Thiago Alcantara receives treatment after suffering an injury in Liverpool’s defeat of Crystal Palace. Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Image
Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool's 3-0 defeat of Crystal Palace at Anfield was overshadowed by the injury of Thiago Alcantara.
But the Reds boss is hopeful the midfielder won't be set for a prolonged period on the treatment table.
A 43rd-minute strike from Sadio Mane - his 100th goal for the club - and second-half efforts from Mo Salah and Naby Keita kept up Liverpool's unbeaten record in the Premier League.
They are joint-top of the table with Manchester United and Chelsea on 13 points apiece after five games.
The only black mark for Liverpool was that Thiago limped off injured in the 62nd minute, while Trent Alexander-Arnold missed the game through illness.
Klopp told liverpoolfc.com: “I don’t know what it says exactly, but we had to do the changes, that was clear. This morning after breakfast, Trent didn’t feel right. We actually planned to start him but Millie did an incredible job and I am pretty sure he enjoyed that game today, that’s good.
“You saw the intensity of the game, we had to pay for that as well. In the second half, we were not that clear anymore – we scored the goals, yes, but we were not clear anymore to the end of the second half. Crystal Palace really put an extra shift in, brought more offensive players on, chipped balls in behind our full-backs, we had to run a lot.
“You cannot press these balls, obviously, you have to run a lot. We defended it either with skill or luck and Ali, but we did it and for the moment I am really happy. The only little bit this time is overshadowed by is Thiago, but we hope that is not that serious. He felt his calf and now we hope really it is not that serious.”
Not in peak form
Despite the resounding scoreline, Klopp felt Liverpool were not at their pinnacle against Patrick Viera's Palace.
He added: “I’m really pleased, I’m really pleased. In a season, when you are Liverpool, you win football games from time to time. When you win, usually you are really good or brilliant.
“Today we were not brilliant but we were good. We accepted the battle Crystal Palace was here for and that’s why I am really happy about the result, really happy about the performance.
“This Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday rhythm is just the most tricky one in the Premier League and so that we came through that now, in the moment, is very important, with all the changes we had to make and one we didn’t want to make but that worked out really well with Millie on right-back.
“So, it was not brilliant, but really good and I liked that.”
‘That’s my job’
James Milner was tasked with deputising for Alexander-Arnold at right-back.
The veteran 36-year-old was one of Liverpool's star performers by helping nullify the threat of Palace talisman Zaha.
Milner said: “Trent's definitely going to get some ribbing for that! A bit of Zaha-itis or something like that! It was probably three, two-and-a-half hours before the game really.
“But that's what we're prepared for and the training is done so anyone is ready at any time. That's my job when I'm needed.”