Liverpool produced a gritty display to beat Southampton 2-1 on Saturday, with a number of eye-catching statistics emerging from the game.
Trips to St Mary’s have rarely been comfortable for the Reds in recent years and this one was no different.
A below-par opening 45 minutes looked to be finishing goalless, only for Sadio Mane to rifle his side in front seconds before the interval.
Roberto Firmino doubled Liverpool’s lead with a well-taken effort, and fortunately Danny Ings‘ late strike—scored after a dreadful mistake by Adrian—proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Here are five key statistics from the match, as Liverpool sit top of the Premier League table.
Reds Equal Record Winning Run
The Reds have become winning machines under Jurgen Klopp, finding that rare ability to grind out victories even when they’re not playing well.
Saturday’s triumph on the south coast was Liverpool’s 11th in a row in the Premier League, equalling their best-ever run of consecutive wins in the competition.
That is also held by Brendan Rodgers’ class of 2013/14, who rattled off 11 victories on the bounce prior to the heartbreaking defeat to Chelsea in April 2014.
Three points at home to Arsenal next Saturday would equal the club’s best winning run overall, set by Sir Kenny Dalglish‘s Reds in 1990.
This Liverpool team have now won 32 out of 40 league games since the beginning of last season—it’s quite extraordinary.
300 Up for Klopp
Klopp is doing a stunning job as manager.
One new statistic sums up why he deserves to be the focal point of so much praise this weekend.
Saturday’s win means the German has now recorded 300 points in the league as Liverpool boss in 146 games—no manager in Reds history achieved that feat in faster time.
Dalglish (150) is Klopp’s closest challenger, followed by Rafa Benitez (159), Bob Paisley (161), Bill Shankly (166) and Gerard Houllier (169).
Remember when people were mocking him for having a worse record than Rodgers?
Mane has enjoyed an exceptional week, scoring twice in the UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea, before bagging a stunner against former club Saints.
Is there a better left-sided player in Europe on current form?
Saturday’s strike means Mane has become the latest player to score in his first Premier League start of the season four times.
Mark Viduka is the last to have done that, between 2002/03 and 2005/06, showing what an impressive effort it is by the Senegalese.
It’s now 16 goals in his last 18 Premier League starts for Mane.
Selfless Front Three
Liverpool’s world-class front three of Mane, Firmino and Mohamed Salah may be lauded for their goals, but their assist tallies are also outstanding.
That was proven yet again on Saturday afternoon, as Mane set up Firmino for the Reds’ second goal, having won the ball back in a dangerous area.
Liverpool’s regular front three have now all each assisted and scored one goal this season.
Three combos among them too:
Firmino to Salah, Norwich
Firmino to Mané, Chelsea
Mané to Firmino, Southampton
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) August 17, 2019
It means Liverpool’s brilliant trio have now all registered at least a goal and an assist apiece this season.
They will continue to share the workload as the season progresses, showing why they are club football’s most devastating attacking unit.
Defensive Struggles Remain
Liverpool have may won both league games and the Super Cup so far this season, but they haven’t been at their best defensively.
Once again on Saturday, they seemed too easy to get through, with analyst and writer Andrew Beasley highlighting that Southampton had three clear-cut chances in the game.
Last season, only Barcelona and Chelsea managed more than two in a match, further exposing Liverpool’s current malaise at the back.
They have also only kept one clean sheet in their last five league outings—they need to go up a gear in that area, with a week on the training ground surely helping in that respect.