Liverpool 1-0 Southampton
Jurgen Klopp’s record-breaking Liverpool beat Southampton on Saturday to go a whopping 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Mo Salah scored twice as the Reds ran riot in the second half, but Saints fans will be left wondering: “How exactly do you get a result at Anfield?” They were the better team for much of the first hour and also had strong claims for a penalty dismissed immediately before Liverpool scored early in the second half.
With the Saints arriving on a fine run of form, Premier League Liverpool vs Southampton had the look of an exciting game. The visitors played their full part, and in the end, a four-goal defeat was extremely harsh.
But in many ways the result was inevitable. Liverpool have won all but one of their league games and no team has ever been further ahead than this in a top-flight season.
Highlights of the game
The Saints started brightly and kept Liverpool at arm’s length, conceding just one shot in the first 20 minutes. The Reds were very close to scoring on the 21st minute, but there would have been a heap of controversy if they had.
A long ball forward appeared to have brushed off the arm of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and when the ball bounced free, Mo Salah seemed to use his arm to bring it down, before his shot deflected off James Ward-Prowse and out for a corner.
The visitors weren’t here to park the bus, and their main striker got them moving on 25 minutes.
It isn’t just his ability to stick the ball in the back of the net which makes Danny Ings such a valuable player for the Saints. The former Liverpool man showed a real turn of pace down the left and fired a cross into the danger area which Virgil van Dijk had to stretch to clear.
At the other end, Jack Stephens made an equally important intervention to deny Gini Wijnaldum.
The Liverpool vs Southampton news in the run-up to this match gave plenty of attention to the bang-in-form Ings. He was a real danger as he jinked his way into the Liverpool area. His low and hard shot was destined for the goal, but it hit fellow striker Shane Long and out to safety. Long tried to make amends a minute later but he smashed his shot straight at Alisson.
Southampton acquitted themselves very well in the first half, but all their hard work was undone at the start of the second, and there was a huge amount of controversy involved again.
Ings weaved his way into the Liverpool penalty area and looked to have been brought down by Fabinho, but the referee waved play on. Liverpool broke quickly and Oxlade-Chamberlain received a return pass before drilling his low shot past Alex McCarthy and into the net.
The Saints players appealed but seemingly nobody at Stockley Park was interested in taking a look.
If anyone can explain VAR to me, I’ll be grateful!
Moments later Liverpool almost doubled their lead after Roberto Firmino put Mo Salah through, but the Egyptian was ruled offside as the ball nestled in the net.
The visitors still felt a sense of injustice, and it was doubled before the hour. Firmino raced down the left side and had all the time he needed to pull the ball back to Jordan Henderson, who took a touch and smashed the ball past McCarthy.
It was cruel on Southampton but Liverpool didn’t care. And with sheer ruthlessness, the Reds made it three on 72 minutes. It was route-one stuff as Alisson cleared long to Henderson, who cleverly helped the ball on to Salah for a one-on-one with the keeper which he was never going to miss.
New signing Takumi Minamino made an appearance, brought on to replace Gini Wijnaldum. He had a great chance to open his Anfield account after a great run from Salah, but he blasted his effort way over.
Salah added a fourth after Firmino squared unselfishly and Liverpool’s juggernaut rumbles on.
You have to feel sorry for Southampton though.
The pre-match Liverpool vs Southampton forecast here at SBOTOP predicted a comfortable home win, and despite the scoreline, it was anything but.
The Saints gave as good as they got in the first 45 minutes, unleashing 10 shots to Liverpool’s eight, while each side had four on target.
The shot count finished at 17 shots to 15 to the Saints, though Liverpool had nine on target in the end while Southampton stayed on four.
Liverpool have won their last 20 Premier League games at Anfield and have scored in 34 games in a row to give the Premier League table quite an incredible look to it. Surely even the most paranoid Liverpool fan can relax now!
Victory at West Ham in midweek took Liverpool’s Premier League winning run to 15 games, it’s now 16, and next up the Reds have an away fixture against bottom club Norwich City.
But before that, they have an FA Cup replay at home to Shrewsbury.
Meanwhile, the Saints have a cup replay away to Jose Mourinho’s Spurs before entertaining Burnley in the league.