A much changed Liverpool side came from behind to earn a 2-1 victory over Southampton last night. Nathan Redmond gave the Saints an early lead before Minamino equalised. A Matip winner in the second half has taken the title race into the final day. Here’s a review of the match.

You can find player ratings from the match here.

° Lineup. Jürgen Klopp rotated heavily last night, making nine changes to the side that started the Cup final on Saturday. Only Alisson and Konaté maintained their place as a host of fringe players got a rare Premier League start.

Gomez, Matip and Tsimikas joined Ibou in the backline as Trent and Robbo got well deserved rests. Van Dijk was not risked after he was taken off in the FA Cup final with a knock. In midfield, Milner started in the holding role, with Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones either side of him.

Henderson, Thiago and Keita were all named among the substitutes. Upfront, Minamino made his first league start of the season as he lined up alongside Firmino and Jota. Mané and Salah were left out of the squad completely with Diaz taking his place amongst the substitutes.

° Slow start. The Reds had most of the possession in the opening stages but Southampton worked a few counter attacks well. Broja breezed past Matip after breaking in behind and Alisson had to be alert to thwart his attempted cutback.

° Redmond gives Saints the lead. After Jota was felled by Lyanco, Southampton quickly shifted the ball out wide to Redmond. He run into the attacking third, cutting inside before sending a curling effort into the top corner via a slight deflection off Milner.

It was poor defending by Gomez (and Milner on the cover) but it was a brilliant strike. The least said about the refereeing, the better. It was the worst possible start, and with so many changes one wondered if this was the night the title challenge would end. It felt like everything was against us.

° Attack against defence. The goal strengthened the Saints’ gameplan. It was five at the back with another line of four ahead of them as they sat deep in their half. Broja was left up top on his own to chase down any long balls cleared upfield. Liverpool had to find a way through without their best creators.

° Minamino pulls the Reds level. Klopp’s side were knocking on the door, with Firmino’s goal being chalked off and Minamino sending a volley straight at McCarthy. Taki levelled the score when Jota brought down Gomez’s cross and laid it into his path. He rifled it past McCarthy after two quick touches.

Takumi Minamino has now scored 10 goals in all competitions this season in just 1,008 minutes.

° Liverpool dominate. The Reds continued to enjoy large spells of possession and could have done better with a few openings after winning the ball back high up the pitch. It stayed level till the break. Gomez unfortunately picked up an injury on the stroke of halftime.

° Swift start to the second half. Knowing only victory would do, the Reds came out flying after the break. Jota sent a shot agonisingly wide after a Tsimikas pickout, before Elliott sent his chip into the side netting after being released by Bobby.

° Matip’s heads the side infront. Midway through the second half, a Tsimikas corner was flicked into the danger area by Elyounoussi. Matip reacted quickest, stooping to direct his header into the top corner. Cue bedlam in the away end right behind the Saints goal.

° Game management. Henderson’s introduction for Gomez certainly helped take the sting out of the game after Matip’s goal. Liverpool just passed the ball around for twenty minutes and Hassenhuttl’s charges couldn’t get near them. That calming influence was exactly what was needed.

The hosts tried to throw everything at it in the last five minutes but the Reds held firm. Konaté was immense as he cleared cross after cross. Milner used all his experience to earn a pressure relieving free kick, whilst Tsimikas also held firm to repel Walker-Peters. It was a real team effort.

° Incredible show of grit. The comeback win at Villa Park last week was impressive but this was on a whole other level. You had a bunch of players with no real rhythm owing to a lack of game time, thrown together just days after the high of lifting the FA Cup.

Throw in an early goal conceded which shouldn’t have stood (seriously how’s Atwell on VAR seen that tackle on Jota and thought it was acceptable), and you realise just how uphill the task was last night. These Reds are mentality monsters for a reason though and they found a way through.

° Title race. The race heads into the final day! Who would have thought that when City were 14 points clear back in January, and Salah, Mané and Keita were all away at AFCON? Klopp and his squad deserve all the plaudits. They’re now on 89 points, one behind the Citizens.

They are a whopping 29 points clear of third placed Chelsea. This side deserves the title, but so do City who have been relentless again this season. No side has ever failed to win the title when heading into the final day top of the table. It’s in City’s hands.

Steven Gerrard, Coutinho, Danny Ings and co may have something to say about that. Come what may, it’s been a thrilling ride. Beating Wolves infront of the Anfield faithful will be a fitting end to the league season. There’s still the small matter of the Champions League final after that.

A third final in five years with the chance to lift number seven really shouldn’t be sniffed at. Some teams would do unspeakable things to be in our position. They can only ‘imagine being us’. What a time to be a Red.


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