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SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 17, 2022: Liverpool's Joel Matip (R) celebrates with team-mate Ibrahima Konaté after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: Rotated Reds take title fight to final day

A much-changed Liverpool side showed the quality of this squad, taking the title race to the final day with a win in the final away game of the season at Southampton.

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool

Premier League (37), St. Mary’s Stadium
May 17, 2022

Goals

Redmond 13′
Minamino 27′ (assist: Jota)
Matip 67′ (assist: Tsimikas)


Just 72 hours after lifting the FA Cup, Liverpool were back in action on the south coast and it meant Jurgen Klopp made nine changes to the side.

Only Alisson and Ibrahima Konate remained in the starting XI, with rare starts for Harvey Elliott and Takumi Minamino.

Liverpool knew that they needed a win to keep any title hopes alive, but rotation was required after the physical toll of extra time at Wembley.

It didn’t go to plan early on as the home side took the lead when Nathan Redmond dribbled down the Reds’ right, cut inside and curled a shot past Alisson into the far top corner via a deflection off James Milner.

Klopp was incensed on the sidelines, feeling that Diogo Jota had been fouled on the edge of the opposite box in the lead up to the goal.

Liverpool kept calm and built their way into the game more. Firmino had the ball in the net from a free-kick but was offside.

Just before the half-hour, the equaliser arrived when Minamino, making his first league start for Liverpool since December 2020, fired in at the near post.

Gomez’s pass to Jota was nicely laid off for the Japanese to rifle in his 10th goal of the season with a powerful strike on the angle.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 17, 2022: Liverpool's Takumi Minamino scores the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Elliott, making his first league start since breaking his ankle at Leeds in September, was particularly lively and looked to probe, playing one clever pass for Firmino which was almost put across goal.

Just before the break, Joe Gomez went down under a challenge and was eventually subbed at half time, replaced by Jordan Henderson and Milner moving to right-back.

Half time: Southampton 1-1 Liverpool

Liverpool pushed for the needed lead, Jota flashed a shot across the face of goal, Elliott had a chance on a tight angle, and Curtis Jones curled an effort wide.

Just after the hour it was Origi time. The super-sub replacing Elliott and the Reds moving to four up front. A draw would not be enough.

Within five minutes, the lead was claimed when Joel Matip got his head on a deflected corner from Tsimikas and the ball somehow looped into the top corner, almost in slow motion.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 17, 2022: Southampton's goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is beaten as Liverpool score the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • 9 changes for the Reds
  • Gomez injured, Milner moves to right-back
  • Minamino and Matip goals
  • Reds are 1 point behind City going into final day

Southampton rallied late on but Liverpool were calm and composed, despite the nervousness of the situation, knowing that any mistake would spell the end of any title hopes.

The victory means that the Reds go into the final game of the season on Sunday, at home to Wolves, a point behind Man City.

A win for Liverpool and City failing to beat Aston Villa would mean a 20th league title for the Reds.

The dream is still alive. Be proud of this group of players.


TIA Man of the Match: Curtis Jones

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Attendance: 31,588

Liverpool: Alisson; Gomez (Henderson 46′), Matip, Konate, Tsimikas; Milner, Elliott (Origi 65′), Jones; Minamino, Firmino (Keita 83′), Jota

Subs: Kelleher, R.Williams, Robertson, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaz

Southampton: McCarthy; Salisu, Stephens, Lyanco; Walker-Peters, Diallo, Ward-Prowse, Redmond; Tella, Elyounoussi, Broja

Subs: Willy, Bednarek, Valery, Romeu, Djenepo, S.Armstrong, A.Armstrong, Adams, Long

Next match: Wolves (H) – Premier League – Sunday, May 22, 4pm (BST)

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