Liverpool came from a goal deficit in dramatic fashion at St Mary’s Stadium to beat Southampton 2-1 on Tuesday night, cutting Manchester City’s lead at the top of the Premier League to a single point with one game left in 2021-22 Season.
Jurgen Klopp chose a starting XI with significant changes from the side that beat Chelsea on penalties in Saturday’s FA Cup final. Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah were injured and Sadio Mane left the team entirely.
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Nathan Redmond gave the hosts an early lead with an exquisite individual effort, cutting from the left flank and curling a shot that easily deflected Liverpool’s James Milner past Allison.
However, Liverpool equalized before the half-hour when Takumi Minamino pressed his shot close to the post into the roof of the Southampton net after being played on goal by Diogo Jota.
Defender Joe Gomez, whose Liverpool career has been hampered by injuries, had to be substituted at the break after suffering what appeared to be an ankle injury just before half-time.
Joel Matip struck with the most unlikely header to put Liverpool ahead in the 67th minute. He leaned over his defender and redirected a deflected corner kick to Saints goaltender Alex McCarthy to put his team on course for the three points.
It was a poor performance from Southampton and Liverpool had little trouble seeing the rest of the game and setting up what could have been a tense final day.
Milner, the 36-year-old Liverpool utility player who received the captain’s armband in a rare start recently, praised the substitutes for the way they took the game.
“The lads are amazing. The lads who may not have played that much, but you can see how hard they are in practice every day and you see it when they need to improve,” said Milner. “It’s a special group of players and a special football club. We’ll fight to the end and keep going. All we can do is take it as far as possible.”
The result sees defending champions Man City beat Aston Villa – managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard – on Sunday to secure a fourth Premier League title under Pep Guardiola.
However, were City to lose or draw, Liverpool, who were 14 points adrift of the table on 15 January, would have the door open to take first place with a win over Wolves at Anfield on the final day of the season.
Liverpool also have a Champions League final to contend with Real Madrid on May 28 in Paris as their hopes of ending the season with four major trophies remain alive.