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Liverpool v Southampton Live Commentary, 08/05/2021

FT
2 - 0
LIV
SOU
S. Mané (31)
Thiago Alcântara (90)
Anfield

Commentary

Liverpool will now prepare for their rescheduled fixture with Manchester United midweek. Win that and a top-four finish may still be on. Given how recent months have gone for Liverpool, that would still be a fine achievement. That's all for now. Goodbye! 
Liverpool's win sees them rise to sixth in the Premier League table, six points behind Leicester in fourth who have played a game more. Klopp's men have done what they needed to do here. All they can do is produce more of the same. Southampton stay 16th, ten points above the relegation zone. They're just drifting now.
Liverpool secure a comfortable victory over a Southampton side that just want this season to end. Mane's first-half header set the Reds on their way and they effectively managed the game after that, with Southampton chances few and far between. Thiago's first Premier League goal for Liverpool sealed the win for the hosts late on.
90' + 4' FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-0 SOUTHAMPTON
90' + 4' Jones is caught offside from Alisson's kick upfield. That's it!
C. Jones
S. Mané
Liverpool
90' + 3' Jones comes on for Liverpool for the last minute or so. Their goalscorer Mane makes way.
90' + 2' There'll be four more minutes of this. There's absolutely no chance that Southampton will get anything from this game now. Liverpool have done very well to limit the visitors' chances to a minimum.
Roberto Firmino
Assist
Liverpool
90' The assist is Firmino's but Mane also played a role in forcing Walker-Peters' mistake. Southampton just look limited.
Thiago Alcântara
Goal
Liverpool
90' GOAL! LIVERPOOL 2-0 SOUTHAMPTON! Walker-Peters is pressured into a mistake near the touchline and Liverpool pounce with Firmino finding Thiago. Thiago bears down on goal and steers a shot into the bottom right corner. It's a measured goal by a measured player.
89' Liverpool earn a corner off Ward-Prowse which is a non-event. They're effectively pinning Southampton into their own half, preventing the visitors from launching an attack. 
A. Oxlade-Chamberlain
Mohamed Salah
Liverpool
87' Salah gets the last few minutes of this match off after creating Mane's goal. Oxlade-Chamberlain will look to shore up Liverpool late on here.
86' Walker-Peters is moving a little gingerly but looks OK to continue. Meanwhile, Liverpool will now make their desired change.
85' Walker-Peters is down holding his foot after being tackled. Oxlade-Chamberlain is getting ready to come on for Liverpool.
83' Southampton are starting to threaten a late raid on Liverpool's goal. Walker-Peters gets down the right and looks for Obafemi but Phillips positions himself well to block the cross.
81' Mane puts the ball in the net for Liverpool from Robertson's cross but Mane is offside. Liverpool might need to think about settling for what they have.
Roberto Firmino
Diogo Jota
Liverpool
79' Jota has also had his last kick of the game. Firmino comes on. Liverpool now have all the members of their famous front three.
M. Djenepo
C. Adams
Southampton
79' Adams has had a quiet game for Southampton. Djenepo comes on for him.
77' Jota earns a corner for Liverpool. Southampton are planning more substitutions but they won't happen yet as they clear the corner. Salah cuts back for Jota but the Portugal forward can't get a clear sight at goal, firing just wide.
76' There's a brief panic at the back for Liverpool as Obafemi races after a throughball. Alisson times his venture out of the box well to nip in just before the Irishman gets there first.
74' This game is at risk of fizzling out at the moment. Liverpool are starting to find it harder to break Southampton down.
72' There's been less goal action in this half than the first half. Both teams have only had three shots each, compared to nine for Liverpool and eight for Southampton earlier.
70' Chance for Southampton! Obafemi nods down a direct pass for Diallo who takes a swing from the edge of the box. It's close enough to Alisson to scare him into tipping it over the bar. The visitors promptly do little with their corner.
69' The longer the score stays like this, the more jittery Liverpool are going to get. Southampton still aren't doing a whole lot but they only need one good chance. Ward-Prowse inspires a routine save from Alisson from distance.
68' Stephens sticks out a leg to block Salah's attempt at goal. Walker-Peters saunters upfield and clatters a shot of his own against a Liverpool defender.
67' Obafemi takes a tumble in the Liverpool penalty area as Alisson slides in to intercept a cross. It's a fair challenge by the Brazilian. There's no hint of a penalty.
I. Diallo
T. Walcott
Southampton
66' Walcott is next to head off. Diallo is his replacement.
M. Obafemi
N. Tella
Southampton
66' Here are those Southampton changes. Tella goes off first. He'll be replaced by Obafemi.
65' Liverpool are staying calm and patient with Southampton not offering much in the way of attacking threat. Hasenhuttl's about to make changes to his side.
