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“Anfield has never known anything like this” – Media on Liverpool 4-0 Southampton

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Liverpool were sublime in their 4-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, with the watching media full of praise for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

The Reds dispatched of Saints at Anfield, continuing a perfect return to form that has seen three home wins picked up to an aggregate scoreline of 10-0.

Diogo Jota scored twice to put Liverpool in control, before further efforts from Thiago and Virgil van Dijk sealed the victory.

It was the latest proof that Klopp’s men are here to stay in the Premier League title race, producing a superb response after the defeat at West Ham before the international break.

Here’s a look at how the media reacted to Liverpool’s latest win.

 

An imperious attacking performance was hailed, as the Reds continue to produce eye-popping numbers…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Independent‘s Melissa Reddy was hugely impressed with the quality on show:

“A gust of glorious off-the-ball movement hurricaned through Southampton as Liverpool once again showcased the art of their firepower in a victory to strengthen their title credentials.

“Storm Arwen had severely disrupted travel systems and power supply, but could not derail Jurgen Klopp’s side from engaging in yet another attacking feast, carving up their opponents with intricate one-touch play and repeated threatening bursts into the final third.

[…]

“Saturday represented the 12th time this season they have scored three or more times – a staggering statistic given only 20 matches have been played.

“The top three scorers in the league are all Liverpool representatives: Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Jota.”

Goal‘s Neil Jones also lauded Liverpool’s ruthlessness in the final third:

Jurgen Klopp’s side simply cannot stop scoring this season. That’s 39 in 13 Premier League games so far, and this was the 17th consecutive game in which they have scored two or more goals.

“We are used to this side breaking records, but still these numbers jar. Anfield has never known anything like this.

[…]

“They look in good touch since the international break, and after an injury-hit autumn, their squad is starting to look reassuringly strong again.”

Ian Whittell of the Times believes Liverpool look as good as they did in the pre-COVID era:

“Forget the ‘new normal’. For Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool team, life in this post-lockdown season is all about the ‘old normal’, as Diogo Jota ably demonstrated by helping himself to two of his team’s four goals.

“Hard as they worked, and impressive as they were in spells, it is hard to imagine a more routine win for Klopp, who saw his team match a 94-year-old record set by Sunderland, the last top-flight club to compile a run of 17 consecutive games in league and cup in which they scored two or more.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Paul Gorst of the Liverpool Echo threw out some highly impressive numbers, also hailing a much-improved defence:

“This is surely the most free-scoring period of Klopp’s six years at Anfield.

“Their 39 goals after 13 games is seven more than their previous best at this stage of the campaign under Klopp, way back in 2016, and with an in-form Roberto Firmino also due to return in the coming weeks, the name of Liverpool will be an ominous sound for opposition defences.

“The Reds have now netted in 23 successive Premier League games, dating back to March and are the only side to have found the net in every game this season in the top flight.

“It’s also 59 scored in all competitions for the Reds who are eyeing a Carabao Cup quarter-final and the last-16 draw of the Champions League next month.

“Add in a miserly defence that is refinding its own groove and Liverpool look quite the formidable outfit right now.”

 

Andy Robertson enjoyed a pleasing return to top form…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jones thinks the emergence of Kostas Tsimikas has aided the Scot, as he touched upon the competition for places:

“They will be delighted at the performance of Robertson, who delivered his best display of the season having come back in for Kostas Tsimikas.

“Competition seems to be bringing the best out of those two, and the same can be said in midfield, where Thiago and Henderson controlled proceedings before making way for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner.

“In the next couple of weeks, the likes of Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino should return to boost numbers further. Klopp may have as much trouble picking his bench as he has his first XI, one that happens.”

Freddie Keighley of the Mirror was another who gave Robertson special praise:

“The Scotland captain has found himself in the spotlight at times this season when appearing to lack the sharpness and fitness which usually make him such a dependable performer.

“There has even been clamour for his deputy, Kostas Tsimikas, to be handed more starts in the Premier League on account of his fine performances when called on.

“But Robertson looked back to his best on Saturday afternoon, flying up the left wing to combine with Mane and Jota in advanced areas.

“He contributed the assist for Jota’s opener with a precise cross, while Salah and captain Jordan Henderson appeared to make a point of embracing him in the ensuing celebrations.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ian Doyle of the Echo felt Robertson more than justified the faith Klopp showed in him:

“Klopp, for his part, has been steadfast in his opinion that, while Tsimikas has improved, Robertson is very much one of the best in the world in his position.

“And the Scot’s performance on being restored to the starting line-up against Southampton was compelling justification of such a view.

“After injury niggles and the undoubted strain of helping keep his country’s World Cup qualification hopes on track, this was Robertson freed from such concerns, again a rampaging presence up and down the left flank.

“His understanding with Sadio Mane, a regular feature for several years, allowed him to create the opener for Diogo Jota, and he revelled throughout in the space afforded to him by Southampton switching to using wing-backs, a decision their boss Ralph Hasenhuttl later correctly identified had backfired spectacularly.”

 

It was a rare day where Jota enjoyed the limelight over his attacking teammates…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This Is Anfield focused on the Portuguese’s uncanny ability to get into dangerous areas:

“He scored before two minutes were up, but he had already had an exciting moment before that, dribbling from his own half to the penalty box to lead a counter which looked as though we might get an even earlier lead.

“The finish a moment later was good, the movement better, and twice within the next 15 or so a really good first touch and turn from the Portuguese led to further attacks which almost got the Reds in on goal.

“There followed one or two sloppy passes when trying to clear his lines defensively, but the positions he gets himself into continue to be both clever and dangerous – as was the case when he tapped in his second, unmarked, from five yards out.”

Keighley believes Jota is proving to be a great alternative to Roberto Firmino:

“Liverpool were rocked by news of Roberto Firmino suffering a hamstring injury Jurgen Klopp described as ‘serious’ in early November.

“The Brazilian remains a key cog in the side and there are few forwards around with his unique skillset.

“Yet the Reds should not have worried, as they had a brilliant replacement waiting for the opportunity of an extended run in the team.

“Jota has had to share minutes with Firmino since his transfer from Wolverhampton Wanderers last year, but he has been in simply sublime form in recent weeks, a double against Southampton taking his tally to four goals in four games in all competitions.

“As well as being in the right place in the right time to tap in his two goals, the 24-year-old frequently dropped deep to influence the game as Mane and Salah drove beyond him.

“It was a complete forward’s performance which will have delighted his manager.”

Finally, the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe tipped Jota to become Liverpool’s leading man during the Africa Cup of Nations:

Diogo Jota is the most understated of Liverpool’s fab four strikers; a player who would shine brighter but for the geniuses either side of him. Call him the George Harrison of Anfield, if you like.

“Even when eclipsing his illustrious partners Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané with a double in the 4-0 win over Southampton, the Portuguese forward does not receive equal acclaim. Roberto Firmino – even when he is still absent with a hamstring injury – is celebrated more than the man excelling in his place, although appreciation for Jota’s skills is obvious with each intake of breath when he turns a hapless marker.

“The standing ovation he received, after the Kop sang his name here for the first time, upon being substituted 10 minutes from time was the most audible commendation, Jota having scored twice in the first 32 minutes.

“When Salah and Mane leave for Africa Cup of Nations duty, Jota has the capacity to ease the pain of their considerable loss.”

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