Mo Salah maintains his level and other reasons for Liverpool's blazing start

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Mo Salah is looking good once again for Liverpool.

It is early days but Liverpool‘s pre-season billing as the team to push Manchester City hardest for the Premier League title appears accurate.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men won 2-0 at Crystal Palace on Monday night, backing up a 4-0 thrashing of West Ham on the opening weekend of the campaign.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the key reasons the Reds have started the season well.

FINDERS KEEPERS

After Loris Karius had a nightmare in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, the need for a new goalkeeper – which had been evident for some time – became a necessity for Klopp.

The club settled upon Brazil number one Allison Becker, signed for a then-world record fee for a goalkeeper to prise him away from Roma.

Liverpool’s new stopper has not conceded a goal in his first two Premier League game and, while he has not been truly tested, it is clear he is an upgrade on previous options.

Allison is a clear upgrade on Lorius Karius.

Allison is a clear upgrade on Lorius Karius.

MO OF THE SAME

The question is always asked of a player who enjoys a marvellous season – can he do it again, year after year?

Mohamed Salah could never have imagined his first year at Anfield would have yielded 44 goals across all competitions and both the PFA Player of the Year and the FWA footballer of the Year accolades.

While he could not inspire Egypt beyond the group stage of the World Cup, the 26-year-old has returned to Liverpool and picked up where he left off, proving to be the talisman of Klopp’s ever-exciting crop.

Salah has picked up where he left off last season.

Salah has picked up where he left off last season.

A NAB HAND

Naby Keita agreed to move to Liverpool a year ago but had to wait almost 12 months to get to the Premier League.

It was certainly worth the wait for the Guinea midfielder, as well as everyone involved with Liverpool.

He has already shown in his first two outings why Klopp was so keen to work with him, his passing ability and perpetual motion feeding straight into Liverpool’s philosophy.

Sadio Mane has started the season on fire.

Sadio Mane has started the season on fire.

MANE TALKS

If Salah has started the current season they way he ended the last, then so has Senegal forward Sadio Mane.

The man who scored Liverpool’s equaliser in their European defeat to Real Madrid, the explosiveness of Mane is enough to catch out even the best defences on the continent.

Mane, 26, has already hit three goals in the opening two league games of the season and will remain a key component of any success enjoyed at Anfield this year.

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Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola slams Paul Scholes' criticism of Man United star

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Paul Pogba‘s agent Mino Raiola has hit out at Paul Scholes following the former Manchester United midfielder’s criticism of the France international.

Speaking after United’s 3-2 defeat at Brighton at the weekend, Scholes claimed the Red Devils were lacking leaders and said team captain Pogba had “another really poor game” and was “so inconsistent”.

The ex-England playmaker, speaking to Australian network Optus Sport, also said of United’s record signing: “I just don’t think he uses his brain enough.”

Raiola responded to those comments on Tuesday, saying on his Twitter account:

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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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