Salah sets up 2 goals as Liverpool beat Palace in EPL

0
449
Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt, left, duels for the ball with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park stadium in London, Monday, Aug. 20. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt, left, duels for the ball with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool at Selhurst Park stadium in London, Monday, Aug. 20. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

London (AP) — 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 their second straight win to open the Premier League season.

In a typical all-action display by Salah, the Egyptian 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 are living up to their billing as a potential threat to title favorites Manchester City, the defending champions.

“I’m not interested in sending a statement to Manchester City or anyone else,” manager Juergen Klopp said. “I want to win football games and that’s what we did tonight.”

Liverpool have yet to concede a goal and carry a constant threat with their 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.