Liverpool edge past Saints in wild clash
Liverpool rallied to beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday in a wild encounter on the South Coast.
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Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino scored for Liverpool, while Danny Ings scored a crazy goal late on for Saints after a Adrian howler as they set up a pulsating finish.
Ings then whiffed on a glorious chance to make it 2-2 as Liverpool held on for the win.
The wins sees Liverpool make it two from two before they face Arsenal next time out, while Saints have lost their first two games of the season before heading to Brighton.
4 things we learned
1. Red-hot Sadio Mane the difference: He scored a stunner for the first goal, won the ball back for the second and forced Gunn into a brilliant stop from his header and set up Andrew Robertson with an audacious back heel. Mane was the difference and even though he returned late from the Africa Cup of Nations, he looks as a fresh as a daisy.
2. Saints’ defensive issues persist: Southampton were their own worst enemies. They gave Mane too much space for the first goal and then needlessly tried to play out of the back for the second. Saints have brought in Kevin Danso but he didn’t make his debut and moving forward they need to stop silly defensive errors if they’re going to push away from another relegation scrap.
3. Liverpool shake off the rust, just: Jurgen Klopp will not be happy with this display overall. Liverpool turned it on at the start of the second half and almost tore Saints apart, but Adrian’s howler epitomized a shaky display and the Reds were lucky to leave with all three points.
4. Danny Ings should have been the hero: He jumped off the bench to score against his former club and he should have scored a second. Ings whiffed on a great cross from Yan Valery just after he had made it 2-1 and his anger was clear. Ings was left on the bench and came on and made a point, curling just over with another glorious effort. If he stays fit, he is still Saints’ biggest hope of finishing towards the top 10.
Man of the Match: Sadio Mane - Outrageous goal, lovely flicks and tricks and truly showed up against his former club. Wonderful showing from the Senegalese winger.
Saints started well as Che Adams almost nipped in front of Adrian and the goalkeeper then had his clearance blocked by James Ward-Prowse.
At the other end Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dragged a shot just wide, while Adrian made a fine save to deny Maya Yoshida from close range.
Southampton continued to cause Liverpool problems as Ryan Bertrand’s cross was pushed away by Adrian and Yan Valery couldn’t finish. Mohamed Salah smashed over on the break as Liverpool struggled to get going in the first half.
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Che Adams nodded just over from inside the six yard box but the home team were then made to pay. Mane was given an extra yard in the box and curled home a stunner against his former club to put Liverpool ahead right on half time.
In the second half Angus Gunn came up with a huge save to deny Salah, who was clean through, while Saints continued to press hard for a way back into the game.
On the break Liverpool were rampant as Mane’s cross found Firmino but the Brazilian striker flicked his effort inches wide of the far post. Danny Ings jumped off the bench and curled inches over the bar as the former Liverpool forward came so close to an equalizer.
Firmino then made it 2-0 up the win as Mane won the ball back and the Brazilian cut inside and finished low. Gunn then denied both Mane and Robertson (the latter was denied after an audacious back heel from Mane) as Liverpool ended the game on fire.
However, Adrian then gifted Saints a way back into the game as he played the ball against Ings who slotted home to make it 2-1. Moments later Ings missed a glorious chance as Yan Valery played him in inside the six-yard box but the former Liverpool man couldn’t handle the bobble and flicked it wide.