Salah named Man of the Match as Liverpool comfortably beat Southampton
Egypt international Mohamed Salah scored his 22nd goal of the season as Liverpool sealed a comfortable 2-0 victory over struggling Southampton on Sunday.
Two first-half goals helped the Reds reclaim the third spot on the league table with 54 points, closing the gap on Manchester United in the second place to just two points.
The Reds had a dream start at St Mary’s Stadium as they took an early lead through Roberto Firmino after just six minutes from the kickoff. An error from Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt, gifted Salah possession. The 25-year-old winger passed the ball to the Brazilian striker who easily finished into the net.
The visitors sat deep after the early goal, aiming to defend their lead. Meanwhile, the hosts held possession yet failed to bring the scores level.
In the 17th minute, Oriol Romeu found space in Liverpool’s midfield before playing a cross to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who chested the ball into the box but failed to beat Loris Karius from close range.
Southampton maintained their pressure and they were very close to get an equaliser 12 minutes later, when James Ward-Prowse played a cross into the box, which was headed by Guido Carrillo but Karius again cleared the danger.
Four minutes away from the half time whistle, Salah scored his 22nd goal of the season to double Liverpool’s lead following brilliant team play with Firmino. The Brazilian’s brilliant back-heel pass found Salah, who comfortably finished into the net and managed to close the gap on the league top scorer Harry Kane.
In the second half, Southampton failed to maintain their pressure in Liverpool’s half. The Reds took full control of the game, as Mauricio Pellegrino’s changes failed to bring the Saints back into the match.
Salah was on the verge of adding his second goal in the 70th minute, but the former AS Roma winger failed to convert a rebound into the net. The Egypt international was subbed off in the last minute of the game as former Southampton player Dejan Lovren came on to replace him.
The Premier League side will next travel to face Porto in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on February 14.