Southampton 0-2 Liverpool
Premier League, St Mary’s
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Firmino 6′ (assist: Salah)
Salah 42′ (assist: Firmino)
The Reds were left frustrated last weekend, with Harry Kane’s controversial late penalty earning Tottenham a 2-2 draw at Anfield.
A response was needed at St Mary’s, with Spurs’ win over Arsenal on Saturday putting them one point clear of Liverpool.
Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also came into the team, with Jordan Henderson rested ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Porto and James Milner the other player to make way.
Man United‘s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle earlier in the day meant the chance was there for Klopp’s men to narrow the gap on their second-placed rivals to two points.
- Klopp makes three changes, Matip partners Van Dijk
- Firmino nets 20th goal of 2017/18 to open the scoring
- Liverpool not at their best, but Salah doubles the lead
- Reds cruise past beleaguered Saints
- Victory takes Klopp’s men back into third
Liverpool were ahead in just the sixth minute, with Salah laying on a lovely assist for Firmino, who fired home his 20th goal of the season.
Sadio Mane fired wide from 20 yards, as the visitors started to improve again, but Guido Carrillo headed straight at Karius at the other end.
The German again saved his team with 29 minutes on the clock, tipping Jame Ward-Prowse’s header over the crossbar.
Mane poked wide, with chances coming at either end, but Liverpool were a little flat throughout the first-half.
However, the lead was doubled just before half-time, with Firmino returning the favour to Salah in sensational fashion, flicking the ball through. The Egyptian slotted home clinically.
Kicking on and not being sloppy was the order of the day after the break, and Salah almost made it 3-0, shooting over with the goal at his mercy.
Liverpool were suddenly in total control against their struggling opponents, although Wesley Hoedt did come close to pulling a goal back from close-range.
Milner replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain just before the hour mark, and the former Saint looked disappointed as he trudged off the field.
Firmino was denied by the feet of Alex McCarthy, and from the follow-up, Salah shot into the side-netting. The Reds pair were stealing the show.
Mane, again not at his best, missed the target with his left foot, and with the score still 2-0, Liverpool weren’t totally in the clear.
Lallana missed by inches in the final minutes, and it was the last moment of note on an excellent day for Klopp’s side.
TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Next Match: Porto (away, Wednesday 14 February)