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'Quality' Van Dijk praised by Liverpool manager

STAR MAN: Virgil van Dijk

LIVERPOOL MANAGER Jurgen Klopp has praised his record-signing, centre half Virgil van Dijk, after his stellar performance in their 0-2 victory over Crystal Palace. Klopp said: “His performance was really good. Quality costs a specific price and that’s why we paid it.”

Liverpool scored just before the break when Mamadou Sakho was adjudged to have brought down Mo Salah down in the area and James Milner converted the resultant penalty. Their second goal arrived in stoppage time from Saido Mane after a devastating counter attack. Palace had Aaron Wan-Bissaka sent off for fouling Salah when he was the last man.

Klopp added: “I thought we could have done better but we expected Palace to be strong. Defensively we were okay but I was not happy with our offence. I did not see the penalty. We got it and Milner scored. It was the best minute of the first half. There is nothing to say about individual performances. Mo Salah can play better but he was involved in both goals.

"Apart from the dressing room, which is too small, this is a wonderful place to play football. It was not a brilliant football game but we won. It is a big step for us.”

Meanwhile the Palace manager Roy Hodgson was fuming at the decision to award Liverpool a penalty just before the break as well as a decision not to award his own team a penalty.

He said: “I take some comfort and pride in the team’s performance but it is not going to change the result. We were 1-0 down at half time. I do not think it was a penalty. I think Van Dyke wiped out Max Meyer in the dying minutes and we should have had a penalty.

"Mamadou (Sakho) was trying to defend. There was no way he was trying to give away a penalty. I will never accept that. I do not want penalties for my team in that way."

Bissaka’s sending off was one of those things. We were looking to get an equaliser. These things happen. He did his best to stop Salah. I don’t think he intended to foul him he was trying to get the ball.

"Our target is to get better. I have to be satisfied with what the team has shown in the first two games. It is frustrating and bitter defeat today. I don’t think Liverpool deserve to be leading 1-0 at half time.”

Liverpool have taken maximum points from their two opening games as well as clean sheets in both games.

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