Talking Points: Liverpool 3, Southampton 0

Liverpool continued their winning run with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Southampton at Anfield. Another two goals from Mo Salah as well as a second- half strike from Philippe Coutinho sealed the win.

Lovren and Klavan solid amidst pre-match fears, while Van Dijk auditions superbly…

The news leaked last night that Joel Matip would miss Saturday’s game through injury – cue frustration at the fact that Liverpool never seem to have a fully fit squad, and fear at the prospect of a Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan partnership. These fears proved unnecessary though as the pair completely nullified an uninspiring Saints attack, producing very few moments of worry and another clean sheet at Anfield this season. Albeit there wasn’t a whole lot of defending required by Lovren and Klavan, but when called upon they did their jobs. At the other end of the pitch all eyes were on Virgil Van Dijk and how he would perform against the team he so desperately wanted – and seemingly still wants to join. Despite his team conceding three goals, it is certainly evident why Jürgen Klopp is so keen on the Dutchman. Van Dijk is quick, a leader and a very good defender, showcasing all of this at Anfield. We will have to wait until January to see if Van Dijk is playing on Merseyside more frequently.

Reds finally producing ruthless and tactically efficient displays…

It almost doesn’t feel right to see Liverpool not claiming heart attack-inducing wins, and instead killing games off at half time and then seeing them out in a professional manner. But in the last few weeks it has been all the Reds have been doing. Even if the first 20 minutes or so, if chances are hard to come by and things aren’t quite clicking, then by hook or by crook or by individual magic, Klopp’s side will eventually find the breakthrough. It was certainly magic when Salah curled a wonderful effort past Fraser Forster, and it set both players and fans at ease and allowed the home side to settle. Even as games progress, Klopp is now making sensible substitutions that let his side maintain a threat going forwards before shutting up shop. Sadio Mane, Salah and Coutinho were all taken off before full time to save their legs for Sevilla – another obvious but sensible tactical decision to make.

Salah proves Liverpool have finally found their 25-goal-a-season…winger…

The Egyptian does it again. Salah is quickly becoming the hottest property in the Premier League and a man that will force defenders to think long and hard as to how to stop him. Salah’s aforementioned first goal was simply brilliant, and his second gave Coutinho’s sublime outside of the foot pass the finish it deserved. Much discussion has been had over recent years as to whether Liverpool are still lacking a lethal striker who can notch up the magical figure of 25 goals in a season. Well what if this doesn’t have to be a striker, but rather a wide forward with some of the most intelligent positional awareness fans will have ever seen. The scenario of Roberto Firmino scoring a reasonable amount of goals but more importantly continuing to allow the likes of Mane and Salah to thrive sounds pretty good to me.

Bench highlights now serious competition for places ahead of important week…

There is no better time than to have a close to a fully fit squad as possible than when you are heading into the hectic festive schedule, and it very much seems like this is thankfully the case for Klopp and Liverpool. Apart from centre-back, the Reds look well equipped in all areas of their squad. Andy Robertson can’t even get a game despite impressing whenever he has played, and someone such as James Milner won’t even get on the bench once Adam Lallana gets back to full fitness – and the likes of Dom Solanke and Marko Grujic will be even further away. This is not down to their ability, just the vast array of options now at Klopp’s disposal. And he will undoubtedly need as many talented players as he can get ahead of two huge games in the next seven days. Sevilla away on Tuesday in the Champions League before entertaining Chelsea at Anfield next Saturday. Two vital matches in which Liverpool will now go into with plenty of confidence, and a now plentiful squad.

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