Liverpool 2 - 0 Southampton
Liverpool: Mané 31’, Thiago 90+1’
Game number 34 of the league season, and Liverpool are set to play yet another brand new center-back pairing. This time it’s Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips tasked to keep the Southampton players out.
Liverpool are playing one of the only other teams in the league who rival them in terms of injury devastation to the team, but it’s Southampton who appear to come in on the right foot. It takes the Reds a good 18 minutes to work themselves into the game and actually start attacking. The first good chance comes from Mohamed Salah, who just can’t hit the ball at the right angle and gets the side netting instead. Two quick Liverpool corners in a row end with Phillips getting his head on a cross, but the shot is blocked by Forster.
Forster pulls off a great save to deny Diogo Jota after the Portuguese slides his way into space and gets a good shot off. Gini Wijnaldum then heads the ball right into the cross bar on a corner. Liverpool have worked themselves into dominance, and I want to say that one of these will find a way into the back of the net, but I’ve been burned before.
GOALL! 31’ Sadio Mané - From one end to the other, Che Adams gets straight through on goal, and forces a huge save from Alisson. Then it’s back the other way, Salah to Mané, who nods it home at close range. Your lovely scribe refused to celebrate until she’s absolutely sure it won’t get overturned by VAR.
The second half begins with Mané’s goal still the difference between the two teams. The chances on each side have dried up compared to the exciting but ineffective first half.
Williams has done well in this game, keeping the quick Nathan Tella at bay.
Alisson has had an excellent game, except for a moment of insanity in the 76th minute. The goalkeeper passes the ball straight to the feet of Adams, who somehow doesn’t convert the golden chance. Instead, Alisson recovers quickly enough to smother the attempt and save Liverpool’s lead.
GOAL! 90+1’ Thiago - Finally Liverpool ensure their three points after holding off Southampton’s late-game attack. Thiago gets the ball from Firmino, fends off a defender, finds space and puts another one away from just outside of the box.
Alisson kept Liverpool in the game, but that’s three good points and a clean sheet for the Reds. They’re now six points off of fourth place with four more games to go.