• Analysis

Mo Salah puts Liverpool back on top at Southampton

Southampton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
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With thrilling final minutes at Southampton, a Mo Salah goal gave Liverpool the top of the Premier League again and applies pressure to City.

It was another final for Liverpool at Southampton if they wanted to remain alive in the Premier League, their particular fight to win the title with Manchester City is starting to take an epic turn towards the end of the season and they desperately needed three points today.

Before the match, there were doubts about Virgil van Dijk playing against his former club due to an injury but he was able to make it to the starting XI in time.

The first half at St. Mary’s Stadium was quite leveled between both sides, Irish striker Shane Long scored the first goal for the Saints early in the game after an assist from Hojbjerg and sprinkled the game with even more drama for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

The first response from the Reds came nine minutes before half-time through Naby Keita, who scored his first-ever Premier League goal through an assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold and granted Liverpool that equalizer before the break.

The Reds were barely surviving because they weren’t fluid in the middle, Georginio Wijnaldum wasn’t responding to the challenge tonight and he was replaced after nearly fifteen minutes on the pitch during the second half.

Klopp decided to make the proper modifications in due time, he took Wijnaldum and Arnold out to give Milner and Henderson their chance to shine.

During the better part of the second half, the Saints actually held the result and they were even close to scoring the second goal a couple of times.

All the Liverpool supporters that made the trip were on edge during the whole match, that’s what 29 years without a title will give you.

The big break of this match came with ten minutes still left on the clock as Southampton attempted to score a goal through a set-piece, Matip managed to recover the ball and somehow Mohamed Salah managed to take it with a lot of space to run and only two defenders following him in the counter-attack.

Throughout the whole distance that the Egyptian striker covered, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were right by his side expecting him to assist either of them to score the winning goal.

But Mohamed Salah wanted all the glory for himself, he actually used both players as bait throughout the whole process and made all the defenders believe he would eventually pass the ball.

Salah confirmed that he is back at the top of his game with this individual effort, he finally took the shot out of nowhere and surprised even his teammates but the effort was clinical.

Liverpool scored the winning goal and Salah was the hero of the evening with 10 minutes still left on the clock.

The Southampton players knew that a single goal was more than enough for them to spoil Liverpool’s party, they came dangerously close to scoring the equalizer during a set-piece but they left a lot of open spaces with their attempt to score another goal and the Reds saw the opportunity to kill the game.

Another counter-attack saw Roberto Firmino taking a deep pass from the defense and he was patient enough to wait for his teammates from the right wing, ‘Bobby’ saw captain Jordan Henderson rushing to the heart of the box and released a precise assist for the skipper to score Liverpool’s third goal.

This result applies even more pressure to Manchester City, who are not playing the Premier League this weekend because they have the FA Cup semifinal match against Brighton & Hove Albion to play on Saturday.

After this new victory, Liverpool has 82 points with one more game than the Citizens and they have taken over the Premier League’s top once again.

There is no doubt that this end of the season will take us all the way to the final match, where we will all witness another thrilling bookend to an exciting campaign from the two most competitive clubs in English football.

How would you rate Liverpool’s performance at Southampton tonight? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.