Saints fall to Liverpool defeat

By SFC Media Sat 18 Nov Liverpool v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Cédric
Sat 18 Nov 3PM
Premier League
Liverpool
3
Southampton
0
Salah [31' 41'] Coutinho [68']
Lovren (43')
Romeu (61')
Referee: Mike Jones | Venue: Anfield | Attendance: 53,256

Mo Salah’s first-half double left Saints unable to replicate recent history on their third visit to Anfield of 2017.

After keeping clean sheets in all four meetings between the sides last season, a repeat was out of the question once Salah curled in a well-taken opener after 31 minutes.

The in-form Egyptian added his second goal four minutes before the interval from a brilliant Philippe Coutinho pass.

Coutinho then added his name to the scoresheet midway through the second half to round off a comfortable victory for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Mauricio Pellegrino made two changes to his starting line-up as Saints returned to action following the international break.

Wesley Hoedt replaced Maya Yoshida at the heart of the defence, while Shane Long was recalled up front at the expense of Manolo Gabbiadini.

There was a minor early scare for Pellegrino, on his return to Anfield where he had spells as a player and coach, as Dušan Tadić took a painful dead leg in the opening minute, but there would be no lasting damage for the Serbian.

Liverpool did enjoy a brief early flurry, but Saints generally looked comfortable coping with the home side’s obvious attacking threat.

Trent Alexander-Arnold embarked on a determined burst into the box, which left Fraser Forster having to make an uncomfortable juggling save before Salah’s low shot deflected wide on the follow-up.

Then ex-Saint Sadio Mané showed his pace to fly down the left and cross for Salah, who this time tried connecting on the volley but could only steer the chance well wide.

Nathan Redmond bursts between two challenges

Saints would continue to frustrate Liverpool, who would be restricted to ambitious shots from distance for the most part, with Georginio Wijnaldum denied by Forster and Coutinho twice off target.

But it was through another long-range strike that Salah made the breakthrough after 31 minutes.

In truth Saints had only themselves to blame, as Dušan Tadić was caught in possession on the edge of his own penalty area when Liverpool still had numbers forward from a corner.

With Tadić having failed to clear his lines, Salah punished the visitors with a perfectly placed curling shot from 20 yards that left Forster no chance.

Pellegrino’s men seemed to compose themselves following the setback, threatening an equaliser when Cédric’s swirling cross left Simon Mignolet flapping, but would be left with a mountain to climb by the interval.

If the opener was partially self-inflicted, the second was created by a moment of individual brilliance from Coutinho, whose piercing through ball dissected the Saints defence, allowing Salah to race through and double his tally.

There was one nearly moment of a disappointing first half for Saints, as Ryan Bertrand lined up a 30-yard free kick that had sufficient power and dip to beat Mignolet, but just curled fractionally beyond the keeper’s left-hand post.

Ryan Bertrand came closest for Saints from a well-struck free kick

Pellegrino played his first card ten minutes into the second period, introducing supplementary firepower in the form of Charlie Austin in place of Tadić.

But Liverpool remained the team in the ascendancy and Coutinho went close when he tiptoed his way into a shooting position on the edge of the box before firing inches wide.

Saints did not heed the warning, as the Brazilian finally got his goal midway through the second period.

Mané was the architect, as his clever reverse pass released Roberto Firmino, whose driven shot was beaten out by Forster but only into the path of Coutinho to steer in the rebound from 15 yards.

Pellegrino would introduce James Ward-Prowse and Manolo Gabbiadini in a bid to establish a foothold in the game, but Austin headed over from Ward-Prowse’s first involvement – a typically inviting free kick – and Saints were beaten.

Liverpool

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    61
    39
  • Shots
    21
    5
  • Shots on target
    8
    0
  • Corners
    10
    2
  • Passes Complete
    472
    261

Liverpool

22
Simon Mignolet (GK)
18
Alberto Moreno
66
Trent Alexander-Arnold
17
Ragnar Klavan
6
Dejan Lovren
10
Philippe Coutinho
Emre Can (69′)
5
Georginio Wijnaldum
14
Jordan Henderson (C)
9
Roberto Firmino
19
Sadio Mané
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (74′)
11
Mohamed Salah
James Milner (80′)
21
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
1
Loris Karius
23
Emre Can
29
Dominic Solanke
7
James Milner
12
Joseph Gomez
15
Daniel Sturridge

Southampton

44
Fraser Forster (GK)
2
Cédric Soares
17
Virgil van Dijk
6
Wesley Hoedt
21
Ryan Bertrand
11
Dusan Tadic
Charlie Austin (55′)
14
Oriol Romeu
22
Nathan Redmond
19
Sofiane Boufal
James Ward-Prowse (69′)
8
Steven Davis (C)
7
Shane Long
Manolo Gabbiadini (79′)
13
Alex McCarthy
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
10
Charlie Austin
3
Maya Yoshida
16
James Ward-Prowse
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
33
Matt Targett
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