Liverpool finished second in the Premier League – for at least 24 hours – as they edged Southampton with a massive 4-0 win at Anfield.
Unforgiving in their style of play, Liverpool gave Saints chances but did not once soften in his offensive endeavours, attacking their opponents in the first half. They took the lead in 97 seconds through Diogo Jota, turning Andrew Robertson’s low cross to score the fastest goal in the Premier League this season.
Jota got his second goal from close range yet another, this time from the heart of Mohamed Salah (32), and Thiago put the match out of the Saints’ reach before the break as his left foot deviated from Lyanco and into the net (37), his second goal in many matches.
Virgil van Dijk scored his first goal for Liverpool since the opening day of last season to make the score 4-0, kicking off a corner kick for Trent Alexander-Arnold (52), and so it remained as Jurgen Klopp’s side defended back-to-back. 4-0 wins in the English Premier League.
Liverpool have now scored 39 goals this season after just 13 games, nine more than any other team. They sit a point behind Chelsea, but would drop to third if Man City beat West Ham on Sunday. After successive defeats, Southampton occupies the fourteenth place.
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Van Dijk (7), Konate (7), Robertson (8), Henderson (7), Thiago (7), Fabinho (7), Jota (8), Mane (6) ) Salah (6).
Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Milner (6), Minamino (NA)
Southampton: McCarthy (5), Livramento (5), Lenko (5), Bednarik (4), Saliso (5), Peru (4), Romeo (4), Ward Prause (5), Bruga (4), Adams (4) )), Armstrong (5)
Subs: Redmond (5), Tila (5), Walker Peters (NA)
man of the match: Diogo Jota
How Liverpool beat the Saints to win again 4-0
Ralph Hessenhuttl – nicknamed “Alpen Klopp” – may have outdone his coach friend when the two sides met in January, sparking an emotional celebration from the Austrian, but Liverpool were in complete control from the first minute at Anfield.
Playing the False Nine, Jota bluffed the Saints’ three-man defense throughout the afternoon, dragging them here and there and everywhere as Liverpool faced first-half riots.
He opened the scoring just two minutes later, stretching from close range to channel Robertson’s heart to Alex McCarthy during a frenzied opening in which both sides had chances.
Some sluggish play from Thiago nearly allowed James Ward-Prowse moments later, Alisson denied him at his feet, before Salah’s effort fell from the corner of the penalty area away.
Liverpool, always prone to giving up chances, sleeps again from their own net to allow Armando Bruja space under the left wing; Ibrahima Konate couldn’t catch him, but Allison was there again to stop him.
Saints press meant that the match was like a basketball match in the first 30 minutes, but Liverpool fired on Saints with two quick goals to keep the match away.
Jota grabbed his second goal in the match and the eighth of the season in 32 minutes, scoring in the far post from Salah’s delicious heart across the face of the goal after Henderson skipped him from the right of the penalty area, although there are shouts for him. Handball on Alexander Arnold in the crowd.
Jota was denied a hat-trick by a final penalty kick by Lyanco, but the defender’s feats were quickly forgotten as he converted Thiago’s left-footed thrust from inside the penalty area to the far corner of the net. Thiago was full of confidence after scoring a superb goal in the middle of the week against Porto, and he did really well at the start when he grabbed a half-empty ball and made a great move to find a shooting space.
Action continued to unfold as Adam Armstrong forced an excellent save from Alisson low to his right, but despite a double switch in the first half and a change to four at the back, Liverpool continued to push forward.
Liverpool made three changes from the 4-0 win over Arsenal as Konate, Henderson and Robertson entered the starting line-up for Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tsimkas and Matip, who all moved to the bench.
Southampton also made three changes, with Lenco, Peru and Bruga joining Walker Peters, Elyonosi and Diallo. Lenko was making his debut in the Premier League.
After McCarthy missed Sadio Mane’s long-range shot, Liverpool scored from the resulting corner kick. Alexander-Arnold’s serve to Van Dijk fell on the penalty kick after defender Oriol Romeu ran away too easily, and his first under McCarthy goal faded to four.
The Saints still had plenty of chances – Armstrong should have done a better job as his foul was blocked by Cunett from close range – but the best fell to Liverpool as Jota missed a good chance for a hat-trick, touching the ball from six yards. Another outstanding Robertson delivery.
Liverpool barely raised his foot until the full-time whistle, but he was unable to create any other clear chances. The match ended 4-0, but it could easily have been at least six, with Klopp’s side looking in great shape and back to their best before a busy winter schedule.
What the expert said
Paul Merson from Sky Sports:
“Without playing great, they just won a Premier League game 4-0. That’s the difference between those in the top three. The teams in the bottom half have to play as hard as they can to win the game and Liverpool, which was fantastic, do Walk and win 4-0. That tells you what the other teams are up against.”
- Liverpool have now scored more than two goals in 17 consecutive games in all competitions – becoming the second English team ever to achieve the feat after Sunderland in 1927 (17).
- Liverpool have scored 39 goals in 13 Premier League games this season, their highest goal total at this stage of a Premier League season.
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 25 goals in all competitions this season (17 goals, 8 assists), more than double the goals of any other player in the Premier League.
- Only Wayne Rooney (22 years, 200 days) and Cesc Fabregas (21 years, 188 days) reached 40 assists in the Premier League at a younger age than Trent Alexander-Arnold (23 years and 51 days).
Liverpool now go to rivals Everton on Wednesday night at 8.15pm, while Southampton host Leicester on Wednesday at 7.30pm. Free highlights from both matches will be available on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel.