After falling behind to an early goal at Southampton on Friday night, Liverpool flexed their title muscles to recapture top spot in dramatic style – again!
Just five days ago Liverpool left it very late against Tottenham to snatch all three points – yet again the Reds put their fans through the mill, as two late goals secured victory against a resurgent Southampton.
Liverpool hadn’t tasted defeat in their last five Premier League meetings against the Saints, but away from home Liverpool had only won twice from their last five trips to St. Mary’s.
The game didn’t start off in the best way for the Reds. Shane Long fired the hosts into a ninth-minute lead after some abject defending.
With Jurgen Klopp opting to shake it up in the centre of the park, this early setback looked like it could have been a mistake. However, Naby Keita was to have a telling say as half time approached.
The Guinean midfielder was starting his first game for over two months and against his old boss.
Ralph Hassenhutl would have known all about the Liverpool number eight and he will have been unsurprised to see Keita notch his first goal for the Reds.
Rising high, Keita powered his header towards goal. Angus Gunn got a hand to it but the power was too much for the ‘keeper to deal with.
Keita looked like he was about to burst into tears, his first Liverpool goal was a moment to treasure for the ex-Leipzig player.
When the teams came out for the second half there was a hope that Liverpool would kick on and reaffirm their position as the Premier League‘s top side. However, it wasn’t to be – a resolute Southampton frustrated the Reds, while also causing them numerous problems.
Klopp showed his hand, opting to take off Trent Alexander-Arnold and Gini Wijnaldum. On came James Milner and Jordan Henderson and it was to be the game’s turning point.
Liverpool began to take the upper hand in the fixture. Henderson picked out Salah and the Egyptian raced towards goal – for a player who hadn’t scored in his last eight appearances, his finish was simply sublime.
The fixture had been turned around in the visitor’s favour with 10 minutes remaining. The goal took the wind out of the Saints’ sails and two soon become three.
Roberto Firmino‘s low cross was hammered home by Henderson – it was the Liverpool captain’s first goal since April 2017, and it couldn’t have come at a better time – alleviating all the pressure with just five minutes left on the clock.
Speaking to Sky Sports at full time the Liverpool captain had had this to say:
“We know every game is massive for us, we know we have to win every game. I thought the lads showed great character under a little pressure in the first half, but to come out and win in the second half is a big win – a big performance”.
Next up for the Reds is the visit of Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday night, before the Premier League returns a week on Sunday with yet another massive clash, this time at home to Chelsea.