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Liverpool close the gap to Chelsea by dismantling Southampton 4-0

  • Liverpool made it back to back 4-0 wins in the Premier League by thrashing Southampton.

  • Diego Jota scored a first half brace and Thiago increased the Reds advantage.

  • Virgil van Dijk scored his first goal of the season with a brilliant volleyed finish.

  • The Reds go within a point to league leaders Chelsea who play Manchester United on Sunday.



TEAM NEWS:


Jurgen Klopp made six alterations to the midweek win against Porto. The fullbacks, Van Dijk, Henderson, Fabinho and Jota all returned to the starting lineup.


Liverpool Starting XI: Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane


Ralph Hasenhuttl made three changes after their disappointing 2-1 loss to Norwich. Lyanco, Romain Perraud and Armando Broja come in for Mohamed Elyounoussi, Kyle Walker-Peters and Ibrahima Diallo.


Southampton Starting XI: Alex McCarthy, Valentino Livramento, Jan Bednarek, Mohammed Salisu, Lyanco, Romain Perraud, James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu, Armando Broja, Adam Armstrong, Che Adams,


FIRST HALF: Rampant Reds race to a 3 goal lead


Jota scored the quickest goal of the season with a 97-second strike to give Liverpool the lead. The move was started with Mane and Robertson exchanging passes and the cutback from Robertson was tapped in by Jota. Ten minutes later, Sadio Mane thought he had doubled the lead from a freekick but the goal was disallowed for offside.




Jota then scored in the 32nd minute to increase Liverpool's advantage. Henderson's through ball was crossed in by Salah and Jota had another tap-in. The Saints appealed for handball as the ball hit Alexander Arnold's elbow, but VAR didn't overrule the goal. This is Jota's 7th goal in the Premier League and 8th overall in what is proving to be a prolific season for the Portuguese.


Thiago scored his second goal of the week as his strike was deflected and got in. Southampton's only decent chance came at the end of the half as Adam Armstrong's strike was parried off by Alisson. Liverpool should have increased their advantage further as there was a 3v1 situation, but Salah couldn't find the right pass.


SECOND HALF: Liverpool increase their advantage


Liverpool continued their dominance in the second half as Mane tried his luck from outside the box which was saved by McCarthy. Van Dijk scored his first goal of the season through a volleyed finish from Alexander Arnold's corner.


The Saints had their best chance of the game in the 54th minute. Nathan Tella put in a wonderful cross but Armstrong was denied twice by Konate and Alisson. Jota had a great chance to complete his hattrick. But he couldn't get to the end of a brilliant cross from Robertson. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who came on for Thiago, had a shot saved by McCarthy.


Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, speaking after the game said he took full responsibility for the defeat. "We had definitely not the right game-plan today in the first half, it was not possible man-oriented against this team to defend, and this was if you want absolutely my fault that I sent them with this way of playing football on the pitch.


"But in the second half we changed to our normal behaviour and this was ok I think. We could control them a little bit better, we had our chances also today if you want, a few really good ones, but we cannot score here. This is a little bit disappointing, but in the end if you want to have a chance here you have to have a better start.


Jurgen Klopp meanwhile was happy with his team's performance but said there are areas to improve.




Speaking to BBC Sport, he said "It was comfortable. But the chances they had were too big. The saves of Alisson were too spectacular. That is space to improve. But I understand in a week like that when you win three games to keep concentration is a challenge as human beings. On the other side we could have scored more if we had been calmer. That is something we have to think about. Decision making could be better. The game felt comfortable in the end but during it I did not feel too comfortable."


Liverpool's next game is the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park while Southampton host Leicester.



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