Liverpool v Southampton: Live matchday blog
Liverpool went 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought win against a spirited Southampton at Anfield. Second-half goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson were added too by a Mohamed Salah brace as the Reds extended their unbeaten run in the top-flight to 42 matches.
Jürgen Klopp's verdict
The manager offered his reflections on Liverpool's 4-0 win over Southampton and the Reds' 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League table in his post-match press conference at Anfield.
"The attitude and the mentality of these boys made it again possible that we could win this game," said the boss. "Because this was a game which looked in moments not only tricky, it looked like – banana skin is maybe not the right word because Southampton are too good for being a banana skin – but it looked like today, yes it will probably happen [Liverpool would drop points].
"The boys put a sensational shift in, everybody went to the point and above, so that makes this group really special. That’s all that happened. We didn’t want to have a 22-point difference to other teams today, we wanted to have 73 points after that matchday. And that’s what we have, so all good for the moment."
You can read what he had to say in full by clicking here.
Jordan Henderson's reaction
"We're getting closer to our target but I don't see why we need to change – I keep saying it every week but it's the truth," the captain said after the game as he assessed Liverpool's 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League table. "We take the next game as it comes, that's the next challenge and the biggest challenge. We're focussing on that 90 minutes and giving everything we can, respect the opposition like we always do and just focus on each game as it comes.
"That's put us in good stead until now, so there's no need to change. We just need to continue on our journey, keep focussed, keep learning at the training ground and then when we play on a weekend, give everything we can."
Read our chat with the skipper in full by clicking here.
And here's how the top of the table looks...
All the facts and figures from this afternoon, courtesy of Opta...
Liverpool 4-0 Southampton
Liverpool move 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a hard-fought victory over a spirited Southampton at Anfield.
The Saints were a threat throughout, but the Reds went in front through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's drive towards the near post moments after the re-start.
Jordan Henderson smashed in a second soon after before a Mohamed Salah double completed the scoring.
Liverpool have now gone 42 games unbeaten in the top-flight - the joint-second longest run of all time - and strengthened their grip at the top of the table.
GOAL! MOHAMED SALAH!
The Egyptian King has his second as he nudges the ball in from close range from Firmino's pass.
4-0 to the Reds.
Bednarek booked for pulling back Firmino to prevent a counter.
A standing ovation for Henderson, who makes way for Lallana.
A standing ovation for Henderson, who makes way for Lallana.
It should be 4-0.
Liverpool break through Salah, who tees up Minamino12 yards out, but he scoops well over
Boufal curls wide of Alisson's upright.
Minamino comes on for Wijnaldum for the Reds.
It's almost 4-0 as Keita slides in Firmino, who side-steps McCarthy; however, the goalkeeper makes a fine recovery save to thwart the Reds striker.
Naby Keita comes on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
GOAL!!! MOHAMED SALAH!!!
Liverpool have a third as Firmino leaves Alisson's ball forward for Henderson on the right. He hooks a pass forward into the path of Salah's run and he finishes beyond McCarthy with a deft dink.
3-0 to the Reds.
A double change for the visitors.
Long and Ings off, Adams and Obafemi on.
Ings gets a warm reception from the home supporters, who chant his name.
Djenepo causes havoc in the area, a game of pinball ensues before Liverpool scramble it away.
Hojbjerg earlier had a shot deflected behind by Gomez.
Ward-Prowse goes into the book.
GOAL!!! JORDAN HENDERSON!!!
Liverpool further their lead as Firmino stays onside on the left to collect Fabinho's ball forward. He motors into the box and pulls it back for Henderson, who crashes into the Kop end net to make it 2-0.
Ings has a shot deflected behind as Southampton push for a leveller.
Salah has the ball in the net from Firmino's pass.
It's ruled out for offside following a VAR check.
GOAL!! ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN!!!
Liverpool are in front as Oxlade-Chamberlain collects the ball on the left, powers inside onto the edge of the area and cracks a low drive in at the near post.
Off we go again...
Liverpool restart the game at Anfield.
Come on you Reds!
Here's how Opta recorded the first haf...
Liverpool 0-0 Southampton
It's goalless at the break at Anfield.
