Liverpool avoided a slip up at St Mary’s as they eased to a 2-0 win against Southampton. The Saints have been a bogey team for the Reds as Liverpool had a terrible record against them going into the game. In five games before today’s fixture, Southampton had stopped Liverpool from scoring four times, so even though the hosts were in the relegation zone, there were a few hopes of maybe mustering an upset.
Liverpool opened the scoring early in the first 10 minutes after a Wesley Hoedt error saw Mohamed Salah square the ball to Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian finished with aplomb. The early goal didn’t bog down Southampton as they created a couple of chances but Loris Karius was impressive in goal to thwart the attempts.
Liverpool pretty much secured the points when a delightful Firmino back heel found Salah who finished cleanly to score Liverpool’s second goal.
Here are five talking points from the game…
Loris Karius impresses
The German has had a vote of confidence from Jürgen Klopp and the extended run of games has clearly done him a world of good. While his footwork has improved, the most impressive aspect his ability to take a quick decision and come out to smother one on ones.
Earlier today, he managed to quickly come off his line to make a save to keep the score at 1-0. Though he was a passenger in the second half, the save in the first half could have potentially changed the game.
Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah can help Liverpool finish second
The two were simply brilliant with their combination play. Firmino’s touches were pretty good as usual and Liverpool to knock it around in the first half when Southampton were just starting to have a good spell with the ball. Though he could have added another, his composure for the opening goal should be lauded.
Mohamed Salah too missed a good chance in the second half, but his movement for the second goal was as good as the back heel pass from Firmino that set up the goal.
With Sadio Mane yet to replicate last season’s form, Liverpool need the duo of Salah and Firmino to continue with the goalscoring if they are to push Manchester United for second place and get past Porto in the round of 16 of the Champions League
Southampton in shambles
The club’s decision to bring in Mauricio Pellegrino at the start was a gamble as the gaffer wasn’t the most experienced of options. A good manager can often change a run of poor results, something that hasn’t happened at St Mary’s.
The team looked out of ideas once again, something that shouldn’t happen when you’re playing against Liverpool who have a porous defence.
While the lack of a goalscorer is evident (though Guido Carrillo has just signed and will need some more time), Southampton didn’t think it’d be a wise decision to replace Virgil van Dijk.
They’ve also lack a creative attacking midfielder who can pick a pass, so it’s not a big surprise their strikers haven’t clicked.