Liverpool were given another searching test of their title credentials against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon but managed to come through it with all three points after a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park.
You do not have to tell anyone associated with the club how tricky a trip to South London can be and that was magnified by the fact that a number of players were returning from international duty.
While Liverpool teams of the past were not mentally and physically equipped for the challenge that Palace present on their home turf, Jürgen Klopp’s ‘mentality monsters.’ thrive on occasions like this.
Sadio Mane put the visitors in front with his fifth consecutive goal against the Eagles and in doing so becoming just the third Liverpool player in the Premier League to complete such a feat following Michael Owen (vs Newcastle) and Luis Suarez (vs Norwich).
Palace had a James Tompkins goal chalked off by VAR in the first half but Wilfried Zaha gave the hosts parity in the contest with a impressive strike on 82 minutes and Liverpool had it all to again with the clock ticking down.
However it has become automatic for Liverpool to respond when challenged by the opposition late on in games, and this time it was Roberto Firmino who was on the spot to bundle the ball home from a goalmouth scramble.
Zaha nearly had the final say in injury time but in acres of space he fired well over Alisson’s crossbar.
Speaking after the contest, Reds defender Virgil Van Dijk told the Official site how happy the team were to claim the three points.
"Very important and very massive.
“Obviously everyone knows how tough it is to come here against a very well organised side after the international break, and we were very happy with the three points.
“If you are prepared to suffer setbacks, because in the games that will happen, it’s about how you react and so far we have been doing that pretty well.
“Obviously we try to minimise the setbacks in the game, we tried to not concede and today they scored the goal.
“We had opportunities to score a second and it’s how you react, and so far we have been doing pretty well.
Van Dijk also talked about the difficulties of playing such a fixture on the back of international duty.
“It’s not easy.
“Everyone is away playing for their countries in a different way, different tactics and we have to be back on the Liverpool way very quick.
“We only trained two or maybe three times, maximum, with the players so we had to be ready for today and everyone knew how tough it could be.
“We had opportunities to score the second and make it a little bit easier, but we won and that is the most important thing.”
Liverpool look forward to the comforts of Anfield for the next three fixtures starting with Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday evening and following that with Brighton and Everton.