As fans and pundits alike continued to savour his defence-splitting pass that created Liverpool's maiden strike of the new season, Jordan Henderson deflected the plaudits towards Raheem Sterling.

The Anfield clock had ticked into a 23rd minute on Sunday when the Reds' No.14 sought to reclaim possession for the hosts inside his own half, and did so by dominating two strong tackles in quick succession.

Not content with that result, though, the midfielder's thoughts instantaneously progressed to considering the fastest way of releasing a teammate into an area that threatened Southampton.

He achieved that too, arcing an inch-perfect pass that travelled and curled along 40 yards into the left-to-right run of Sterling, whose finishing composure was worthy of such an assist.

"I would say it is pretty high in terms of my assists," Henderson agreed when speaking to a day after the 2-1 victory over Ronald Koeman's Saints.

"But at the same time it was a great run by Raheem and a great finish as well. So a lot of credit has got to go to him. It was great positioning to time his run and the finish was excellent.

"In midfield a lot of us like to get the ball back as quickly as possible in the transition moment. Thankfully, I did that. As long as you're contributing, that's the main thing.

"Assists are a big part of football and you want to contribute as much as you can, whether that's goals or assists - it doesn't really matter who scores."

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It clearly mattered that Liverpool could celebrate an opening day win, however, and it was ultimately claimed through Daniel Sturridge's strike following Nathaniel Clyne's leveller.

Henderson admitted that the Reds had not quite found their fluent best in their first competitive outing of the campaign, but echoed the sentiments that put a positive result above all else.

"On the opening day of the season the most important thing was getting three points and a good start," he continued in his assessment.

"I don't think we played as well as we can - we weren't flowing as well as we normally do - but you're going to have days like that.

"You've got to give credit to Southampton and the way they came and played. We found a solution to get through and win the game."

Sunday's encounter featured numerous fascinating similarities with Liverpool's opening fixture of last season, when Stoke City were beaten 1-0 on Merseyside.

Sturridge produced the winning goal once again, while goalkeeper Simon Mignolet sensationally tipped a Morgan Schneiderlin drive onto the woodwork, 12 months after saving a last-minute Potters penalty.

"Last year, in the opening game against Stoke, we won 1-0 and they had a penalty in the last few minutes and Simon made a great save," said Henderson.

"Then we kicked on from there, so hopefully it can be a similar story this time around."