Liverpool cruised to a 3-0 win over Southampton with Mo Salah once again the star of the show with two first half goals.
Salah’s goals were both exceptional, and Phil Coutinho led the supporting cast with a stunning assist and a goal for himself. A comfortable, emphatic win keeps the Reds momentum going after the international break.
Key Talking Points
Record-breaking Salah downs Saints
Liverpool’s overall attacking performance in the first half was again somewhat lacklustre but they still produced two goals of sheer quality, courtesy of Salah.
Whilst his second goal was assisted from a sensational pass around the corner from Coutinho, the first goal was all Salah, and an absolute rocket it was.
With 9 goals in 12 league games – a record for a Liverpool player’s first 12 league games – and 14 goals in all competitions, Salah is the Premier League’s top scorer, Liverpool’s top scorer since 13-14, and clearly the signing of the summer.
Defence holds firm to maintain home record
Liverpool kept their fifth clean sheet in six home league games and even without Joël Matip and Joe Gomez, they never looked like conceding.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was the pick of Liverpool’s defenders as most of Southampton’s minimal threat came from their left, but Klavan and Lovren were solid throughout and Mignolet didn’t have a save to make.
READ MORE: Liverpool 3-0 Southampton: Match Analysis
Timely return from injury for Coutinho and Mané
Whilst Adam Lallana wasn’t fit to make the bench, Coutinho and Mané were both starting and both played excellently.
With Adam Lallana set to return sooner rather than later and Matip’s injury seen to be minor, Liverpool are getting back to full fitness and are in exceptional form as they head into the busiest period of the season. Klopp was even able to bring off his three talismans before the 80 minute mark.
Simon Mignolet – 6/10: Didn’t have a save to make. Several pieces of sharp defending and good touches on the ball. One small error when he was hesitant coming for a cross but he did enough to prevent it leading to anything.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8/10: Outstanding defensively. Made four tackles, five clearances, and shut down Southampton’s main threat in Ryan Bertrand. Looked decent coming forward without it ever fully clicking for him.
Dejan Lovren – 6/10: One stupid tackle got him booked but otherwise a faultless performance without ever really being tested at all. One decent block in the box.
Ragnar Klavan – 6/10: Like Lovren had a very quiet game but made no errors in doing so. Hard to judge exactly how well he played as Long was absolutely listless.
Alberto Moreno – 6/10: Good on the ball, but not overly creative or incisive in the final third either and didn’t have as much defending to do as Trent. Wasted one good opening. Otherwise decent, didn’t do anything wrong either.
Jordan Henderson – 7/10: Good performance again from the captain shielding the back four effectively. Kept Liverpool ticking as he always does, controlling the midfield and keeping Saints out of the game.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7/10: Much more like it from Gini today. Three key passes, 96% pass accuracy, clearly more involved in the game and had a good positive impact on the ball. What we want to see from him.
Phillipe Coutinho – 8/10: Once again Phil underlined his importance to this side with a wonderful pass to free Salah for the second goal and a clinical finish when given the opportunity to score himself. Consistently involved in Liverpool’s good play.
Mo Salah – 10/10: Running out of superlatives. Outrageously good strike for his first goal, followed by a perfect run and finish for his second. Won the game for his side but also creative, fast and dangerous.
Roberto Firmino – 7/10: Whilst some will focus on the handful of half-chances Firmino was unable to convert, his pressing was amongst the reasons Liverpool won the game, as he pinched the ball back to set up the first goal.
Sadio Mané – 8/10: Joint most key passes, second most dribbles, heavily influential. Mané was unfortunate not to have more impact on the scoreline but he was excellent in terms of general play and build up.
Emre Can – 6/10: Unable to make much of an impact after coming on but played well enough in the middle of the park.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6/10: One decent crossing opportunity that didn’t go anywhere, but Ox looked decent on the counter late on.
James Milner – 6/10: Brought on to shut down the game late on but had very little touches in the last ten minutes.
Man of the Match: Mo Salah