After spurning multiple chances in the previous two games, Liverpool gave up late goals to drop points to Leeds and Newcastle. Today’s match against Southampton seemed to be following a similar pattern, but this time Jurgen Klopp’s side managed to hold on, and even find a late goal themselves to see the win. The win keeps Liverpool FC’s slight hopes of finishing in the top four alive — at least for a few more days.
“It was a big one for us obviously tonight, we really needed that,” said Klopp. “It was a tough one as well...[t]hey obviously have a very intense style and they ask for everything. We did a really good job and I’m happy about that, we scored the goals. Obviously being 1-0 up is, in the moment for us, not the result where we all feel halfway through – which is good because we should not but we had obviously now twice in a row a similar situation. So, scoring that second goal was obviously a big relief. What that means for our top-four hopes? That they’re still alive. That’s all, nothing else. It’s nothing to do with confidence or whatever. Our situation changed slightly but only for us, for the other teams not too much because they are still in a better position and we know that. The only thing we can do is [keep] winning our games but that’s really tough because we play Manchester United on Thursday and that’s historically not easy – but we will give it a try.”
Klopp, ever quick to point out the positives of his players, made sure to highlight the efforts of two of his players. Thiago finally broke his duck for Liverpool, scoring the insurance goal in the 91st minute.
“[Thiago] played really well”, said Klopp of his big summer signing. “Not the first time obviously, but he played really well. He looked really good in pretty much all departments, helped us a lot with his passing game, played top passes, to be honest, was defensively in there. So that’s all really good and really important. But we all had to work hard. So he had a lot of good situations but the most important was when he finished, when he scored that goal. I’m really pleased for him.”
Alisson Becker came up with some absolutely massive saves, including some brave 1v1 goalkeeping. He was extremely quick off of his line to snuff out danger with a less than fleet of foot center back pairing in front of him. Most impressively, Alisson managed to keep his focus despite his wife being ready to give birth to their third child at any time now.
“Great game, with a little two exciting things when he passed the ball to Che Adams,” said Klopp of his keeper. “But apart from that, a great game. Obviously we are all together waiting for the next Becker baby. It’s like, ‘OK, still not, no, still not.’ Obviously the future father of three did a really good job. We knew that before obviously that he’s a good one and tonight he showed that again.”
Liverpool now have four more cup finals ahead of them, and will have to hope for some help from Leicester City and West Ham in particular.