Jurgen Klopp praises composure of Virgil van Dijk after Liverpool's win over Palace

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Virgil van Dijk earned the praise of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp following his stellar performance in the 2-0 Premier League win at Crystal Palace.

The Dutch defender marshalled his side’s defence superbly in a testing encounter at Selhurst Park, which the Reds won thanks to a James Milner penalty and Sadio Mane’s late second.

Palace put on a positive showing, especially as they ended the game with 10 men following Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s red card.

But the £75million defender ensured Liverpool kept a clean sheet.

“Virgil’s performance was really, really good,” Klopp added. “Quality costs a specific price. Cars are like that. Lots of things are like that. Players too.

“Nobody thinks about that now, which is good. In this market at the moment, he’s at least worth it.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is happy to be treated as a “pariah” after insisting that Liverpool should not have been awarded their penalty.

The Reds were awarded a spot-kick on the stroke of half-time when Mohamed Salah went down under a clumsy challenge from Mamadou Sakho.

Milner converted from 12 yards and then Mane made the game safe in stoppage time with a breakaway goal.

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Vincent Kompany says harsh lessons of the past have sharpened focus at Man City

Alam Khan 21/08/2018
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Captain Vincent Kompany says Manchester City are focused on more glorious achievements after learning from harsh lessons of the past.

No team has retained the Premier League title since neighbours United did so in 2008/09.

Previous champions Chelsea finished fifth last season, but a staggering 30 points behind Pep Guardiola’s side as they notched records including most points, wins and goals.

City faltered after triumphs in 2011/12 and 2013/14, but their long-serving skipper has high hopes that this may be the season where they do not.

Kompany’s men have started in stunning fashion, coasting past Chelsea to win the Community Shield before opening the league campaign with crushing wins over Arsenal and Huddersfield, who were beaten 6-1 on Sunday.

And the Belgium centre-back says he was not worried that the desire for more success would diminish when the players returned after a summer that also included the World Cup.

“Not with this team, but you never know until you have done it,” he said.

“Many players win the league for the first time and they come back and it’s something you have to feel, to see in their eyes if things have changed or not.

“I’m not saying we are going to do as well as we did last year, but if it happens that the season is going to be different then it has to be because of the other teams being stronger, not us being weaker.

“I can only say it’s [now] different from previous years we have won the league. I think everyone has been warned enough as well.

“No team in the last nine seasons has been able to repeat and win the league. There’s been so many warnings we have had and every single time we almost have to fight against ourselves and our nature, not to fall in the same trap as the other teams have done – my teams included a few years ago.

“But I can see that everyone is training hard. There’s so much competition in the team that we have to do that anyway.

“If I can say one thing, you are never guaranteed to win the league, but if we can compete then we will have done something what no other team has done since the last nine years.”

In a week where City lost playmaker Kevin De Bruyne for three months with a knee injury and then provided an insight into their title-winning campaign through the Amazon Prime documentary ‘All Or Nothing’, Kompany admitted an impressive home victory over Huddersfield was perfect.

Sergio Aguero grabbed a ninth Premier League hat-trick and Kompany, 32, added: “It feels great. It was a special week. The Amazon documentary came out and we were on the back of two big wins against two big teams.

“It is the easiest moment to let something go you know. It (Huddersfield) was a difficult team for us to face last season and it was a special week and we did extremely well. From the first minute to the last the team wanted to win and took this game seriously. I’m happy with that.”

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No Arsenal player good enough for Chelsea's starting XI, says Jamie Redknapp

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Arsenal have lost their first two games under new manager Unai Emery.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp believes not a single player from Arsenal would get into current Chelsea team after watching the Gunners lose 3-2 to their rivals on Saturday.

“Arsenal may have shown fight to battle back against Chelsea but their 3-2 loss only papers over the cracks,” Redknapp wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“Looking at the Arsenal team, not one of their players would get in Maurizio Sarri’s best XI. At the heart of defence, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis don’t look a partnership.

“At full back, Cesar Azpilicueta is both more solid defensively and more creative in attack than Hector Bellerin while Marcos Alonso has been impressive since his debut in 2016.

“Kepa Arrizabalaga could have done better with Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s first goal but I would rather have a young goalkeeper who is confident playing out from the back than Petr Cech, who is struggling. There was no contest between the two midfield enforcers.”

Arsenal have started the Premier League campaign with two losses from two games under new manager Unai Emery, having also lost their opening match of the season to Manchester City. The start is Arsenal’s worst in 26 years.

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