Ibrahima Konates "massive" Liverpool home debut was a dream for Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has hailed Ibrahima Konate after the defender made his Anfield debut in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Reds splashed out £36m to snap up the ex-RB Leipzig man in the summer.

But fans have been left waiting for their first glimpse of the 22-year-old.

Konate partnered Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence as they overcame a determined Palace side thanks to goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.

But it was Konate's first display in a Reds shirt that had Klopp purring after the game.

"You can see he is incredibly talented," said the Liverpool boss.

"The potential is outstanding. He is used to winning challenges easy. He is young and he played a really good game. Massive. First home game for him.

"You want the team to watch the games and see what we do. We need to have experience from what we see. And he did really well. So much potential.

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"He will get better. Today, against Benteke and [Odsonne] Edouard and [Wilfred] Zaha, there were situations where it is new for him. Step by step."

The Frenchman made a nervy start but grew in confidence and stature as the game wore on.

He displayed an excellent turn of pace to thwart Palace striker Christian Benteke after the Belgian had been played in behind the Reds defence.

Mane broke the deadlock against the stubborn visitors by stabbing home after Vicente Guaita had denied Salah from a corner.

Salah wrapped up the points with a volley at the far post before Keita added some gloss to the scoreline with a later stunner.

The result elevates Liverpool to the top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea's games on Sunday.

It's now four clean sheets in five games for the Reds – who have conceded just one goal so far this season.

But Klopp admitted it was far from a walk in the park against Patrick Viera's side.

"It is one of the most hard-fought 3-0s ever," added the Liverpool boss.

"We had to give everything. Hard but fair challenges. Physicality was immense and we had to be ready. The chips in behind our full-back gave us trouble. The longer it went they used that more and more. We had to run.

"Wednesday/Saturday rhythm is really hard. We scored wonderful goals and used our set-pieces. It is massive in games like this. These are the games you have to win, when you are not brilliant.

"We weren’t flying today. We had to grind out a proper performance. I liked it. When you look back you have these games when it was really fun. And some was it was important. This is one of those important games."

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