Liverpool moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a crucial 3-1 win away to Southampton earlier today. The result puts them two points ahead of defending champions Manchester City who do have a game in hand later this month against Manchester United.
Southampton started the better of the two teams and took the lead with a brilliant finish from Shane Long. The Saints mostly sat deep in the first half, but created plenty of problems for Liverpool on the counter and with occasional bursts of high pressing. Even with the quality of Liverpool’s fullbacks, Southampton got plenty of joy on both flanks with Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson both a bit off their top form.
Despite having plenty of possession in the Southampton half, Liverpool struggled to create much in the opening half apart from Naby Keita’s headed equalizer. In the second half, however, the visitors started to gain a foothold on proceedings and push Southampton back. The energy from the likes of Long and Holbert noticeably dipped after the restart and they had trouble getting out from deep in their half.
Liverpool had plenty of half chances during this spell of pressure at the start of the second half and probably should have had a penalty for Yoshida’s tackle on Naby Keita. Despite the patten of play very much taking place around Southampton’s box, the crucial goal from Liverpool ended up coming on the counter. Jordan Henderson played a terrific header into Mo Salah’s path who ran 50 yards with the ball before curling a shot into the far corner. The 2v1 situation on the counter there was not too dissimilar to the one Sissoko missed against Van Dijk last week, but the quality of Salah led to a different outcome here. Henderson then added a well worked third goal to wrap up the win.
With the job done here, Liverpool can now focus on their Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Porto next Tuesday at Anfield. The Portuguese side have been in great form recently, and the match will also challenge Liverpool’s ability to focus on both competitions after two huge league wins in the past five days. In the league, their closest rivals Manchester City are in FA Cup action tomorrow against Brighton. The Citizens don’t have a league match until they travel to London to face Crystal Palace on April 14th, so Liverpool will remain on top until then at least.