Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Southampton on Saturday showed a level of guts and determination, after little rest since Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup victory.
The Reds lined up with a more or less full-strength side at St. Mary’s Stadium, reinforcing the intent Jurgen Klopp has for his side to push Manchester City all the way this season.
With a long trip back from Turkey in the early hours of Thursday morning, the trip to the south coast looked to be a tricky one. For a team like Liverpool, who play with such high intensity with and without the ball, recovery is crucial.
However, there was no let up for the Reds – kicking off in Southampton just two days after arriving back in the UK.
The front three – as well as Fabinho – had a long summer competing for their respective countries in South America and Africa, but Saturday’s win showed just what this Liverpool team are made of.
To a large extent, this Liverpool team have forgotten how to lose in the league – they haven’t done so since their only league defeat in the 2018/19 campaign against Manchester City on January 3.
After such a determined performance down on the south coast, we pick out three players who starred for the Reds in the 2-1 win.
The Senegalese forward scored superbly against his former club, cutting in from the left-hand side to nestle the ball into the bottom right corner.
His goal – and continued involvement throughout the game – showed that he is continually developing under the watchful eye of Klopp. He later combined with Firmino, similarly to Wednesday night, to make the score 2-0.
While the front three provide different threats, Liverpool’s number 10 is currently firing on all cylinders for the Reds despite a short summer break.
Firmino proved why he is crucial to Liverpool’s attacking line yet again on Saturday.
Out of all the strikers in Europe’s top five leagues, there is no one quite like the Brazilian. His footballing intelligence and movement off the ball make him more or less impossible to mark out of a game. Whether he is dropping deep to start attacks or finishing them off, the majority of Premier League defenders have no idea how to contain him.
Despite missing a straightforward chance earlier in the game, Firmino very much made up for it on the 71st minute as he cooly slotted past Angus Gunn after beating numerous Southampton defenders.
The Brazilian proved crucial on Wednesday night in Istanbul, and he certainly did on the south coast too.
Klopp praised the mentality of his players in his post-match interview and that praise should be heaped onto Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The midfielder’s return from a long-term injury looked to finally happen today, only being substituted in the 89th minute at St. Mary’s.
Having played no part in Liverpool’s title race challenge last year, he will be eager to play a crucial role this time around.
His role as an important cog in Liverpool’s midfield system showed just how crucial Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness is to the Reds. If he is to stay fully fit and build on today’s performance, Liverpool will have an added dimension to their versatile midfield.
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