Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah celebrates after he scores his staff’s fourth objective through the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 1, 2020.
Paul ELLIS / AFP
Liverpool surged 22 factors clear on the high of the Premier League with a dominant second-half show as Mohamed Salah scored twice in a 4-0 rout of Southampton on Saturday.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson additionally scored and the runaway leaders have collected an astonishing 100 league factors from the final 102 obtainable to them.
A twenty fourth victory in 25 league matches this season and ninth clear sheet in 10 video games underlined how Jurgen Klopp’s aspect have turned the title race right into a procession.
Southampton’s spirited efficiency at Anfield was undone, in controversial vogue, two minutes into the second half after Danny Ings appealed that he had been tripped by Fabinho on his means into the house space.
Liverpool broke instantly upfield, Oxlade-Chamberlain spearheading a counter-attack which resulted in an trade of passes with Roberto Firmino, and a superb end into the underside nook of the Southampton objective.
The guests appealed furiously that they need to have been awarded the sooner penalty solely to be met with an unfavourable choice from VAR.
That proved to be a moot level finally with Henderson and Salah including objectives in fast succession after the hour.
Henderson doubled the lead from a transfer began when he closed down a clearance from keeper Alex McCarthy and Trent Alexander-Arnold returned it upfield.
Firmino chased the move down and laid the ball off for Henderson to drive in an unstoppable end.
Twelve minutes later Henderson himself arrange the third, with an impressive move which simply eluded Jan Bednarek and allowed Salah to chase by means of and elevate the ball over the keeper.
Firmino and substitute Takumi Minamino wasted superb probabilities so as to add to the rating earlier than Salah did simply that within the remaining minute to offer Liverpool their twentieth successive residence league win.
It got here from extra robust play by Firmino, who held off defender Jack Stephens earlier than squaring for his Egyptian team-mate to attain with an untidy, deflected shot.
Yet, regardless of the spectacular weight of statistical kind that Liverpool introduced into the sport, Southampton had been themselves in search of a fifth consecutive league away win and will have been on the right track for it by the interval.
The first interval ended with the Saints truly out-performing the leaders and, with higher ending, they might have been in management.
Instead, Liverpool might level to their greatest, and solely actual, probability of the primary half and bemoan the very fact they had been denied what seemed a robust penalty enchantment on the half hour.
Virgil van Dijk missed a superb alternative with solely McCarthy to beat, back-heeling on the keeper who then did nicely to dam Firmino’s follow-up effort.
Liverpool retained possession and Jordan Henderson crossed into the six-yard space the place Firmino gave the impression to be introduced down on the goalline by Shane Long.
Despite the vocal appeals from Liverpool gamers and crowd alike, VAR selected to not overrule referee Kevin Friend, a reprieve that Southampton seemed within the temper to benefit from earlier than the half expired.
They had been helped by a sequence of uncharacteristic Liverpool errors, each pressured and unforced, which gifted the guests a sequence of probabilities.
An Ings shot was nicely blocked by Joe Gomez, after Firmino gave the ball straight to him, a Gomez error allowed Long a strike which Alisson parried whereas Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Ings, once more, had promising openings.
It was all a part of an enthralling, if goalless, first half, with Moussa Djenepo’s shot having been tipped over earlier by Alisson and McCarthy doing likewise on the different finish to disclaim Oxlade-Chamberlain.
But Liverpool’s robust begin to the second half altered the dynamic of the sport and moved the Reds one other step nearer to their first English title since 1990.