Liverpool move into third with win over Southampton
Premier League, St. Mary's - Southampton 0 Liverpool 2 (Firmino 6, Salah 42)
Mohamed Salah was on target once again as Liverpool moved back up to third in the Premier League table with a 2-0 success at Southampton.
The Egyptian set up Roberto Firmino for an early opener before doubling the visitors' lead when he converted his 29th goal of the campaign, finishing off the Brazilian's wonderful back heeled pass just prior to the break.
The Merseysiders have had issues seeing out matches from commanding positions at times this season, but not on this occasion as they controlled the second half with a more measured display to ensure Virgil van Dijk's return to St. Mary's ended in triumph.
Jurgen Klopp's men are now two points above fourth-placed Tottenham and just two behind Manchester United, who lost at Newcastle United. Southampton drop to 18th and have not won a league game at home since November.
Salah strikes again as Firmino continues to flourish. There's not much that hasn't been said about the incredible impact Salah has made since joining Liverpool in the summer. He's one goal away from registering 30 in all competitions and remains very much in the running for the Golden Boot and player of the season gongs. However, the Brazilian leading the Merseysiders' line is complementing the Egyptian in attack and does deserve more praise. Ex-red Jamie Carragher suggested Firmino is one of the most under-rated players in the league recently and on this evidence he's probably right. Firmino took his own tally to 20 in all competitions and provided one of the best assists of the season when his back-heeled one-two set up Salah to make it 2-0.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool). Firmino's tireless running alongside Salah had the Saints defence on edge throughout. Took his goal with the confidence of a man who has notched 13 in his last 15 starts and his assist for Salah was as good as you'll see.
6' - GOAL! Southampton 0-1 Liverpool. Firmino fires a clinical finish into the bottom corner after Salah seized upon a big error from Hoedt and rolled it into the Brazilian's path.
18' - SOUTHAMPTON CHANCE! Karius comes to Liverpool's rescue. Højbjerg held off Robertson to collect Romeu's angled pass and lash a close range shot at goal that the stopper brilliantly blocked.
42' - GOAL! Southampton 0-2 Liverpool. Salah with a simple low finish after a lovely one-two with Firmino had unlocked the Saints defence.
59' - SOUTHAMPTON CHANCE! Hoedt stabs wide at the near post after making a clever run onto Ward Prowse's fizzing free kick from the left.
71' - LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Firmino sees a low drive from 15 yards well saved after a probing run and pass from Mane. Salah races onto the rebound but fizzes into the side netting from a narrowing angle.
86' - LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Lallana exchanges a nice one-two with Salah but can't quite find the far corner with his low effort form the right of the box.
Salah has been directly involved in 29 league goals this season (22 goals, 7 assists); the most by a Liverpool player in their debut season for the club in the competition.
Firmino has scored 20 goals in all competitions in a single season for the first time since 2013-14 with Hoffenheim (22).
It is only the third time in 17 seasons Liverpool have had two players score 20 times in a campaign (all competitions).
Jurgen Klopp has won 50 of his 95 Premier League games in charge of Liverpool (W50 D28 L17) – the same as Brendan Rodgers managed in his first 95 for the Reds (W50 D23 L22).