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Liverpool close on top four with win

Published on: 08 May 2021

Mane (left) looked back to something approaching his form of recent seasons with a sharp display against his former club

Liverpool boosted their hopes of Champions League qualification by beating Southampton to put pressure on fourth-placed Leicester City.

Newcastle United beat the Foxes 4-2 on Friday and Jurgen Klopp's men took full advantage by moving within six points of the top four with four games remaining - while Leicester have three.

Sadio Mane opened the scoring against his former club, heading home Mohamed Salah's cross moments after Alisson had made two saves in quick succession.

Alisson gifted Southampton a chance to equalise late in the game when he passed straight to Che Adams, but the Brazil goalkeeper made amends by saving the Scotland striker's shot.

Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara then scored his first Liverpool goal in stoppage time to hand Klopp his 100th win at Anfield in all competitions.

Southampton are still not safe from relegation but their Premier League status could be secured when West Bromwich Albion and Fulham play later this weekend.

A return to form at Anfield

After being imperious at home in the past three seasons, Liverpool's title defence faltered mainly as a result of losing six top-flight games at Anfield for the first time in 67 years.

But despite being on a run of just one win from their last 10 league games at home, they made a bright start against Southampton with Salah twice testing Fraser Forster early on and Diogo Jota firing straight at the former England goalkeeper.

Liverpool's stand-in captain Georginio Wijnaldum also headed against the top of the crossbar from a corner, while a Saints break resulted in Alisson having to make a point-blank save from Adams with Nathan Redmond firing straight at him from the rebound.

Just 40 seconds later, Mane rose above Kyle Walker-Peters to head home Salah's inswinging cross. Remarkably, it was the first time the forwards have combined for a goal in the Premier League this season.

Nathan Tella headed straight at Alisson just before the break, and after Adams spurned his opportunity late on, substitute Roberto Firmino fed Thiago to seal victory with a 20-yard strike into the bottom corner.

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    Follow live text commentary of Liverpool v Southampton in the Premier League

Player of the match

AlissonAlisson

with an average of 7.65

    LiverpoolLiverpoolLiverpoolSouthamptonSouthamptonSouthampton

LiverpoolAvgSquad number1Player nameAlissonAverage rating

7.65

Squad number10Player nameManéAverage rating

7.53

Squad number6Player nameThiago AlcántaraAverage rating

7.43

Squad number47Player namePhillipsAverage rating

7.41

Squad number3Player nameFabinhoAverage rating

7.24

Squad number26Player nameRobertsonAverage rating

7.23

Squad number66Player nameAlexander-ArnoldAverage rating

7.23

Squad number11Player nameMohamed SalahAverage rating

7.10

Squad number20Player nameDiogo JotaAverage rating

6.96

Squad number46Player nameR WilliamsAverage rating

6.82

Squad number5Player nameWijnaldumAverage rating

6.79

Squad number9Player nameRoberto FirminoAverage rating

6.77

Squad number15Player nameOxlade-ChamberlainAverage rating

6.28

Squad number17Player nameJonesAverage rating

6.07

SouthamptonAvgSquad number17Player nameArmstrongAverage rating

6.26

Squad number44Player nameForsterAverage rating

6.21

Squad number23Player nameTellaAverage rating

6.19

Squad number2Player nameWalker-PetersAverage rating

6.19

Squad number35Player nameBednarekAverage rating

6.17

Squad number5Player nameStephensAverage rating

6.09

Squad number4Player nameVestergaardAverage rating

6.06

Squad number11Player nameRedmondAverage rating

5.98

Squad number10Player nameAdamsAverage rating

5.81

Squad number32Player nameWalcottAverage rating

5.69

Squad number14Player nameObafemiAverage rating

5.60

Squad number27Player nameDialloAverage rating

5.33

Squad number12Player nameDjenepoAverage rating

5.14

Squad number8Player nameWard-ProwseAverage rating

4.00

    Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text

Line-upsLiverpool

Formation 4-3-3

1Alisson66Alexander-Arnold47Phillips46R Williams26Robertson6Thiago Alcántara3Fabinho5Wijnaldum11Salah20Jota10Mané

    1Alisson66Alexander-Arnold47Phillips46R Williams26Robertson6Thiago Alcántara3Fabinho5Wijnaldum11SalahSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 87'minutes20JotaSubstituted forFirminoat 79'minutes10ManéSubstituted forJonesat 90+3'minutes

Substitutes

    9Firmino13Adrián15Oxlade-Chamberlain17Jones21Tsimikas23Shaqiri58Woodburn76N Williams89Koumetio

Southampton

Formation 4-4-2

44Forster2Walker-Peters35Bednarek4Vestergaard5Stephens32Walcott8Ward-Prowse17Armstrong11Redmond10Adams23Tella

    44Forster2Walker-Peters35Bednarek4Vestergaard5Stephens32WalcottSubstituted forDialloat 66'minutes8Ward-Prowse17Armstrong11RedmondBooked at 61mins10AdamsSubstituted forDjenepoat 79'minutes23TellaSubstituted forObafemiat 66'minutes

Substitutes

    1McCarthy12Djenepo14Obafemi22Salisu27Diallo31Ramsay40N'Lundulu47Ferry64Jankewitz

Referee:Kevin FriendMatch StatsHome TeamLiverpoolAway TeamSouthamptonPossessionHome54%Away46%ShotsHome14Away12Shots on TargetHome6Away6CornersHome8Away4FoulsHome10Away6Live TextPost update

Match ends, Liverpool 2, Southampton 0.

90'+5'Full Time

Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Southampton 0.

90'+3'Post update

Offside, Liverpool. Alisson tries a through ball, but Curtis Jones is caught offside.

90'+3'Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Curtis Jones replaces Sadio Mané.

90'+3'Post update

Offside, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse tries a through ball, but Kyle Walker-Peters is caught offside.

90'goalGoal!

Goal! Liverpool 2, Southampton 0. Thiago (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.

89'Post update

Offside, Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.

88'Post update

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by James Ward-Prowse.

87'Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mohamed Salah.

81'Post update

Offside, Liverpool. Andrew Robertson tries a through ball, but Sadio Mané is caught offside.

80'Post update

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Stuart Armstrong.

79'Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino replaces Diogo Jota.

79'Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Moussa Djenepo replaces Che Adams.

78'Post update

Attempt missed. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.

78'Post update

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kyle Walker-Peters.

77'Post update

Attempt saved. Che Adams (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

71'Post update

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Alisson.

71'Post update

Attempt saved. Ibrahima Diallo (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Michael Obafemi with a headed pass.

69'Post update

Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

69'Post update

Attempt blocked. Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

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