Firmino “madness” as Liverpool reap the rewards for their unrelenting spirit

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There was plenty of praise shared within Liverpool’s ranks as they celebrated their 4-0 win over Southampton.

Merely three days after their win at West Ham, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds were back in action as Southampton made the trip to Anfield in what was coined as the ‘battle of the press’.

Klopp was full of praise for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side and they asked several questions of Liverpool in a tightly contested first half which saw the Reds struggle to find their feet in proceedings.

But after the interval, Liverpool came alive to hit four unanswered goals and secure all three points in style – a result which moved them 22 points clear at the top, albeit temporarily, with their 24th win of the campaign.

Roberto Firmino supplied a hat-trick of assists with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah all teed up by the Brazilian in a half which again showcased Liverpool’s ability to prevail in any set of circumstances.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images)

The skipper was a standout as he continues to experience an exponential rise in form, setting up Salah’s first after notching his third league goal of the season.

And after the game when speaking to LFCTV, Henderson was delighted to etch his name on the scoresheet but insisted the three points and his side’s work ethic was the “most important thing.”

“Everybody is enjoying their football but it’s also about the work ethic and giving everything for each other – and that’s the most important thing to me. 

“Just give everything you can for your teammates, which we have been doing. If you do that then you get your rewards at the end. 

“For us, we just need to continue that, give everything we can right until the end of the season and then see where we are.

“It’s always nice to get a goal, especially at Anfield of course. But the most important thing was the three points of course. 

“Some of the stuff [Firmino] does is madness really! But he’s another outstanding player for us and it was another big performance from him.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 1, 2020: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fellow goalscorer Oxlade-Chamberlain was similarly full of praise for Firmino’s display and revealed the boss had plenty to say at the break after a lacklustre opening term.

But the Reds turned it around and will now importantly carry a positive state of mind into their winter break.

“[Klopp] said quite a lot [at half-time]. We were a bit fortunate they didn’t manage to take any of their chances – Ingsy we know what he can do and Long up front both looked sharp.

“We knew we need to come out a lot lot better and I think we did.

“It becomes a little bit normal when you play with that guy [Firmino], that’s the way he plays and he does those magnificent things all the time and I love him – I actually love him, he’s such a joy to play with and to feed off.

“He’s always looking for others and he works for the team and his skills speak for themselves, he’s a top man and we all love him!

“For a mental state for us to finish off well here we can have a little break now and then hit the ground running.”

Following the final whistle, Trent Alexander-Arnold was mesmerised by his “office” as he celebrated yet another victory:

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My office ? #YNWA

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Fellow full-back Andy Robertson shared his love for a group hug and Danny Ings after the former Red returned to Anfield for his first competitive game since departing in 2018:

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Love a group hug

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The Brazilian duo of Fabinho and Firmino lauded a “great win” in a game which saw the former make his first league start since mid-November:

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Great win boys ???? #YnwA??

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While Dejan Lovren and James Milner did not take to the field, the duo were quick to share their joy and congratulate their teammates on a “deserved” victory:

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Great second half ?? Skipper’s on ? #YNWA

A post shared by James Milner (@jamesmilnerofficial) on

Having spoken of the need to carry “momentum” into the break, Henderson and Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrated the 20th successive league win at Anfield and looked towards recharging the batteries for the run-in:

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momentum ?? #ynwa

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And as ever, Gini Wijnaldum was one of first to laud a “fantastic team performance” as he thanked the Anfield faithful for their “amazing support.”

While Adam Lallana shone the light on Firmino and Henderson as the game’s standout performers:

The win saw Liverpool clinch 100 points from the last available 102, where their lead atop of the table stretched to 22 points ahead of Man City’s clash with Tottenham on Sunday.

And while an FA Cup replay with Shrewsbury is scheduled for Tuesday, Liverpool’s senior contingent will now enjoy a brief break with the U23s stepping into their place before a return to league action against Norwich on February 15.

🏆  A collector’s item for every fan – the official LFC matchday programme for the day the Reds lift the title is available to order worldwide now.

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