 2-0 win at Molineux in the early kick-off, while Norwich City remain stuck without a point to their name after going down 3-1 at home to Watford. 

Using Opta data, Stats Perform takes a look at the key statistics from Saturday's most notable fixtures.

Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace: Mane registers century as Reds gain early ground in title race

Liverpool headed into the weekend on an eight-match winning run against Palace in the Premier League and they extended that further with yet another success over the Eagles - only against Bolton have they had a longer winning streak (10 between 2007-2011.). 

Unsurprisingly, Mane and Mohamed Salah were both on the scoresheet, with the former becoming the 18th player to score 100 goals in all competitions for the Reds. His first-half finish also means the Senegal forward is the first individual in the Premier League era to score in nine consecutive matches against the same opponent. 

Mane had Salah to thank for his opener and the Egypt forward brought up his 134th goal involvement - which is 24 more than any other player since his debut under Jurgen Klopp - with his second-half strike. 

Naby Keita added the other goal, Liverpool's 16th from a corner in the league – the most by any top-flight side since the start of last season (including all three against Palace). 

Manchester City 0-0 Southampton: Champions held to unlikely draw

It took until the 90th minute for City's one and only attempt on target through Phil Foden, making it their lowest tally in a top-flight game since March 8, 2017 against Stoke City. 

This was City's first Premier League draw in 31 games, dating back to December 2020 as Raheem Sterling became the ninth player – and second Englishman after Joe Hart – to bring up 200 appearances for Pep Guardiola's side in the competition. 

In James Ward-Prowse's 100th consecutive appearance in the division, Southampton will have been delighted to collect just a second point from their past 11 visits to the Etihad Stadium, with this a first clean sheet there since 2003. 

However, the Saints are now winless in seven league games, including drawing four in a row for the first time since March 2002. 

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: Clarets continue torrid run against resurgent Gunners

'1-0 to the Arsenal' used to ring around Highbury and Mikel Arteta's current crop are following that lead, with this result making it consecutive 1-0 league wins for the first time since December 2014. 

Martin Odegaard's direct free-kick, the 40th scored by 17 different Arsenal players in the Premier League, proved the difference as Sean Dyche's side failed to beat Saturday's opponents for a 10th consecutive league meeting. 

The Clarets attempted shots through 11 different players – only against Wolves in 2010 have they had more (12) - but still failed to avoid reaching 13 league games without a win at Turf Moor. 

Aaron Ramsdale maintained his run of clean sheets with a third in a row in his first three appearances for the Gunners, making him the first Arsenal goalkeeper to do so since Wojciech Szczesny in 2009-10.

Aston Villa 3-0 Everton: Substitute Bailey shines as Begovic struggles

Leon Bailey appeared as a second-half substitute, scored and was then brought off 21 minutes after his introduction as Aston Villa downed Everton, in the process extending their Villa Park unbeaten run in the league to five games – their longest such run since January 2015. 

Matthew Cash was also on target for a first goal in his 33rd Premier League appearance, while Lucas Digne netted his third own goal, the most of any player since his arrival at Everton ahead of the 2018-19 campaign. 

All three goals games came after half-time as Villa recorded their biggest win over the Toffees in all competitions since 2005. 

Asmir Begovic was granted his first Premier League appearance in 896 days but the goalkeeper has now conceded 22 goals in seven appearances since his last clean sheet. 

Jurgen Klopp was keen to pay tribute to the other attributes aside from finishing that make Sadio Mane such a special player on the day he reached 100 goals for the Reds.

Mane opened the scoring on Saturday as Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 3-0 at Anfield, his close-range effort shortly before half-time momentous for more than one reason.

Not only did he set a new Premier League record with this a ninth successive goalscoring appearance against the same opposition, but it took him to 100 goals for the club in 224 games.

He is the 18th player to reach the milestone for Liverpool and the 10th fastest, quicker than the likes of Kenny Dalglish (241 games), Ian St John (270) and Kevin Keegan (318).

Mane's goalscoring accomplishments understandably drew much of the focus after the game, though Klopp wanted to highlight other aspects of the Senegal forward's play.

For example, since the start of 2019-20, just six forwards have been involved in more duels than Mane (1,010), while only Richarlison (82) has won more tackles than him (66).

Roberto Firmino (66) and Mohamed Salah (61) are the only forwards to record more than Mane's 58 instances of winning possession in the final third, while he ranks fifth for most dribbles attempted (304) over the same period.

In short, Mane boasts tremendous work ethic and Klopp felt the need to ensure that side of his game is appreciated as well.

Speaking to reporters, Klopp said: "People forget around these 100 goals that Sadio also worked incredibly hard, defended high, pressed high and counter-pressed.

"One hundred goals is just one number alongside all the others, but I am just really happy for him, it is a massive achievement in this glorious history of this club [because] only 18 players could score 100 goals.

"Nowadays players are not normally as long at clubs so I am really happy I could work so long with him during these five years."

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.

"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."

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah sent Liverpool top of the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace as they stole a march on Manchester City. 

A shaky start eventually gave way to the anticipated Liverpool control, which did not yield a goal until Mane's close-range strike shortly before half-time, his 100th for the club in all competitions.

The Reds had to see out some dangerous forays forward from a Palace side that demonstrated plenty of attacking ambition. 

Yet moments beyond the opening minutes where Alisson was truly tested were rare, Salah making the game safe as Liverpool moved three points clear of City, who drew at home with Southampton, as well as Manchester United and Chelsea. Naby Keita added late gloss to the scoreline with a superb volley. 

Palace went agonisingly close twice in the first three minutes, Alisson scrambling to turn a goal-bound Wilfried Zaha effort onto the post after he had latched onto Conor Gallagher's lofted ball into the box, before Christian Benteke then headed against the left upright, although replays showed the striker to be in an offside position. 

Vicente Guaita was forced into a fine save at the far post from Liverpool's midweek Champions League hero Jordan Henderson, but the Reds initially struggled to make their dominance of possession count following Palace's bright start. 

Diogo Jota should have put Liverpool in front when the ball rebounded to him at point-blank range after Guaita repelled Thiago Alcantara's header, however, he blazed a seemingly simple chance high over the bar. 

Mane made no such mistake two minutes before half-time as he was alert to tuck home the rebound and break the deadlock following Guaita's diving stop from Salah's near-post header. 

The busy Guaita produced a double save to deny Keita and Salah while at the other end Odsonne Edouard was let down by his first touch with a gilt-edged chance to restore parity. 

And the Eagles' failure to find a leveller was punished 12 minutes from time when Salah settled matters by lashing home after Virgil van Dijk had flicked on Konstantinos Tsimikas' corner, with Palace's inability to defend another set-piece situation allowing Keita to add the finishing touch in some style. 

 

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