Liverpool 2-0 Southampton:Salah and Firmino on target

This season, Mohamed Salah has already found the net 29 times, while Roberto Firmino has done the same on 20 occasions - equalling a total of 49 goals. We are in February! With three months still remaining in the campaign, the pair need just 7 more goals between them to become the most prolific Liverpool duo of all time. The Salah and Firmino inspired victory at St Mary’s was Klopp’s 50th in England’s top flight, with the German becoming the ninth fastest manager ever to reach the milestone. Significantly, it also moved Liverpool within two points off second place in the league, a finish which has only been achieved by the Reds on three previous occasions. The feat was first reached by Gerard Houllier in 2001/02 and has since been equalled by Rafael Benitez in 2008/09 and Brendan Rodgers in 2013/14. Klopp will be hoping his side can power past currently second Manchester United to add his name to the list, with a trip to Old Trafford in the offing shaping as prime time for the Reds to leapfrog their rivals. On his first return to Southampton since his mammoth Reds switch, Virgil van Dijk was meant to be in for a torrid time. However, the world’s most expensive defender had a different plan, as he smiled his way to a first clean sheet since joining the Merseysiders. The Guardian’s Stuart James suggested that the Dutchman was actually enjoying the frosty treatment: “[VVD] was a model of composure throughout and never remotely affected by the abuse that rained down from the stands. If anything, Van Dijk played as if he was rather enjoying the stick, so much so that he could be seen laughing at the first sound of the boos that greeted his every touch.” Meanwhile, the centre-back suggested he just ‘did his thing’ as he commented on his homecoming. “It was a very important win for us for challenging for Champions League and I enjoyed today. “I enjoyed it a lot, I just focused on the game. I enjoyed being back, there’s a lot of good memories here and I did a lot of good things here. “You can’t do anything about the reception or anything. I just did my thing.” Jurgen Klopp was glowing about his defender after the fulltime whistle. “He did really well and dealt with the situation fantastically,” said Klopp. “We had a little talk before the game, asking him what he thought - ‘No, I’m fine, boss’. “I didn’t want to make him nervous if he isn’t, obviously he wasn’t. “The crowd is there to make life difficult for the opponent, but it wasn’t too difficult for him from this point of view and I’m happy about that.”

Mohamed Salah scored his 22nd Premier League goal and registered his 7th assist of the season against Southampton as he flew back to second in the race for the golden boot. The Egyptian now boasts the record for most goal involvements in a debut season by a Liverpool player, and is just one strike behind Spurs’ Harry Kane at the summit of the goal scoring charts. Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness was full of praise for the attacker and strike partner Firmino after their match winning efforts at St Mary’s Stadium. “All the teams who win trophies have more than one person that gets into double figures. If you’ve got a couple of strikers who can 20 or thereabouts and a few midfield players who can get 10 or thereabouts, it is giving you a chance and Liverpool have that,” he added. “Those two have got an understanding and Firmino has got a football brain. We were talking off-air about what separates the good players from the great players and it is the picture they see - that is Firmino. “With Salah, he is more explosive, he is a dribbler and he has surprised me. I didn’t think he would get anything like the goals he has got. “I remember him as a Chelsea player as most of us do, he was good and did he get a fair crack of the whip there? Maybe not but he has been sensational this year. He is the difference in so many games.” Klopp also hailed the pair: “Our boys are important for us,” Klopp told his post-match news conference. “What I love is of course their skills and attitude, but the workrate is outstanding. “Both get the profit from the style of play, that’s for sure as well. We play in the areas where they like to have the ball. “In this strong league you cannot be third without fantastic players and yes, they are two of them.”
Liverpool 2-0 Southampton:Salah and Firmino on target Liverpool 2-0 Southampton:Salah and Firmino  on target Reviewed by Comr Richard on Monday, February 12, 2018 Rating: 5

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