The Reds' best chance fell to Virgil van Dijk, whose close-range effort was smothered by Alex McCarthy.
However, Southampton have fashioned a succession of chances in the opening 45.
One minute to be added on at the end of the first half.
Gomez hesitates, allowing Ings to steal in, but Alisson rushes from his line to make a save at the feet of the former Reds forward.
Another opening for Southampton, again coming from Liverpool giving the ball away.
This time Hojbjerg takes the ball from Oxlade-Chamberlain and shoots low towards the bottom corner.
Another good opening for Southampton.
This time Long's snap-shot stings the palms of Alisson.
Firmino inadvertantly plays in Ings, who steps inside Gomez and shoots, but it cannons against Long.
Alexander-Arnold steps up to strike a free-kick goalwards.
It hits the wall and goes behind.
Redmond's shot deflects off Gomez and goes behind.
VAR checks a potential infringement on Firmino by Long as the No.9 goes for a cross in the six-yard box.
Penalty not given.
The game's first big chance as Salah drills a half-cleared corner back into the path of Van Dijk, who controls it and attempts to beat McCarthy with a back-heel, similar to the manner in which Mane scored against Watford last season. The 'keeper manages to block, however - and he repels Firmino's follow-up, too.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has a shot deflected by Djenepo. The ball loops high into the air and then towards the top corner, where McCarthy pushes it over.
Djenepo takes aim from the edge of the area with a crisp effort that Alisson needs to punch around the post.
Wijnaldum can't get any purchase on an attempt after being slid into a shooting position by Fabinho.
From one end to the other.
Van Dijk has to stretch to cut out an Ings cutback.
Liverpool break and Henderson has a shot charged down on the edge of the box.
Liverpool open up their guests for the first time.
Oxlade-Chamberlain chests a pass off to Salah on the edge of the box, who sees his strike deflected behind by Bednarek's challenge.
Alexander-Arnold skims a cross onto the roof of the net, with McCarthy concerned but untroubled.
Southampton incensed after Alisson picks up a nudge back towards him from Robertson as he tackles Djenepo inside the box. The referee waves play on.
The game begins to come to life after a tepid start.
Salah fizzes a cross into the area that just evades Firmino and Oxlade-Chamberlain.
And we're off...
Southampton start the game and we're up and running at Anfield as Liverpool aim to go 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League table, as well extending their unbeaten league run to 42 matches.
Come on you Reds!
The teams? They're out on the pitch.
Now playing? You'll Never Walk Alone.
The action? It's almost here.
AXA - principal partner and official training kit sponsor
Here's how Opta predict the sides will shape up...
Inside the dressing room
Here they come...
The teamsheet is in and it shows just one change for Liverpool as Fabinho comes in for Divock Origi.
Adam Lallana is back on the bench after recovering from a virus.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Lovren, Keita, Minamino, Lallana, Origi, Matip.
On this day
Liverpool last played on February 1 in 2009, when two goals in two minutes from Fernando Torres defeated Chelsea late on at Anfield.
Three years earlier, Daniel Agger made the first of his 232 appearances for the Reds in a 1-1 draw with Birmingham City.
The lowdown on Saints
"It sounds cliché, but their team spirit is their biggest driving force at the moment," sports journalist Dan Sheldon tells us in our view from the opposition feature.
"Recent results against Chelsea, Tottenham, Leicester and Crystal Palace have given Hasenhuttl's side an edge and they don't stop trying until the final whistle."
Dan expects the visitors to line up like so...
'It gives us a foundation'
Joe Gomez has been discussing the Reds' sturdiness at the back and his own outstanding form in an interview in the official matchday programme.
"Obviously as a backline and Ali, we thrive off clean sheets but it is a collective thing," the No.12 insists. "It starts from the front and works its way back.
"We take pride in it but we know that it's as a team that we defend and the whole team does that because it gives us a foundation to get goals and if you get the goals and keep clean sheets, you win games."
On his recent performances, Gomez continued: "I've enjoyed playing the games but it's just about keeping focused.
