On Tuesday, a diving header by Joel Matip earned Liverpool a 2-1 victory away at Southampton. This result allowed Liverpool to keep the Premier League championship chase alive until the very last day of the season. After this defeat, Liverpool are now one point behind the leaders Manchester City going into the final round of games on Sunday, when City will be playing at home against Aston Villa and Liverpool will be playing at Anfield against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Pep Guardiola’s team now has 90 points, while Liverpool is in second place with 89; thus, a win for City versus Aston Villa, whose manager is a former Liverpool captain named Steven Gerrard, would give City their fourth league championship in the last five years.
Because of injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, as well as rest for many other players, Juergen Klopp made nine substitutions to the lineup that won the FA Cup final on penalties against Chelsea on Saturday. When Southampton grabbed the lead in the 13th minute with a beautiful effort from Nathan Redmond, after the winger had cut in from the left side, Klopp’s option began to appear dubious.
The away team was looking for a fast way to get back into the game, and Roberto Firmino, who was leading the line in Sadio Mane’s absence, had a header disallowed because the offside flag was flying.
Liverpool, who will play Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League on May 28, tied the game in the 27th minute with a goal by Takumi Minamino, who was on loan with Southampton during the previous season. Minamino’s effort was a powerful one that went in at the near post.
Joe Gomez, a defender for Liverpool whose career has been hindered by injuries, was forced to be removed at the half after sustaining what seemed to be an ankle injury shortly before the break. Gomez’s career has been hampered by injuries. The goal had knocked the wind out of Southampton’s sails, so it came as no surprise when Liverpool grabbed the three points in the 67th minute when Matip headed in Kostas Tsimikas’s corner kick.
As a result of Southampton’s lacklustre performance, Liverpool had no issue finishing off the match and setting up what has the potential to be an exciting final day.
James Milner, a 36-year-old utility player who was granted a rare start, complimented the manner in which the back-up players handled the game. Milner was given the opportunity.
“These gentlemen are just fantastic. The players who may not have played as much, but you can tell by the kind of effort they put in every day in practise, and you can see when they need to step up when they do it “he added.