63' Tella races into Liverpool's box but can't find the right angle to test Alisson with a shot. By the time he does, the hosts have got back to close the door.
N. Redmond
Yellow Card
Southampton
61' Redmond goes in the referee's book for using his strength a little too recklessly with Fabinho there.
60' Armstrong gets back to intercept Jota's cross and tries to carry Southampton forward. Redmond receives the ball and is overaggressive in fending off a Fabinho challenge. Liverpool free-kick.
58' Southampton haven't been able to lay a glove on Liverpool yet since half-time. Liverpool are comfortable for now but can't afford to be complacent.
56' Southampton earn a free-kick down their left as Redmond gets his foot trod on. Ward-Prowse's delivery isn't great this time as it arcs straight through to Alisson.
55' Mane thinks he's beaten Ward-Prowse for pace but can't get past the Southampton captain. 
53' Salah is almost in on goal but fouls his man while racing onto the ball. Redmond looks to find the head of Tella and Liverpool manage to stop the cross.
52' Jota looks to set up Wijnaldum on the edge of Southampton's box but the visitors block the pass. Liverpool look keen to get that second goal.
51' Fabinho pings a pass out wide to Alexander-Arnold who keeps things moving. Liverpool almost put the ball out of play but Salah prevents it from going out for a Southampton throw-in.
49' Jota plays a one-two with Mane and lashes at Forster at his near post from a tight angle. Liverpool take the resulting corner short but Phillips can't find the target from Alexander-Arnold's excellent cross.
47' Thiago spins on the ball in midfield and lures Tella into fouling him. The Spaniard has so much to offer Liverpool but hasn't had the best start to his career here yet.
46' The teams are back out for the second half. No changes at the break.
Liverpool need to score again before Southampton do as their defence is still looking fallible. Klopp will no doubt remind his team that they were in this position late on against Newcastle and promptly dropped two points. With Liverpool currently on their longest run without a clean sheet at home in the Premier League since the late 1990s, Southampton can turn this around if they can be a bit more clinical.
Liverpool lead a tight game at the break thanks to Mane's smartly taken header. Liverpool just about edged the first half but Southampton have had plenty to offer, with both goalkeepers Forster and Alisson getting work to do. It's not hard to envisage further goals in this game.
45' + 1' HALF-TIME: LIVERPOOL 1-0 SOUTHAMPTON
45' + 1' Ward-Prowse's free-kick from deep comes to naught as Bednarek fouls Jota in the box. That's all for now.
45' There'll be just the one added minute in this first half. Southampton earn a free-kick as Mane brings down Armstrong. They'll have the opportunity to test Liverpool's defence again from a set-piece.
44' Robertson's caught offside from Mane's throughball. Redmond checks onto his favoured right foot and plops a cross onto the head of Tella who heads straight at Alisson. That's a good chance for Southampton just before half-time.
42' Now Liverpool can counter through Salah. Unfortunately for the hosts Salah's pass inside to Jota is poor and Southampton intercept. The Egyptian throws his arms up in exasperation.
41' Southampton earn a free-kick to the right of Liverpool's box near the byline. Ward-Prowse swings it in and Liverpool deal with it.
39' Redmond finds time and space to shoot from the left of the box. His effort's not far off but whizzes wide.
37' Liverpool threaten to score again. Salah looks to be one-on-one with Forster but Southampton's defenders manage to get back to block. Thiago has a go from range and that's charged down too.
35' Walker-Peters jinks past his man and fizzes a cross-cum-shot across the box. It rolls out for a Liverpool goal-kick on the opposite side.
33' Astonishingly, Salah's assist for Mane there was the first time the duo have combined for a goal in the Premier League this season. The last time they did so was against Crystal Palace last June.
Mohamed Salah
Assist
Liverpool
31' Salah weighted that cross for Mane perfectly. All Mane had to do was guide it low into the net. Forster couldn't do anything.
S. Mané
Goal
Liverpool
31' GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 SOUTHAMPTON! Mane nods low into the bottom left corner after a peach of a cross from Salah from the right. Liverpool have rode their luck in the opening half hour but will feel they deserve the lead.
29' Chance for Southampton! The visitors break upfield quickly and Tella can power forward down the right. Tella squares it for Adams who fires straight at Alisson. Redmond picks up the pieces and fires a rocket straight into the arms of the Liverpool keeper.
27' Armstrong's speculative effort from range is blocked. Redmond has a try shortly after from just as far out but can't keep his shot down.
25' Forster wafts the corner away but not convincingly and Salah is in on goal. Forster gets low to make another save from the Egyptian. Liverpool get one more corner and Wijnaldum crashes a header against the crossbar. Liverpool look more than up for this.
