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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 17 February, 2020


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Good evening everybody, you’re very welcome along to our minute-by-minute coverage of tonight’s Premier League clash between Southampton and Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp’s men departed Anfield with yet another dramatic, last-gasp three points on Sunday as the Reds seek a first league title in 29 years. Toby Alderweireld’s 90th minute own goal condemned Spurs to a deflating defeat but only served to increase the belief that this could be Liverpool’s year.

Whisper that thought quietly though, because there’s still plenty of twists and turns left in this drama yet. Tonight Southampton welcome Klopp’s side to St Mary’s looking to keep their own Premier League battle alive.

It’s a battle at the opposite end of the table, though, as Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men continue their quest to avoid relegation. The Saints are flying high at the minute, with Sunday’s 1-0 win at Brighton their third victory in their last four league outings.

Southampton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: Steven Paston

Looking at the cold hard facts, tonight probably represent one of Liverpool’s trickiest remaining hurdles between now and the end of the season. The Reds face further tests against Chelsea at Anfield, Cardiff away, Huddersfield at home, Newcastle away and finally Wolves on Merseyside.

A point is of little use tonight, with Liverpool seeking to reclaim top spot ahead of Man City with a game extra played. It’s finely balanced, everyone’s nerves are absolutely shot and it promises to be another action-packed night full of intrigue and dramatic plot points.

Kick-off is coming up in just under an hour’s time at 7.45pm, with tonight’s game is live on Sky Sports Main Event if you’re near a TV.

TEAM NEWS: Jurgen Klopp makes two changes from his side’s win against Tottenham on Sunday. Both switches are in the middle of the park, with Fabinho and Naby Keita coming in for Jordan Henderson and James Milner.

Ralph Hasenhüttl also makes two changes from Southampton’s 1-0 victory at the Amex over the weekend. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Danny Ings both drop out, with Jannik Vestergaard and Ireland striker Shane Long brought in.

Southampton: Gunn; Yoshida, Bednarek, Vestergaard; Valery, Hojbjerg, Romeu, Bertrand; Redmond, Ward-Prowse; Long.

Substitutes: McCarthy, Stephens, Targett, Armstrong, Gallagher, Sims, Austin.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Substitutes: Mignolet, Lovren, Henderson, Moreno, Shaqiri, Origi, Milner.

Three-quarters of an hour before we get underway at St Mary’s. How do you see this evening’s game panning out? Let us know below.

Poll Results:

Liverpool win (157)
Surely a draw (25)
Southampton win (16)

Some pre-game reading material:

What the managers have said…

Jurgen Klopp: ”I have to say, the job he [Hasenhüttl] is doing since he’s there is incredible. He’s brought the young players in, academy players.

“It’s good, of course, but in the situation when he came in, it’s pretty brave as well. It’s a good side, it’s a really good side. We know about that.”

Fulham v Liverpool - Premier League - Craven Cottage Source: Adam Davy

Ralph Hasenhüttl: “We know how tough it is and there are still a lot of points to get, so we have to stay focused.

“There is still a long way to go and the sooner we get to 40 points the better.

“[Klopp's] doing a fantastic job in Liverpool and I try to do my job here, and I think we are both successful so far.”

Flag 1Mins

KICK-OFF: We’re underway at St Mary’s for the first half!


Southampton sitting back and absorbing pressure right from the get-go here. Shane Long is storming about trying to close down space, but Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip are pushing up maintaining a high line stroking the ball left and right.


(Potential future Ireland international) Nathan Redmond storms through midfield with plenty of attacking intent. He cuts inside and tries to exploit the space behind, but Fabinho keeps niggling at Redmond until the ball is cut beneath him. Relentless tackling from the Brazilian there.


The Saints produce the first proper chance. Redmond takes possession from Ryan Bertrand after an overlapping run down the left wing and crosses towards the front post. Van Dijk is first to retrieve it and heads wide for a corner kick.

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: John Walton


Southampton’s early promise comes to nothing as James Ward-Prowse’s corner is easily headed clear by Joel Matip, who rises highest. There’s a cracking atmosphere inside St Mary’s tonight. An excellent ground.

Flag 9Mins


The Saints break the deadlock after just nine minutes and it’s Shane Long with the goal! A cross into the box is knocked on by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, with Long taking one touch to compose himself and settle the ball before slamming a low right-footed effort into Alisson’s bottom corner. It’s the Tipperary man’s 50th Premier League goal and just his 3rd in his last 39 games. What a start!

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: John Walton


This has really put a cat amongst the pigeons early doors here. Southampton started with plenty of vigour and energy and have been rewarded with the opening goal. The camera pans to Danny Ings sitting in the stands, with the Englishman nodding his head in approval at Long’s composed finish.


