Liverpool 1-1 Southampton: Late Mane score spoils Anfield party
- Christian Benteke scores in 77th minute
- Saido Mane hit back in the 86th minute
- Liverpool with its 5th straight draw in all competitions
Klopp-mania has swallowed England whole, and the German boss finally had his first win in charge of Liverpool...or so he thought.
After 77 minutes with lots of possession but very little creativity, Christian Benteke powered home a thumping header to put the Reds in front, but Saido Mane quieted the Anfield crowd by nudging in the equalizer in the 86th minute to draw Southampton back level.
The match started with Liverpool on top of the ball, but created little through the first half-hour. Philippe Coutinho fired a long-range effort just over the bar from the left corner of the box on 23 minutes, and James Milner had a turnaround effort that skittered a decent way wide minutes later for their best early chances.
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Southampton had to absorb large spells of pressure, but got their first real chance on the break in the 33rd minute. Kevin Davis released Saido Mane with a beautiful ball over the top of the Liverpool defensive line, but Mane’s first touch let him down, a heavy hit that pushed the ball out of reach.
They had another opportunity on 38 minutes as Virgil van Djik was left unmarked on a free-kick and headed towards the top corner but Simon Mignolet was there to touch it over the bar.
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The two sides seemed eager to score in the second half, but neither came terribly close until just before the hour mark, when a good build up saw Alberto Moreno rip a shot across the face of goal, but with too much pace to reach the open Adam Lallana.
The home side truly struggled to produce any true chances, as Moreno snuffed out multiple attacks with poor shots or mis-timed crosses. They had nearly all the meaningful possession, but struggled to get Benteke involved after the big Belgian came on at halftime.
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Finally, the moment came as James Milner’s cross from a ways out met the head of Benteke in the center of the penalty area, and he electrified Anfield by burying the header into the top corner of the net past Maarten Stekelenburg.
Or, Anfield thought that was the moment. Southampton had other ideas, and as Liverpool looked to defend their lead, Saido Mane got on the end of a set-piece that pinged around the penalty area and poked it home past Simon Mignolet for the equalizer. With Anfield reeling, Graziano Pelle nearly won it for Southampton, but while one-on-one with Mignolet, he whiffed at the ball.
Mane found himself sent off in extra time after a pair of quick yellows, but Liverpool couldn’t capitalize and it finished a draw, Klopp’s third in three matches in his new position, and Liverpool’s fifth in a row across all competitions, the first time since 1975 they’ve drawn five straight. The three points would have given the Reds a jump into sixth, but instead, the point gives them ninth, level with Spurs and West Brom on 14 points. Southampton also jump to 14 points, and move to eighth on goal differential.