Liverpool turned on the style in the second half against Southampton having struggled in the opening 45, where a number of players grew into the match once the crucial first goal was scored.
Liverpool 4-0 Southampton
Premier League, Anfield
February 1, 2020
Goals: Oxlade-Chamberlain 47′, Henderson 60′, Salah 72′ 90′
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
Had to make a save from Moussa Djenepo which was more difficult than it looked as it moved in the wind and deflected off his arm for a corner.
Made an easier save from Shane Long’s powerful effort which was straight at him, and another which saw him rush out to the feet of Danny Ings just before half time.
Great positioning on display on each occasion.
The right-back’s crossing was both helped and hindered by the wind. Some of his corner kicks were undefendable.
Was a quieter game for him in terms of creating chances, and there can’t be many games he has finished without making a key pass.
Joe Gomez – 6
Started well but looked to doze off as the first half progressed. Was bypassed a couple of times, and on one occasion allowed Ings to steal the ball in a dangerous area.
One poor header clear presented Long with a chance, but Alisson was able to save on both occasions.
Much more useful and composed in the second half.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
Tries to back-heel one in when put through one on one with the keeper by Salah, should maybe be more conventional, but it may have been the easiest way to shoot given the position he found himself in.
Always in the right place at the right time when defending. Reads his team-mates positioning as well as opponents’.
On one occasion, defending against Hojbjerg, he just lets him have a shot from a difficult angle rather than committing.
Andy Robertson – 7
Was very lucky to get away with a backpass in the opening minutes of the game.
Looked like Djenepo would cause him some problems down Liverpool’s left flank, but his speed of recovery helped in this regard.
Played a good ball down the line to Oxlade which led to a good chance in attack. An improvement on recent weeks but still not back to his best.
Fabinho – 7
For a player who has apparently not been missed, he does lots of things Liverpool’s other midfielders don’t.
Clearing up, getting away with fouls, letting opposition players know they have been tackled.
Burst forward into an attacking area and followed it up with a good pass to set up Wijnaldum.
Covered well when Southampton broke, and one foul as they countered in the second half seemed important at the time.
Anfield asked him to shoot later in the game, and he obliged but sent his effort into the Kop.
Jordan Henderson – 8
Another change of position to keep the captain on his toes. Made a really good pass to Salah for the third.
Was much more involved in attack thanks to the change in position, finding himself anywhere from the right-wing to behind the striker.
Made a good run into the box to get on the end of Firmino’s cut-back, takes a touch, and slots home in front of the Kop, who sang his name.
Received a standing ovation when subbed with a few minutes remaining.
Only made 16 actions in a first half which passed him by.
Wasn’t economical in possession either, which isn’t like him, although none of the midfield players were particularly careful in possession.
Found himself in a good position in the opposition area, but couldn’t manage to get a shot away or find a team-mate, turning the ball over. It summed up his contribution to that point.
Better in the second half but still, and does some good things off the ball, but it wasn’t one of his best games.
Mohamed Salah – 9
Initially struggled to get into the game as much as he would have liked, but was able to get on the end of Henderson’s pass to seal the win in the second half.
A really composed and cool finish when through one on one with McCarthy.
It was his pass which sent Van Dijk through on goal, and his presence down the right, drifting inside, creates space for others.
Sets up Minamino in the last ten minutes following a burst from the right into the area. Really grew into the game and ended up as one of its best players, and grabbed a second in added tme for good measure.
Roberto Firmino – 8
Three assists in the match, the first a simple pass to Oxlade-Chamberlain before the winger did the rest, the second an invitation which Henderson couldn’t not accept.
The third came thanks to his own persistence after a chance seemed to have gone, but he recovered to square the ball to Salah.
Was unlucky not to get a penalty when fouled in the box as he tried to leap for a header, but nothing was given even after a check with the VAR.
Holds the ball up well and does plenty to help others do so, as evidenced by his assists.
Was played in by Keita but couldn’t beat the onrushing McCarthy.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 9 (Man of the Match)
A good drive forward early on set the tone for the Englishman as he moved from his midfield position to deputise for Mane.
He received applause from Klopp for closing down opposition goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, and other than giving the ball away in the dangerous area in his own half, it was one of his better games in the position.
Had a shot blocked by Djenepo almost found the top corner via the deflection.
His goal was an important one in a game in which Liverpool had not been on top beforehand.
Did what, in theory, he should be able to do more often when playing from the left, cutting inside and letting off a powerful strike into the bottom corner.
Worked really hard before being replaced by Keita.
Naby Keita (on for Oxlade-Chamberlain 73′) – 7
Showed great vision to put Firmino through on goal.
Takumi Minamino (on for Wijnaldum 81′) – N/A
Presented with a great opportunity by Salah in front of the Kop, but fired his shot into the fans.
Adam Lallana (on for Henderson 88′) – N/A
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Took the decision to play Oxlade-Chamberlain from the left, something which hasn’t quite worked in the past, but did so on this occasion. Credit to him for giving it another go in Mane’s absence.
Must have said something good to his players at half time as they emerged from the dressing room looking like a different team to that which played in the first half.
Was full of praise for his opposite number before the game, but deserves credit himself for this second half turnaround.