Liverpool respond down the other end. Mohamed Salah finally finds some time and space with the ball down at his feet. He is initially dispossessed thanks to a composed sliding challenge by Jannik Vestergaard. But Salah regains possession and swings a deep cross towards Sadio Mane, with his header palmed away by Angus Gunn.


Liverpool are completely at sixes and sevens here. A poor clearance by Trent Alexander-Arnold sees Nathan Redmond fizz a dangerous cross right into the mixer. Someone Shane Long manages to completely miss the ball, before Virgil van Dijk steers the ball over his own crossbar. It could easily have been an own goal.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


Two more chances in a row for Southampton and Liverpool are looking exceedingly ropey now. A header across goal caught by Alisson is almost met by an unmarked Long. This, before another effort from Jannik Vestergaard fails to hit the target.


Klopp’s men try to push men forward in search of a response. Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino dance around challenges seeking an opening, but the Saints are flooding bodies back and closing down every opportunity led by Jan Bednarek and Maya Yoshida.


The mood inside St Mary’s has transformed entirely. Where Liverpool might have been buoyant and confident ahead of kick-off on account of that late win against Tottenham five days ago, now they look a nervous wreck out there.

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: Adam Davy


To their credit, this has been an excellent opening 25 display from Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men here. They are battling against the drop this season — currently five points ahead of Cardiff City — but are playing above themselves tonight. Nathan Redmond in particular has been very impressive down that left wing.


A really nice attack sees Shane Long and Nathan Redmond combine on halfway, before Pierre-Emile Højbjerg is brought into the equation streaming down the left. The Danish midfielder loops a high cross towards Long inside the box, but it’s just a little too high and flies out of play.


Better from Liverpool down the other end. Trent Alexander-Arnold attacks down the right flank and delivers a low cross aimed towards Mohamed Salah, but Maya Yoshida is first to the ball and boots the ball clear. Once again Liverpool’s fullbacks have been absolutely instrumental in good attacking play for the Reds.


Mo Salah peels away behind enemy lines following a brilliant outside-of-the-boot through ball from Roberto Firmino, but the linesman raises his flag for offside against the Egyptian. Salah has been working tirelessly up front all night, but Liverpool haven’t properly tested Angus Gunn between the sticks so far.

Flag 36Mins


We’re all square! Liverpool’s steady pressure pays off as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inviting cross from the right is headed down into the bottom corner by Naby Keita. His old manager at RB Leipzig Hasenhüttl won’t thank him for that, but the travelling Reds fans are elated. There was a call for offside, but the goal stands as Keita nabs his first goal for the Merseysiders.

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: John Walton


Those Liverpool fans in the away end are in fine voice now. Southampton began a commanding performance tonight but have slowly and steadily faded as the visitors take a firm grip of affairs. Robertson and  Alexander-Arnold attacking down both flanks looks to be overwhelming the Saints at the moment.


It’s wave after wave of Liverpool attacks now as the half-time interval approaches. Keita surges through midfield and offloads to Salah, but Vestergaard succeeds in holding him off and pushing the forward back away from the box, away from shooting range.


Another opportunity, as Liverpool try and wrestle the lead before the break. Roberto Firmino takes possession just inside the box and flashes a right-footed effort low towards Gunn’s bottom corner. But the Brazilian’s effort drags well wide.

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport


There will be one minute of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.

Flag 45Mins


A throughly enjoyable opening 45 minutes at St Mary’s. Shane Long snagged just his second goal this season to break the deadlock, a composed low finish from Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s cleverly headed knock-on. 

But Jurgen Klopp’s men hit back on 36 minutes as Naby Keita stuck his first ever Liverpool goal. A steady period of pressure paid dividends as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inviting cross was headed down into the bottom corner by Keita to level proceedings.

It’s finely poised, with Liverpool knowing a draw is no good if they want to reclaim top spot ahead of Manchester City. More action to come very shortly!

Flag 46Mins

SECOND-HALF: We’re back underway for another 45 minutes.


Liverpool picking up where they left off in that first half. Andy Robertson piles down the left wing and dinks a cross into the penalty area. Jannik Vestergaard reads the danger early and provides a headed interception to clear.


Chance down the other end. Yann Valery beats Joel Matip in a foot race for the ball down the right flank before sending a curling cross into the danger zone. Nathan Redmond is unmarked but can’t manage to get any contact on it to test Alisson. 


Redmond with another strike. A cross is cleared to the edge of the box and the 25-year-old smacks a left-footed volley towards goal. It takes a deflection out for a corner and Fabinho completes the defensive operation by heading clear again for Liverpool.


Nathan Redmond is covering every blade of grass out there at the minute. He provides a couple of step-overs to leave Joel Matip behind, before his low shot is again blocked away for a corner. Southampton really on top right now.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth


Liverpool are being pinned back inside their own half. Salah, Firmino and Mane are being increasingly isolated up front and are struggling to get any sort of touch on the ball so far in the second half.