24' Chance for Liverpool! Mane skips into the box and backheels for Jota. Jota darts inside and fires towards goal but Forster is in the right place to keep it out. Liverpool get a corner.
22' Salah's penalised for flicking a high foot towards the face of Vestergaard while going for the ball. It's an innocuous challenge. Up the other end, Tella is waved up by the referee after going down.
21' Redmond is in space down the left and skips inside to drop a cross towards the other side of the box. No one in Southampton white is there though. It'll be a Liverpool goal-kick.
20' Alexander-Arnold floats a dangerous direct pass towards Forster and the Southampton goalkeeper grabs it quickly. Alexander-Arnold's been a man on a mission since Gareth Southgate left him out of his last England squad.
19' Liverpool take the corner and soon win another. This time Phillips nods down and wide at the far post.
18' Liverpool put together some nice play on the edge of Southampton's box with Jota's cross being headed away. Liverpool keep the pressure on and Salah forces a save from Forster at his near post. The hosts will get a corner.
17' Alisson punches the corner away from danger. Southampton look to rebuild but soon give the ball away. Mane's cross from the left is easily claimed by Forster.
16' Ward-Prowse's corner doesn't lead to much but Southampton keep the ball and Armstrong plays it off Fabinho for another corner. It's been a solid start by the Saints.
15' Redmond twists and turns by the left touchline and beats Alexander-Arnold to approach the box. Alexander-Arnold gets back to block Redmond's cross and hand Southampton a corner.
13' Mane tries and fails to beat Walker-Peters. The Senegal winger asks for a foul but doesn't get it. Mane has not been quite the same player for Liverpool this season as he was in previous campaigns.
11' Bednarek nods the ball out of play for a Liverpool throw-in. It's been a fairly even start to the half with Liverpool having the slight edge at the moment.
9' Liverpool are starting to find their rhythm. Alexander-Arnold fires a direct pass towards Mane who escapes the challenge of Vestergaard just outside the box and flashes an effort over the crossbar.
7' Walker-Peters finds Walcott on the overlap and Walcott hangs a cross high into the box. Liverpool get rid of it.
5' Liverpool keep hold of the ball at the back before Salah starts off on a run down the right. Stephens tracks the Egyptian and stops him before he gets too close to Southampton's penalty area.
4' Walcott wins a free-kick as Phillips brings his run to an unfair halt. 
2' Southampton start brightly as their right-back Walker-Peters goes on a galloping run down the right and wins a corner. Ward-Prowse sends it in and Vestergaard heads wide.
1' We're underway here in Liverpool!
The two teams are out on the pitch at Anfield. Liverpool are in their iconic red home kit. Southampton are wearing their white away colours.
Normally this game would be easier for Liverpool. The Reds are unbeaten in their last six league games against Southampton at Anfield, winning the last three by an aggregate score of 10-0. However, Liverpool have conceded at least once in their last eight at home and lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture between this pair back in January. This could be a tricky match for the hosts.
Klopp makes two changes to the Liverpool side that drew 1-1 with Newcastle United last time out. Phillips replaces Kabak at centre-back, allowing Fabinho to step into midfield. Firmino starts on the bench. There's just the one change to Southampton from their draw with Leicester. Liverpool loanee Minamino can't play so Walcott starts instead. Danny Ings is still out injured.
SUBS: Alexandre Jankewitz, Michael Obafemi, Daniel N'Lundulu, Will Ferry, Ibrahima Diallo, Moussa Djenepo, Mohammed Salisu, Alex McCarthy, Kayne Ramsay.
SOUTHAMPTON (4-4-2): Fraser Forster; Kyle Walker-Peters, Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek, Jack Stephens; Theo Walcott, James Ward-Prowse (c), Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Tella; Che Adams, Nathan Redmond.
SUBS: Ben Woodburn, Adrian, Neco Williams, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Xherdan Shaqiri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Billy Koumetio, Curtis Jones, Roberto Firmino.
LIVERPOOL (4-3-3): Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams, Andrew Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum (c); Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane.
Southampton have also had a nasty second half to the campaign. The 16th-placed Saints have picked up just 11 points so far in 2021 - fewer than any other side - but battled to a creditable 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City last time out despite having 10 men for most of the game. Ralph Hasenhuttl will be hoping the grit his side showed there can carry them to a strong end to the season.
It's crunch time for Liverpool. With their chances of a top-four finish rapidly dwindling, Jurgen Klopp's seventh-placed Reds need to start a run of wins now if they are to scrape into next season's Champions League. Liverpool's home form has been their biggest issue this season after picking up just six points from the last 30 available to them at Anfield.
Hello! Welcome to our live text commentary of this Premier League match between Liverpool and Southampton at Anfield.