Liverpool vs Southampton: 5 talking points
Only Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have won more points at home this season than Liverpool. Before the international break, the Reds thrashed Huddersfield 3-0 at Anfield and entered this game looking to see off Southampton, a team Jurgen Klopp had only beaten once in his past seven encounters.
For the visitors, new boss Mauricio Pellegrino hasn’t had the best of starts. The Saints have only won four games out of 13, scoring an abysmal 9 goals in the process.
Prior to kick off, all the signs pointed to a Liverpool win and that was how things transpired. Klopp’s men ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. A brace in the first half from Mohamed Salah, followed by a tidy finish from Philippe Coutinho in the second half was enough to give Liverpool all 3 points.
The commanding win sends the Reds into 5th place. For Southampton, the defeat is their fifth of the season, leaving them only 4 points above the relegation zone.
Here are the main talking points of the game.
#5 Sadio Mane returns
After tweaking his hamstring on international duty with Senegal, Sadio Mane made a triumphant return to the starting XI against Southampton. The winger returned to full training on Thursday, giving Jurgen Klopp a selection conundrum. Many felt Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been in decent form, should have been given a starting berth, however, he was dropped by the German.
The 25-year-old Mane lined up on the left and terrorised Cedric Soares throughout the game. His lightning-quick runs off the ball gave Coutinho options whilst also pushing the Southampton defensive line 10 yards deeper into their own half as they were visibly afraid of him getting in behind them.
The former Southampton man tortured his former club, effortlessly contributing to Liverpool’s free-flowing attack. Mane completed 3 successful take-ons, created 3 chances and took 2 shots on goal.