Liverpool took full advantage of Manchester United’s slip up against Newcastle earlier in the day as they comfortably (in the end) put away Southampton 2-0 at St Mary’s. The result takes the Reds to within 2 points of their bitter rivals in the race to be the best of the rest.
The United result just before the game and Spurs’ victory against Arsenal yesterday maybe put even more pressure on Liverpool to win and go back up into third and just behind United in second. In this instance we couldn’t have really gotten off to a better start as the deadlock was broken in only the 6th minute. Loris Karius, who had a brilliant game overall today, started off the counter attack with a quick throw out to the left to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who only had three touches on the ball before releasing it. The resulting ball towards Mo Salah contained some fortune as Saints defender Wesley Hoedt went to clear and missed the ball completely which allowed the Egyptian to receive the ball.
A further three touches later and, without even looking up, Salah played a perfect sideways pass to the oncoming Roberto Firmino who calmly slotted the ball first time into the bottom corner. 7 touches. 1-0 Liverpool.
It was exactly the nerve settler that this team seems to need sometimes. There were some wobbles in the aftermath of the goal as Southampton started to get into the game and a good save from Karius was all that kept the game at 1-0. However the game was essentially over (lol) in the 42nd minute when a brilliant flick from Firmino put Salah clean through and he delivered as expected by putting the ball past helpless Saints keeper Alex McCarthy. 2-0 and a comfortable lead.
Usually at 2-0 we would sit back, bring Ragnar Klavan on and invite pressure onto ourselves. We kept the opposition pegged back here however as I don’t really remember them having a chance for the rest of the match. In fact if anything the win should have been by an even greater margin as Salah and Mane both had multiple chances to really kill Southampton off.
The fact that my heartrate barely climbed at all throughout the game was enough to show how comfortable this victory really was. If we have more games like this in our future then I am all in. My heart can’t take many games like the Spurs draw last weekend. On to the first leg of the Champions League last 16 against FC Porto on Wednesday for some top Gazprom football. Onwards Redmen!