Liverpool beat Southampton 0-2 to grab all the three points and close the gap on the top 4 spots. The Reds are only two points off fourth placed Manchester United, and three off third placed Arsenal. Courtesy Spurs’ draw against West Ham, Brendan Rodgers’ side surpassed their top 4 rivals and now sits in sixth place with 45 points.
It was a high octane game with plenty happening from the minute the game got on as Southampton had two penalty appeals turned down in the opening minutes- one extremely soft, but one which looked stonewall. But it was Philippe Coutinho’s quality that separated the two teams in the first half as he struck the ball at the back of the net early in the third minute of the game through a goal which definitely looks like a contender for the goal of the season. Liverpool went into the first half with the one goal lead but it looked a very open game then as Southampton were clearly dominating at the time. However, the Reds were much more dominant in the second half and controlled the ball well. Raheem Sterling’s strike towards the end settled the match as the hosts clearly looked out of ideas by then despite bringing on Mane, Schneiderlin and Tadic.
Captain Jordan Henderson, said after the game, “It’s a big win. We knew coming here would be difficult as they are a good side and we had to be at our best. From the defence right through the team we were excellent. The perfect performance really. Philippe Coutinho’s goal was outstanding but he does that a lot in training. He is outstanding, he got his goal and to give us big lift from the start. It’s a good weekend for us, but most important is that we win and keep winning and concentrate on what we need to do.”
Brendan Rodgers was typically happy with his side’s performance.
“It was a game we wanted a positive result from. Through winning it we would go three points behind third place, it would be a huge result and it was”, he said
“We controlled the game as it went on. Our passing could have been better but the conditions were bad. To come here after a European game and get a win, it’s a great result from the players.
The Northern Irishman didn’t believe Southampton deserved a penalty though. He added, “The player has gone over far too easy, no way that was a penalty. I thought referee Kevin Friend was excellent and I think all his decisions were right.”
“To come here and keep a clean sheet is a great effort.”