Liverpool beat Southampton, keep UEFA Champions League hopes alive

Sadio Mane scored on the half hour mark to open the scoring. Thiago Alcantara scored his first goal for Liverpool in the dying minutes to seal the three points for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring as Liverpool beat Southampton 2-0 at Anfield on Saturday; Credit: Twitter/@LFC

Liverpool beat Southampton at home on Saturday to cling on to their Champions League qualification hopes. Sadio Mane scored on the half hour mark to open the scoring. Thiago Alcantara scored his first goal for Liverpool in the dying minutes to seal the three points for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The win left Liverpool trailing fourth-placed Leicester who lost to Newcastle on Friday by just six points. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker had an excellent game to deny the Southampton attackers on a number of occasions and keep a clean sheet.

Surprisingly, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah combined for the first time this season to open the scoring. Salah’s left footed in-swinging cross from the right side of penalty area found Mane in front of goal. The Senegal international rose over the defender to head home from close range and give the lead to the home side.

Thiago Alcantara, who joined Liverpool from Bayern Munich sealed the match for Liverpool. The Brazilian midfielder’s low right-footed shot from 20 yards went past the left hand of Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Liverpool seize the initiative

Early in the match, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long ball picked up Mane on the edge of the penalty area. Mane beat one defender and his shot from inside the area blazed over the crossbar. Forster denied Salah with his leg at the near post. Forster again came to Southampton’s rescue as Diego Jota went past three defenders only to be denied by Forster’s strong arm. Wijnaldum’s header hit the crossbar from the subsequent corner.

Alisson made some crucial saves to keep the clean sheet. Theo Walcott released Nathan Tella down the right flank. His low cross to the penalty area found Che Adams, whose attempted chip hit Alisson’s chest.

It was Southampton’s third loss in their last four league games. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side is in 16th spot with 37 points from 34 games. The team is 10 points away from the relegation zone with four games remaining.

After the victory, Liverpool is placed 6th in the points table with 57 points from 34 games. They are one point behind fifth-placed West Ham United. The 2019 Champions League winners will be looking to win all their remaining four fixtures. They would be hoping West Ham and Leicester falter.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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