By Matt Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez
Liverpool continued their 100% start to the season with a convincing 3-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League. Xherdan Shaqiri and Joel Matip got their first starts of the season, rewarding Klopp by assisting and scoring respectively at Anfield.
Mo Salah got back to his scoring ways by tapping home the rebound from Shaqiri’s free kick, which smashed against the crossbar in the dying moments of the first half.
The second half was a drab affair as the Reds were content with settling for the 3-0 and with one eye on the Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea on Wednesday, while Southampton were in damage-limitation mode.
The victory means it’s six from six now in the Premier League – couple with the last-gasp win over PSG last week, it’s still a perfect start to the season from a Liverpool side that promise to much for 2018/19.
The Reds started well, controlling the ball and taking the lead within the opening 10 minutes. A fine pass from Sadio Mané found Shaqiri who danced through a challenge before unleashing a right footed shot from the edge of the Southampton box. A deflection first off of Shane Long and then off Wesley Hoedt saw the ball trickle into the back of the net to give Klopp’s men the lead.
10 minutes later and the lead was doubled. A spurned opportunity by Mohammed Salah saw Liverpool awarded a corner which was expertly worked. A pin point ball in by Trent Alexander-Arnold found an unmarked Matip who nodded the ball past the flailing Alex McCarthy to give Liverpool some breathing space.
An impressive first team start for Shaqiri almost became a perfect one with seconds to go in the half. A free kick on the edge of the Southampton box was taken by the Swiss winger who almost netted himself a wonder goal. His left footed thunderbolt cannoned off the crossbar and fell perfectly for the on rushing Salah who only had to tap it in to the empty Saints net.
Anfield erupted with chants of their Egyptian King as the number 11 was swarmed by his teammates. A huge smile and a visible look of relief adorned his face as the referee blew for half time.
The second half saw Klopp revert to his favoured 4-3-3 formation, with James Milner coming on to cut Shaqiri’s first start cruelly short.
An injury early on in the half to Virgil Van Dijk saw Joe Gomez get on the field and Southampton grow in confidence momentarily. A brief 10 minute period saw Southampton control the game, however for all their possession Alisson remained untested.
A rather flat second half saw Salah have the ball in the back of the net again however Egyptian was deemed offside and his goal was subsequently disallowed for the second consecutive game.
With Liverpool back on top spot in the Premier League, Liverpool fans will have one eye on Van Dijk’s fitness and one eye on Chelsea, as they take on West Ham before playing host to Klopp’s high-flying Liverbirds next weekend.