Southampton 1-2 Liverpool : Sadio Stuns Saints
These Reds again.
What a bunch. On a day where Liverpool were not at their best for large parts, they showed us signs of how truly brilliant they are. And yes those two points are very much linked. Just a few hours before Manchester City played Spurs off the park but left frustrated, Liverpool’s stars came up with moments of extreme quality (one moment in particular) out of nothing to earn us the victory. It is the reason why they are in the upper echelons of world football, a cut above the rest, the Champions of Europe.
It was a very difficult game at first, it was always going to be. We were up against a fit, tenacious side whose points total has them in the top half if you calculate the points earned by each team since Hassenhuttle’s arrival. Liverpool were also fatigued from their match that went into the early hours of Thursday morning and took place on the other side of Europe.
Nevertheless, the Reds withstood Southampton’s spell of dominance and turned the tables in the second half as Southampton tired themselves and Liverpool improved. The mentality giants now have won 11 premier league games on the spin, equalling a club record, but these players and manager are not resting on their laurels. They carry on as if it means nothing, as if our previous success means nothing and everything is in front of us. These Reds have bigger fish to fry and more trophies to win.
Sadio Mane again. He is the difference again. Klopp said post-match that he is “in a very good moment” and we need to use that going forward. But this moment seems to be lasting a lifetime. Sadio reached a ridiculous standard of quality around January/February of 2018 and has never looked back since. He began a run of scoring very important goals and being our match winner in the majority of our matches in the second half of that season. He also scored in every Champions League round on our way to Kiev including the final.
Since he hit this form, Mane has been arguably one of the top 5 players in the world, scoring vital goals in high-profile matches and at a staggering rate – winning the Premier League golden boot and being the highest scoring Premier League player of 2019 all without converting a single penalty. He has flown under the radar, largely because of the quality players around him, some of which are easily the best in their position in the world, but also because I think a lot of people expected this run of his to stop, myself included.
I started this season doubting that he would hit the goalscoring heights of last season but already I am questioning that belief and now see him being a huge contender for the golden boot again and possibly the ballon do’r in January. It is difficult to see him stopping now.
Against the Saints, Mane played an amazing 5 key passes including his superb pressing and assist for Firmino’s well taken goal. His own fantastic strike was one of only 2 shots he had in the game, both being on target. He also made 3 tackles during the game while harassing the Southampton backline and causing endless problems and uncertainty. It was a magnificent display yet again from our no.10, especially considering he played the full 120 minutes on Wednesday night.
Arsenal next. Who isn’t looking forward to that one? Early season games versus Arsenal have brought us untold joy in recent seasons. It should be a trickier tie this time around, but we can expect a great spectacle and also be very confident. We have nothing to fear, our boys will be on it in a week and Arsenal will have to be at their very best, possibly better, to get something.
Onwards and upwards.
Everything is in front of us.