Liverpool, although enjoyed a perfect start maintaining an all-win streak, they were yet to hit the second gear and the Anfield tie against Southampton offered them the opportunity to uplift their show before two back-to-back ties against Chelsea next week. The game, however, resulted in an effortless win for the Reds the way they were expecting as it ended 3-0 following a dominated display.
Mark Hughes, the Saints boss, lined up a defensive starting XI to salvage something from the game but suffered early shambles when Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross took a wild deflection and ricocheted off Wesley Hoedt to end up in own net. The Reds doubled the lead around 21st-minute mark when Joel Matip’s thumping header from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner left Alex McCarthy with not much choice in Southampton goal. The visitors tried to form some threats through crosses but the defensive line of the Reds was spot on, particularly ex-Saints centre-back Virgil van Dijk who was well-positioned throughout and made crucial blocks, clearances and interceptions. Mohamed Salah, thriving for a goal, won a free-kick outside the box in the added minutes of the first-half and an outrageous strike of Shaqiri came off the crossbar only to be put into the back of the net by the pacy Egyptian.
The first half ended 3-0 in favor of the Reds amid hopes of even more after the break. But Liverpool opted to keep possession and did not try too hard to extend the margin. Mohamed Salah scored one which, however, was rightly ruled out for offside. Substitute Charlie Austin hit Southampton’s only effort on target in the stoppage time but was easily dealt by Alisson in Reds goal.
The game, therefore, ended 3-0 in favor of Liverpool who reclaim their top of the table spot for the time being.
Liverpool vs Southampton Lineups:
Liverpool: Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk (Joe Gomez 55′), Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum (Naby Keita 70′), Xherdan Shaqiri (James Milner 46′), Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino.
Southampton: Alex McCarthy, Jannik Vestergaard, Wesley Hoedt, Ryan Bertrand, Cedric Soares, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oriol Romeu (Jan Bednarek 55′), Mario Lemina, Matt Targett (Stuart Armstrong 55′), Nathan Redmond, Shane Long (Charlie Austin 79′).
Liverpool vs Southampton Highlights:
Liverpool vs Southampton Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||12(4)||7(1)|