Brendan Rodgers pinpointed an excellent Simon Mignolet save as a decisive factor in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Southampton on Saturday as he paid homage to the goalkeeper’s shot-stopping abilities.

With the Reds leading by a goal at St Mary's, the custodian produced a fine first-half reflex save to thwart Jay Rodriguez and retain the visitors' advantage heading into the break.

It was a stop Rodgers felt was just as vital to his side's success as the goals from Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard.

"It was a great save," said the boss. "We had started the game really well, went in front and arguably we should've been two up.

"Away from home there are critical moments in games and he had made that save going the wrong way.

"And that's what he is, a brilliant shot-stopper - and I thought the back four, goalkeeper and collectively in front of that, were excellent defensively.

"When you would normally expect them to come onto the game in the second half we nullified that threat and we were more dangerous in the second half ourselves.

"We've got the goals and collectively we were excellent defensively and showed real good tactical discipline - but credit to them all."

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Rodgers tweaked Liverpool's formation on the south coast, drafting in Joe Allen in place of Sterling.

The Reds took to the field operating in a 4-4-2 diamond system, which ultimately paid dividends as they returned to Merseyside with all three points and moved to second in the Barclays Premier League table.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Rodgers said: "When I was thinking about this game, I wanted to play with four midfield players to dominate that middle of the field.

"Southampton play with the centre-backs open and the full-backs on so that gave us the two strikers to play centrally and play on the two outside shoulders.

"We would then be blocking lines and pressing. Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen on Saturday, how they pressed and how they worked, and their tactical discipline in the game, was exceptional.

"It has been the hallmark of the last 18 months. We have played systems but the style doesn't change. We want to pass, we want to play and want to have dominance in the game but we are flexible in the solutions that we can find."