Southampton pulled off a stunning comeback against Liverpool, going from 2-0 down at half time to winning the match 3-2. The loss further added to Liverpool’s woes as they now find themselves in ninth place, with hopes of European football for next season rapidly fading.
A brace from the Saints’ Senegalese winger Sadio Mane and a goal from Italian target-man Graziano Pelle helped them pull off a fairytale comeback against Liverpool. The Reds dominated early at St.Mary’s, with Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge giving them a 2-0 lead. However, Klopp’s players could not stick it out till the end, conceding three goals and three points to Southampton in the second half.
Manager Jurgen Klopp hailed Southampton’s efforts after the game, saying that they were deserved winners, but maintained that the Reds’ fight for a Champions League place was still on.
‘”It was clear when they scored their first goal that something big would happen in this game,” said Klopp after the match, according to the Independent. “We could have played better. It is like it is. Second half Southampton deserved the three points.
“There are nine games left, still 27 points to get. “If we can get all of them there is a chance.”
European hopes fading
The victory took Southampton to 47 points and seventh place, and the Saints now lie three points behind Manchester United. Ronald Koeman’s men are competing for the Europa League spots with Manchester United, West Ham United and Stoke City, with the Potters in eight position on 46 points. Liverpool are just behind them on forty-four points, with a game in hand.
The Reds need to get their campaign back in order if they are to make a serious push for European football. While Klopp does maintain that Champions League football is a possibility, their indifferent league form and the level of competition for the fourth position in the Premier League means that Liverpool face an uphill battle.
On the other hand, the Merseyside club still have a path of entry to Europe’s elite competition. They face Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. If they can overcome this hurdle, then they could go all the way and win the Europa League, hence earning themselves a spot in the Champions League for next season.