Watching it unfold, it certainly didn’t feel a perfect game for Liverpool on Monday against Crystal Palace. After the fact, reflecting on a 2-0 victory in what might be the toughest road test in the Premier League outside the top six, it’s hard to find much to fault in it.
Especially in defence, where Virgil van Dijk turned in a man of the match performance. With Joe Gomez beside him and Alisson in goal, Liverpool never looked like conceding to their hosts, and that was something Jürgen Klopp was unequivocally happy about.
“It was really, really good,” said Klopp when asked about Van Dijk’s performance—and his role in what now looks a very solid Liverpool defence. “It’s obvious. Quality costs a specific price with a lot of things like and with players as well. That’s why we paid it.
“Nobody thinks about it anymore and that’s good because he’s a player in this market, in the moment, he’s at least worth it. We don’t know what will happen in the [transfer market], but it’s not important to us. He loves playing. That’s the most important thing for me.”
With West Ham and now Palace swept aside, Liverpool are behind only Manchester City in the table—and it’s only by goal differential, with City having scored twice more but also conceded one, leaving Liverpool the only side left with a perfect defensive record.
Up next are Brighton at Anfield and then Leicester City on the road, both Saturday games before the September international break and then the start of Champions League action. And with Van Dijk now leading the defence, Liverpool should be feeling confident.