Liverpool took all three points with an emphatic 3-1 win over Southampton in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Roberto Firmino got the hosts off to a perfect start as he headed home past Gavin Bazuno in the sixth minute, but Che Adams’ reply saw the Saints score quickly in similar fashion.
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Parity was restored just 12 minutes later as Darwin Nunez combined with Harvey Elliott to finish well after a well-timed run towards the back post in the 21st minute, and the Uruguay star made it two goals before the break when he collected the end of a cross from Andy Robertson.
Alisson remained alert throughout the game and was needed in the second half as the visitors closed in with efforts from Mohamed El Eounoussi and Adams, helping the Reds hold on to much-needed momentum as the World Cup break now begins.
Liverpool produced the performance they needed in the last game before half-time of the World Cup, and that should leave Jurgen Klopp’s side with a level of confidence going into the second half of the season – with the team continuing to find support from the returns of Diogo Jota and Luis Dias.
A goal conceded from a set-piece will be something Liverpool will look to work on during their mid-season break, and they’ve also been caught defensively on two occasions by fine play from Southampton – with Alisson needed in the second half.
Manager rating (out of 10)
Pip Linders, 8 – It was up to the Liverpool assistant coach to take the lead as Jurgen Klopp served up a one-match suspension and Pep Leanders’ side produced one of their best performances of the season in the first half. A possible glimpse into the future of the post-Klopp era.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players submitted after 70 minutes do not get a rating)
JK Allison, 8 – Alisson had to be on his toes with not many chances left for Liverpool, and produced two powerful saves in quick succession just after the hour mark to maintain a two-goal lead. Another powerful try prevented Chee Adams from securing his brace.
DF Andy Robertson, 8 – Two assists on the day for Andy Robertson, who has returned to his best in an attacking left-back role. Liverpool were able to create a lot as the 28-year-old grabbed promising spots.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 6 years old The Netherlands international couldn’t react quickly enough as Che Adams found room to head in the equaliser, despite Van Dijk ensuring the rest of the match.
DF Joe Gomez, 6 – A comforting performance from Joe Gomez, who returned to the starting line-up after the absence of Ibrahima Konate, picked up where he left off with a solid defensive display as he made himself the dueling favourite.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 – Alexander-Arnold impressed on both ends of the field on the day, and showed a measure of patience in his decision making that made him effective in his role. A fine pass by Darwin Nunez was unlucky as it did not result in an assist.
MF Fabinho, 7 – The 29-year-old cut play when called on and quickly moved the ball to Liverpool’s more advanced players.
MF Tiago, 7 – Thiago didn’t look to get a wrong pass as he ran the play from midfield, and was able to switch it up quickly to help develop attacks while showing composure under pressure.
MF Harvey Elliott, 8 years old A superb pass from Harvey Elliott helped lift Liverpool back into the lead through Darwin Nunez, in a performance that will make it difficult for him to fall out of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield after the World Cup break.
Forward Darwin Nunez, 9 – Southampton didn’t seem to have an answer for Darwin Nunez that day, who impressed with his all-around game as he drifted in from the left. The Uruguay international scored twice in what seemed to be his most comfortable Premier League game since his summer arrival.
FW Roberto Firmino – 8 – Firmino’s accurate header cleared Liverpool and powered them up in an all-around performance that saw them able to link up play admirably in the attacking zones. He was regularly dropped into space and was capable of slamming passes into wide channels.
FW Mohamed Salah, 7 – It’s a pity he didn’t get on the scoresheet as Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazuno outplayed him in the first half, but the forward still featured in many of Liverpool’s best pieces of play with sharp movement in the attacking third.
James Milner, 6 – Milner’s 600th Premier League appearance.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, N/R – He was introduced to Firmino in the last 15 minutes.
Kostas Tsimikas, N/R – He provided a new left-back option for Andy Robertson who worked hard throughout the match.
Fabio Carvalho, N/R. – Bright on the left in his short veil before the end of the match.
Nat Phillips, N/R – It was introduced in the dying minutes as Pep Leanders posted a defense five to see the game through.