Darwin Nunez bags a brace as Liverpool secured a 3-1 convincing victory over Southampton to boost their top-four hopes this season.
Liverpool — Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk(C), Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Thiago; Roberto Firmino; Mohamed Salah, Núñez.
Southampton — Bazunu; Bella-Kotchap, Caleta-Car, Salisu, Perraud; Lavia, Ward-Prowse(C); Armstrong, Adams, Elyounoussi; Armstrong.
Jurgen Klopp, who is obviously under pressure to turn things around in an abysmal Premier League campaign, needed to get the result against the Saints at Anfield.
As expected, the Reds dominated the game and pressed for an early goal.
It was not long before they got one courtesy of Roberto Firmino in the 6th minute, who increased his goal tally this season for the Reds to 10 goals.
From the right, Robertson had swung in a free-kick, and Firmino delivered a perfect glancing header into the far-bottom corner to give the home side a deserved early lead.
Three minutes later, Adams equalized for the visitors with a free kick. Ward-Prowse had whipped a fantastic free-kick into the six-yard box, and Adams beat Allison with a thumping header to bring the scores to a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool picked up their game again and continued threatening for another goal to return to the lead. Southampton’s goalkeeper pulled some fantastic saves to deny Darwin Nunez, but it was not long before the Reds returned to the lead again.
It was Darwin Nunez with the goal in the 27th minute. The Uruguayan volleyed home into the far-bottom corner after Elliot’s cross to restore Liverpool’s lead.
Liverpool continued to dominate proceedings despite leading 2-1 and were able to double their lead again in the 42nd minute.
It was Darwin Nunez again in the scoresheet as he secured his brace in the game. This time, it was Robertson with the assist.
Robertson delivered a good cross into the edge of the six-yard-box for Nunez, who slid in to poked the ball into the net.
Liverpool went into the break with a comfortable 3-1 lead.
Liverpool still dominated the game as the second half began, but Southampton were equally making dangerous moves to come back into the game.
Southampton had a chance to bring back hope in the 48th minute. Thanks to Allison Becker, who saved a low shot from Adams Armstrong to keep the scores as it was at the end of the first half.
Liverpool nearly made it count again in the 50th minute after Southampton conceded a corner kick.
Robertson picked on Roberto Firmino in the box, but his glancing header was wide off the post, with Bazunu scrambling.
Southampton made some changes in the 59th minute to chisel the game. Stuart Armstrong was taken out for Walcott, goalscorer Adam Armstrong was subbed off for Edozie, and Caleta-Car out for Maitland-Niles.
Liverpool subbed off Elliot and Firmino for Milner and Chamberlain and were still in control of the game.
Southampton subs created no visible impact in the game as Liverpool continued to dominate proceedings.
In the 72nd minute, Liverpool came close to another goal. After Alexander-Arnold’s cross was cleared, the Reds picked it up again.
Robertson fired another cross into the box, picking on Van Dijk, whose thumping header toward the near post bounced wide.
Southampton rarely created a good chance in the game, as Liverpool got all under their control with good chances and several shots on target.
The match ended with Liverpool securing three crucial points as they continued pushing for a top-four finish.