Liverpool have thrashed Southampton at their own ground with an emphatic margin of 2-0. While Southampton will now focus on their FA Cup clash with West Brom on Saturday, Liverpool’s attention will switch to the Champions League tie with Porto coming up in midweek. It will also mean that Southampton stay rooted in the relegation zone, while Liverpool are up into third place, two points behind Manchester United.
Now just take a glance how two teams are shaped up before the big occasion :
McCarthy; Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand; Romeu, Lemina; Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg, Tadic; Carrillo.
Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.
Here are the talking points of the match :
1. Liverpool Took The Lead Within Six Minutes Of The Match :
The Reds, donning a luminous orange strip today were allowed to break at pace down the right. Hoedt got across to intercept Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pass, but made a mess of it, allowing Salah to nip in and tee up Firmino, who made no mistake with a composed first-time finish. It was torrid defending from Hoedt, who completely swiped at his clearance. Salah was in the right place, however, and had the wits to pick out Firmino with a clever pass.
2. Mohamed Salah Doubled The Lead In The First Half :
It was simply brilliant from Liverpool, as Firmino and Sarah combined once more to carve open Southampton’s defence. The Egypt forward slipped a neat pass into Liverpool’s number nine, who returned the favour with a sublime flick, and Salah duly rounded the move off in style. Southampton’s defence gave Salah too much time on the edge of the area, and his ball into Firmino enabled the Brazilian to back-heel it into Salah’s path. It was Firmino’s 11th assist of the campaign.
3. The Combination Of Salah And Firmino Working Well For Liverpool :
Salah had now been directly involved in 29 Premier League goals this season – 22 goals, 7 assists. It was the most by a Liverpool player in their debut season for the club in the competition. In between the goals early on and late in that first half, it had to be said that Southampton were on top, with Karius having to be alert to maintain the Reds’ lead.
A clinical display from Liverpool so far, who despite not being at their sharpest, had cut through Southampton with ease when they had stepped it up – Firmino and Salah doing the damage.
4. Southampton Lacked Quality Upfront In The Field :
The manager of Southampton thought that Long would add pace and tenacity to Southampton’s attack. So there was another change now for Southampton, as Shane Long replaced James Ward-Prowse. The hosts needed to create something soon if they were to haul themselves back into this. But so far today, the Saints midfield had lacked the incision or guile to open up Liverpool’s defence. The best chances for the hosts in the first half came from crosses into the box, and Pellegrino should have instructed his side to get down the flanks whenever possible.