Sadio Mane Leads Liverpool Past Crystal Palace in Premier League Clash

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2017

Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (C) vies with Crystal Palace's English midfielder Jason Puncheon (R) and Crystal Palace's Dutch defender Patrick van Aanholt (L) during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on August 19, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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Liverpool sealed their first win of the 2017-18 Premier League season on Saturday, as Sadio Mane scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

The first half was a dull affair in which neither side impressed, but the hosts improved after the break, and Sadio Mane found the net after 73 minutes. 

Manager Jurgen Klopp surprised everyone with his starting XI, which saw plenty of changes and didn't have room for Mohamed Salah:

The Eagles' team was more in line with what was expected:

Liverpool's struggles with set pieces continued on Saturday, as James Tomkins headed the first chance of the match over the bar from a dangerous position. James Milner fired the Reds' first shot on goal into the waiting arms of Wayne Hennessey.

Joel Matip somehow missed an open header after a great cross from Andy Robertson, to the disbelief of Kristian Walsh of the Liverpool Echo:

Ragnar Klavan needed treatment after a clash with Christian Benteke, and replays showed the Belgian may have gotten away with an accidental punch.

The first half was a slow affair, but chances started to fall toward the end. Mane should have done better from six yards out, while Roberto Firmino drew a fine save from Hennessey. Simon Mignolet was also called into action to deny Jason Puncheon.

At half-time, Walsh was far from impressed:

The Reds kicked the second half off on the front foot, and Milner powered an early chance over the bar. The best chance of the match until that point fell on the other side of the pitch, however, with Christian Benteke somehow missing a sitter.

Betting company Paddy Power couldn't believe it:

Firmino fired a shot over before Klopp had seen enough, introducing Salah. 

The Egyptian's introduction saw Firmino move into the centre and freed up space for Mane, who gave his team the lead after 73 minutes. After entering the fray in the 71st minute to replace Georginio Wijnaldum, Dominic Solanke forced the Eagles' defence into a mistake, and the former Southampton man took the gift and turned it home.

Bleacher Report's Matt Jones thought Palace would not be happy with the mistake:

Salah went close to doubling the lead shortly after, heading a ball straight at Hennessey. Palace pushed for an equaliser, with Scott Dann playing up front next to Benteke, but the better chances were for the Reds, who played out the contest and grabbed their first win of the season.