"We've still got a long way to go in the season. There are still a lot of games left, so it's just about focusing on each one at a time and not dwelling on anything and hopefully we can keep putting performances in."
Ready to go
- Victory today would see Liverpool equal the Premier League record for consecutive home wins (20)
- The Reds have won each of the past five encounters with Southampton by an aggregate score of 13-2
- Mohamed Salah has been on the winning side in each of the last 30 league games in which he has played
- Liverpool's current points tally (70) is more than they have accumulated in 17 of the 27 complete Premier League seasons
Play LFC Lotto today
Play LFC Lotto today for the chance to win huge cash prizes, amazing signed Reds memorabilia and unique experiences - with every draw this season featuring a shirt signed by the first team and a cap signed by Klopp.
Subscribers will also be entered into a draw to meet the first-team squad at Melwood.
Entries are just £2 in the stadium, or you can play online here.
Fifty per cent of net proceeds from this season's LFC Lotto will specifically help fund LFC Foundation's Military Veterans programme and men's health projects.
Players must be aged 16+
Ings set for warm welcome
Danny Ings will return to Anfield as a player for the first time since leaving the club - and both the manager and captain have spoken glowingly of the striker in their programme notes.
Klopp: "Of course, there is one player in their ranks we know better than most: Mr Danny Ings. For 90-plus minutes today he is our opponent, but other than that he is always our friend at Liverpool. I am not even half-a-per-cent surprised to see what he does this season. Richly deserved, also. Today I hope he has an off day, but other than that his story this season really brings joy to those of us lucky enough to know him."
Henderson: "He was only ever a nice guy off the pitch. On the pitch he was 'horrible' in the best sense of the word from a footballing perspective: wouldn't give you a second to breathe on the ball, always snapping away to try to win the ball back, constantly offering and always a threat. I hope after the match today I'm telling him 'hard luck'. But we'll also be telling him that we're all made up to see him doing what he does best. The fact he's getting the recognition he deserves as one of the best centre-forwards, in one of Europe's best leagues, is reward for all the hard work he's put in for a very, very long time."
Liverpool are expected to have Adam Lallana and Divock Origi available after a virus and cramp respectively.
James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri are ruled out, however, and Sadio Mane is unlikely to face his former club.
Stuart Armstrong is sidelined for Saints, Cedric Soares has joined Arsenal on loan, and Kyle Walker-Peters is not able to play yet after switching from Tottenham.
The visitors are otherwise full strength, though.
Did you know?
The last three league goals scored by Saints at Anfield have all come from current Liverpool players - Dejan Lovren in 2013, Nathaniel Clyne a year later and Sadio Mane in 2015.
Who's in charge?
Here are today's officials at Anfield.
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Simon Beck, Adrian Holmes
Fourth official: David Webb
VAR: Simon Hooper
Assistant VAR: Daniel Robathan
The last meeting
The teams last met early in the Premier League season and Liverpool took all three points courtesy of goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino at St Mary's...
Today's programme cover
The front of the official match programme pays tribute to Bob Paisley in the week a statue, commissioned and donated by Standard Chartered, was unveiled in his honour at Anfield.
The image, of Paisley carrying Emlyn Hughes from the field during his days as a physio, has been recreated in bronze outside the stadium to celebrate the iconic manager's legacy.
The manager's preview
Jürgen Klopp held his pre-match press conference on Friday, where he discussed the clash with Southampton, the Reds' approach to transfers, the latest team news and more...
Tale of the tape
Examine all of the numbers behind both sides' Premier League seasons so far...
Last time out
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave Liverpool a deserved 2-0 win at West Ham United in midweek. Enjoy the story of that game below...
As it stands
A reminder of the situation at the summit.
Liverpool are 19 points clear of Manchester City before this weekend's action begins. City travel to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.
Leicester City, who host fourth-placed Chelsea in today's lunchtime kick-off, are a further three points behind the Reds.
Back to Anfield
Hello and welcome to our live matchday blog as Liverpool return home to face Southampton in the Premier League this afternoon.
Victory over Saints would open up a 22-point lead at the summit for the Reds.
Follow all of the build-up, action and reaction from Anfield right here, with team news, updates, videos, photos and much more.