Made the difference: Jordan Henderson with real captain’s contribution off the bench to secure win

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By Scott Mason – @ScottMason00

Liverpool beat Southampton 3-1 at St. Mary’s in Friday night’s Premier League fixture, a victory that saw the Reds return to the top of the table.

The starting midfield of Naby Keita, Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho had most Reds fans excited but, in the game, the trio were not up to standard, causing a big issue for Jurgen Klopp as he saw his team struggle against a spirited Saints side.

The midfield was slow to react and often sloppy in possession in the first half. The failure to track the run of Højbjerg, who ran straight from midfield into Liverpool’s six-yard box, led to the Danish midfielder heading the ball into the path of Shane Long who opened the scoring in the ninth minute.

Naby Keita then equalized in the 36th minute with his first goal in the Liverpool strip, but his headed finish was one of the only positives from Liverpool in what was a poor first half showing.

However, when captain Jordan Henderson came on early in the second half the midfield became more stable.

The team looked less susceptible to conceding a goal when the Englishman came on. Despite only touching the ball 19 times he was one of the most influential players on the pitch, providing some much-needed stability in the centre of the park.

Captain Henderson was involved in Liverpool’s second goal as he headed the ball to Salah before his 50-yard run which saw him finish into the bottom right corner with 80 minutes on the clock.

The No.14 even managed to get on the scoresheet as he secured the win in the 85th minute after getting to the end of Roberto Firmino’s low cross. Henderson’s first goal since September 2017.

Despite only playing half an hour Jordan Henderson was one of the best players to step foot on the St Mary’s soil that night, delivering a true captain’s display.

The outpouring of emotion and passion in his celebration was indicative of the desire of a man to help his team get over the line in the Premier League title race, having gone through the heartbreak of being on the losing side five years ago.

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