Jurgen Klopp is looking to switch things up it seems. Both Jordan Henderson and James Milner have been sent to strip off and warm up ahead of being sent on. Both men were dropped after Sunday’s victory against Spurs, but will try and turn this game in Liverpool’s favour for the final half an hour tonight.


There are serious claims for a penalty as Naby Keita goes down inside the box under the challenge of Maya Yoshida. Referee Paul Tierney has an excellent view of the incident, standing right in front of both players, but he puts his arm outstretched and waves play on.

Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: Mark Kerton


Double substitution for Liverpool: Jordan Henderson replacesTrent Alexander-Arnold & James Milner replaces Georginio Wijnaldum.


More pressure from Liverpool as the visitors continue to up the ante in search of the goal to go ahead. Roberto Firmino takes ownership of the ball on the outskirts of the box, but his well-struck right-footed shot flies comfortably into the arms of goalkeeper Gunn. 


Substitution for Southampton: Josh Sims replaces Shane Long.


An excellent attack down the left from Sadio Mane sees the Senegal international drift past Jan Bednarek. The defender is already on a yellow card and doesn’t want to provide an unnecessary challenge, with Mane crossing low towards Firmino. The Brazilian drags a shot close to the bottom corner, but it flies the wrong side of the post and hits the advertising hoarding behind the goal.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth


Just 25 minutes left on the clock and you get the feeling that Liverpool know time is beginning to slip away at the moment. Southampton have been under the cosh for the majority of this second half but are holding firm at the back. Klopp’s side have had loads of possession, but can’t find a breakthrough just yet.


Close! Roberto Firmino with an excellent chance to take the lead. In a similar vein to Shane Long’s goal earlier tonight, the ball bounces up invitingly for the Brazilian to smack right in front of goal. Angus Gunn is at his mercy between the sticks, but Maya Yoshida heroically throws himself in the firing line to block the ball away. Brilliant, brilliant defending.

A really promising attacking pattern sees Jordan Henderson and James Milner linkup following some tenacious guarding of the ball by Mo Salah. Milner, playing at right back since the departure of  Alexander-Arnold, crosses for Sadio Mane to head towards goal. But the effort is blocked down by Vestergaard.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth


Andy Robertson passes up an excellent chance as Jurgen Klopp holds his head in his hands. Mane plays the young Scot free down the left. Salah is free inside the box, but Robertson’s cross flies high and out the other end of the box to nobody. Frustration slowly beginning to build and build for the visitors.


Milner floats another cross into the mixer, but Firmino’s header is deflected wide for a corner kick. Again Milner provides the delivery, but Yoshida stands his ground at the front post to head clear.


Hasenhüttl’s men with a chance of their own at the other end. Vestergaard rises high to meet a floated corner right into the middle of the box, but big Virgil van Dijk is there to provide the block.

Flag 80Mins


Liverpool are ahead with another late goal! Mohamed Salah breaks free on the counter-attack from a Southampton corner, sprinting into oceans of space before being flanked on both sides by Saints defenders. Roberto Firmino is free and begging for the ball ahead of the Egyptian, but he takes full responsibility and finds the bottom corner with a pinpoint low finish. The drama!

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium Source: Adam Davy


Salah has been criticised by some quarters this season for not being as prolific as his first season at Anfield last year, but he hits back tonight with a goal of massive importance. Klopp’s men looked increasingly flustered throughout this second half but have found their breakthrough with ten minutes left on the clock.


Double substitution for Southampton: Charlie Austin replaces Jannik Vestergaard & Stuart Armstrong replaces Oriol Romeu.



There’s another! Liverpool look to have it all wrapped up here as club captain Jordan Henderson nabs his first Premier League goal since September 2017. Roberto Firmino breaks free down the right and squares the ball where Henderson arrives with a low finish past Gunn. All of a sudden it’s 3-1.

Britain Soccer Premier League Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth


Southampton fly down the other end to try and halve the deficit. Second half introduction Josh Sims is hauled down, but it’s just outside the box. The free-kick is in a dangerous position, but Roberto Firmino rises highest to head clear emphatically.


There will be four minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.



It’s all over! A dramatic end to a brilliant game of football. Liverpool return to the top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester City with the Reds having just five more league games remaining this season.

Shane Long put Southampton ahead with his 50th Premier League goal, before Naby Keita levelled with his first goal since moving to Anfield. It was a nervy and frustrating second half for Jurgen Klopp’s men, before two late goals from Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson swung the game in their favour.

Thanks a million for joining us for the ride this evening — you can read our full match report from tonight’s game here. Until next time, cya!


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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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