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Liverpool 4-0 Southampton: Flying Reds in perfect form

Having returned to form emphatically with victories over Arsenal and Porto, the Reds dominated early on against a Southampton side who surprisingly lined up with a three-man defence.

It was more the quality and determination of Jurgen Klopp‘s side that led them to break the deadlock so swiftly, though, as the returning Andy Robertson laid on Diogo Jota for a second-minute strike.

Sadio Mane then had the ball in the back of the net from a Robertson free-kick, only to be ruled out for offside, before Mohamed Salah bent an effort just wide of the post.

Alisson was required to make a handful of smart interceptions to keep Southampton breaks at bay, and Liverpool made it 2-0 on the half-hour as brilliant combination play from Salah and Jordan Henderson paved the way for Jota to tap in his second.

Then Thiago made it three with another stunning goal to follow up his wonder against Porto, this time taking it from range and driving into the box to fire a left-footed strike that diverted in via a deflection.

Liverpool’s attacking play was irresistible, and it could have been a bigger lead had Salah found the right pass in a three-on-one, but his pass evaded both Jota and Mane as half-time blew at 3-0.

Southampton made two changes in personnel and a change of system at the break, with Ralph Hasenhuttl ditching his poorly judged three-man defence in favour of a settled 4-4-2.

Not long after, the visitors were another goal behind, with Alex McCarthy doing well to deny Mane’s brilliant curler, but unable to stop Virgil van Dijk‘s thumping volley from the resulting corner.

A long-awaited increase in midfield options allowed Klopp to replace Thiago with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Henderson with James Milner, as Liverpool appeared to settle into their insurmountable lead.

Jota, Salah and Oxlade-Chamberlain had further chances denied as Southampton held firm but struggled to get the ball out of their own half, with confidence at a low.

For Liverpool, it couldn’t be much higher, and with the Merseyside derby to come on Wednesday night, an emphatic win over Hasenhuttl’s side serves as the perfect warmup.

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