In recent years Liverpool have not "won ugly" nearly enough. It's never fun to win ugly, of course, but as many a Manchester United side could tell you, scraping all three points from a mediocre performance is the stuff league titles are made of. Liverpool certainly didn't win ugly very often last season despite their title run, but although they're not in the conversation for top honours this season, they're demonstrating that they too can get the job done in a less than stylish way.
"You have to win dirty at times and we did that today," Raheem Sterling said after the Southampton match in which he scored the second of two goals. "That was the most important thing. It's always good to get on the scoresheet and it was especially pleasing that it was the goal that killed the game off.
"We knew we were top four material from the start of the season. Obviously, it didn't go as planned at the start but now we're showing what we can do. Credit to the boys, we just keep to need keep performing and keep fighting and then we'll definitely get to where we want to be. All the boys are really up for it. Everyone is fighting hard for the team and defending with their lives."
Impeccable Brendan Rodgers imitation aside, the question on most people's minds is the status of Sterling's next contract. The player has been rumoured to be in negotiations with the club for quite some time now, with every passing day making a bit of a mockery of the idea that it would be done "imminently" upon his return from Jamaica. That hasn't yet happened, but Sterling isn't concerned.
"We're working on it and hopefully it will be sorted soon," the young forward clarified as succinctly as possible.
Well then. The power of John Barnes — or perhaps the natural progression of time required to negotiate an important contract — strikes again. Keep calm, fellow Reds, there is no need to be upset.