The Reds sealed a 2-0 victory over Saints on Saturday, to make it six games unbeaten in the Premier League, four of which have been wins.
It looked to be playing out to a familiar tune after Sadio Mane‘s first-half header, with a slew of wasted chances seemingly opening the door for a late equaliser from Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
But up stepped Thiago, who curved his effort into the bottom corner in the 90th minute for his first goal for the club and a vital winner, handing Liverpool three more points in the top-four race.
Upon scoring, the Spaniard wheeled away pointing to the stands, with it unclear who he was gesturing towards in dedication.
“I always have a special relationship with the guys there that didn’t play.
“And also when you are playing you always think about them, how they work, how they behave, even when they don’t play. So the goal was for them.”
Kostas Tsimikas, Neco Williams and Xherdan Shaqiri were among those on the bench at the time, while the likes of Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip obviously retain a strong bond despite their long-term injuries.
Thiago‘s goal was for them, but also to “bring a bit of calm to the game,” with the 30-year-old acknowledging the Reds’ recent struggles when a goal up:
“Especially here at Anfield, we had many situations where they scored the goal.
“Even when we dominated the game, they scored, then we broke down a bit.
“But now I think also with this result, with 1-0 we got a bit hectic, so fortunately we could score the second one to bring a bit of calm to the game.”
The No. 6 added that “our main goal must always be the next game,” amid questions of a top-four finish, and this was reflected by James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson on social media:
1 down 4 to go ?? pic.twitter.com/7hDCZBfYT4
— Adrián San Miguel (@AdriSanMiguel) May 8, 2021
— John Achterberg (@1JohnAchterberg) May 8, 2021