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.
- Follow live text commentary of Liverpool v Southampton in the Premier League
Player of the match
with an average of 7.65
LiverpoolAvgSquad number1Player nameAlissonAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameManéAverage rating
Squad number6Player nameThiago AlcántaraAverage rating
Squad number47Player namePhillipsAverage rating
Squad number3Player nameFabinhoAverage rating
Squad number26Player nameRobertsonAverage rating
Squad number66Player nameAlexander-ArnoldAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameMohamed SalahAverage rating
Squad number20Player nameDiogo JotaAverage rating
Squad number46Player nameR WilliamsAverage rating
Squad number5Player nameWijnaldumAverage rating
Squad number9Player nameRoberto FirminoAverage rating
Squad number15Player nameOxlade-ChamberlainAverage rating
Squad number17Player nameJonesAverage rating
SouthamptonAvgSquad number17Player nameArmstrongAverage rating
Squad number44Player nameForsterAverage rating
Squad number23Player nameTellaAverage rating
Squad number2Player nameWalker-PetersAverage rating
Squad number35Player nameBednarekAverage rating
Squad number5Player nameStephensAverage rating
Squad number4Player nameVestergaardAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameRedmondAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameAdamsAverage rating
Squad number32Player nameWalcottAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameObafemiAverage rating
Squad number27Player nameDialloAverage rating
Squad number12Player nameDjenepoAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameWard-ProwseAverage rating
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
1Alisson66Alexander-Arnold47Phillips46R Williams26Robertson6Thiago Alcántara3Fabinho5Wijnaldum11Salah20Jota10Mané
- 1Alisson66Alexander-Arnold47Phillips46R Williams26Robertson6Thiago Alcántara3Fabinho5Wijnaldum11SalahSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 87'minutes20JotaSubstituted forFirminoat 79'minutes10ManéSubstituted forJonesat 90+3'minutes
- 9Firmino13Adrián15Oxlade-Chamberlain17Jones21Tsimikas23Shaqiri58Woodburn76N Williams89Koumetio
- 44Forster2Walker-Peters35Bednarek4Vestergaard5Stephens32WalcottSubstituted forDialloat 66'minutes8Ward-Prowse17Armstrong11RedmondBooked at 61mins10AdamsSubstituted forDjenepoat 79'minutes23TellaSubstituted forObafemiat 66'minutes
Referee:Kevin FriendMatch StatsHome TeamLiverpoolAway TeamSouthamptonPossessionHome54%Away46%ShotsHome14Away12Shots on TargetHome6Away6CornersHome8Away4FoulsHome10Away6Live TextPost update
Match ends, Liverpool 2, Southampton 0.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Southampton 0.
Offside, Liverpool. Alisson tries a through ball, but Curtis Jones is caught offside.
Substitution, Liverpool. Curtis Jones replaces Sadio Mané.
Offside, Southampton. James Ward-Prowse tries a through ball, but Kyle Walker-Peters is caught offside.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Southampton 0. Thiago (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Roberto Firmino.
Offside, Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tries a through ball, but Roberto Firmino is caught offside.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by James Ward-Prowse.
Substitution, Liverpool. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Mohamed Salah.
Offside, Liverpool. Andrew Robertson tries a through ball, but Sadio Mané is caught offside.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Stuart Armstrong.
Substitution, Liverpool. Roberto Firmino replaces Diogo Jota.
Substitution, Southampton. Moussa Djenepo replaces Che Adams.
Attempt missed. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mohamed Salah.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Kyle Walker-Peters.
Attempt saved. Che Adams (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Alisson.
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.
Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Attempt blocked. Kyle Walker-Peters (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.
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