There were special landmarks for Sadio Mane and Jordan Henderson, and an early Goal of the Season contender, as Liverpool fought for a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Reds continued their impressive beginning to 2021-22 by seeing off the Eagles at Anfield courtesy of strikes from Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.
Here are six talking points from their afternoon’s work in L4…
The sweetest of strikes
When, with 89 minutes on the clock, Vicente Guaita punched out Liverpool’s latest corner towards Keita at the left edge of the penalty area, the ball was begging to be hit.
But hitting it and nailing it are two different things. Fortunately, Keita nailed it.
Meeting the dropping ball with a first-time left-footed volley, the No.8’s technique was perfect, sending his stunning finish whistling through the packed box, across the reach of Guaita and inside the far post.
The Kop leapt up in appreciation as Keita coolly celebrated his first Reds strike since July 2020.
A Goal of the Season contender, for sure.
Beautiful goals deserve beautiful angles 😍 Take a bow, Naby Keita 💥 https://t.co/iQki2WXMb6— LFC (Liverpool FC) 18th Sep 21:10
Mane joins 100 club
Mane had broken the deadlock in the contest with Patrick Vieira’s side two minutes before the interval, pouncing to fire a rebound into the roof of the net after Salah’s header was saved.
The effort brought up a magnificent milestone for the Senegalese – his 100th goal for the club in all competitions since arriving in 2016.
He is just the 18th player to register a century at Liverpool, reaching the landmark figure on his 224th appearance.
Mane’s opener also set a new Premier League record as his almost-spooky scoring charm against Palace continued.
The forward has now netted in each of his last nine league games versus the Eagles, a new high in the division for a player scoring past the same opponents in consecutive matches.
James Milner found out he would be playing right-back on Saturday just a matter of hours before kick-off.
When Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was set to feature from his usual position, fell ill after breakfast, Milner was called upon to deputise in a defence that was completely changed from the preceding win over AC Milan.
The vice-captain rose to the task with trademark, no-fuss aplomb, even in the face of the challenge posed by Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
Milner topped his team’s statistics for touches (117), passes (73), passes in the opposition half (44), possession gains (15), crosses (13), tackles (four) and interceptions (three).
Milner's touchmap versus Palace
“James Milner played an incredible game – wow!” said Jürgen Klopp.
Salah levels with Sam
There are many facts and figures that contextualise the historic levels of goalscoring Salah has produced during his time at Anfield.
Here’s another: now, only nine players in Liverpool history have netted more times for the club than the Egyptian King.
Salah’s clinically dispatched volley at the back post, that crucially doubled the Reds’ lead against Palace, was his 130th Liverpool goal.
That moved the No.11 into equal 10th with Sam Raybould on the list of the club’s all-time top goalscorers, his haul having come in just 209 games.
The captain’s double century
On a day brimming with landmarks, the captain quietly clocked up one of his own.
Henderson skippered the team for the 200th occasion since taking over the armband from Steven Gerrard in the summer of 2015.
He is the seventh captain to reach the double century, following in the footsteps of Gerrard, Emlyn Hughes, Sami Hyypia, Donald Mackinlay, Alex Raisbeck and Ron Yeats.
Here’s to you, skipper.
Very proud to captain this club for the 200th time today and even sweeter to get the 3 points! #YNWA https://t.co/q7pu0I0MKQ— JHenderson (Jordan Henderson) 18th Sep 17:19
Alisson at his best
An ultimately victorious outing for Liverpool was, once again, underpinned by the formidability and reliability of Alisson Becker.
Having made a reaction save to thwart Zaha in the early stages of the encounter – stretching to tip a looping effort onto the post – the Brazilian then twice denied Odsonne Edouard with important stops in the second half.
Preserving the clean sheet earned Alisson his fourth shutout of the campaign – already almost halfway to the 10 he claimed in the top flight last season.