Having made Anfield something of a fortress, Liverpool headed to face Southampton at St. Mary's over the weekend in a match that on paper looked their toughest away fixture before the end of the season. At home, Liverpool have taken 37 of 42 points. On the road, it's a respectable but rather less impressive 22 points and the league's fifth best away record.
To keep the title dream alive, Liverpool needed a statement win—one that said that over the final ten games they might just be able to deliver on the road as they have at home. Three goals and a clean sheet was that statement, and Simon Mignolet credited the traveling support for making it feel like a little bit of Anfield had been relocated to England's south coast.
"They have been behind us since the first game of the season," said Mignolet following the match. "If you play away and you get that support behind you, it makes it easier to win games. Hopefully they can keep it up. Home or away, the atmosphere inside the stadium is always very good and can only help us achieve great things."
The difference made by the traveling Kop was most obvious following Liverpool's second goal of the afternoon. The hosts had until then looked to deserve something from the match, and Southampton have been one of the league's more tenacious sides at home this season. On this occasion, though, a second goal before the 60th minute saw them conceding defeat.
If the supporters deserved credit for taking the heart out of Southampton with plenty of time left on the clock, Mignolet deserves it for preserving Liverpool's early 1-0 lead in a match that wasn't all smooth sailing despite the final margin. Of particular note was a superb stop on Southampton's Jay Rodriguez that meant Liverpool took their early lead into halftime.
"As a goalkeeper, sometimes you have to be there to help the team out when needed," said Mignolet. "Luckily today, with that save I managed to get a hand to it and didn't concede. I'm very pleased with that. After that, we didn't give much away and on the counter-attack we scored three goals. We're all very pleased."
With next weekend's Sunderland match postponed, Liverpool's players now have some time off following Wednesday's round of international friendlies, with a chance to make another road statement against struggling Manchester United on the following Sunday.