Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he made nine changes to his line-up against Southampton because he needed to field players who were ready for a “proper fight”.
The Reds ensured the Premier League title race will go to the final day of the season by coming from behind to beat Southampton 2-1 at St Mary’s. Goals from Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip helped Klopp’s side claim three points after Nathan Redmond netted an early opener following a superb solo run.
But Klopp’s starting XI appeared justified as the Reds fought their way back into the match to keep them just one point behind table-toppers Manchester City heading into the final game of the season. It comes as Mohamed Salah was spotted enjoying some lunch in Chesire after missing out on the trip to Southamptonaltogether.
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Southampton talking points
Liverpool came from behind to keep their faint quadruple hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Southampton on Tuesday night.
Nathan Redmond’s fine 13th-minute effort came after he received the ball from Nathan Tella and ran almost half the length of the pitch before cutting in from the left and delightfully curling home from the edge of the area via a slight deflection off James Milner. Takumi Minamino claimed the 27th-minute equaliser, beating Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy at his near post with a powerful, rising drive into the roof of the net.
Joel Matip claimed the winner in the second half as he held off Kyle Walker-Peters to send a looping header beyond McCarthy and into the right corner in front of the delirious travelling fans. It was a game full of talking points, including Klopp’s big gamble and Minamino’s Saints return.
Klopp wanted ‘proper fight’
Jurgen Klopp packed his Liverpool starting XI with players ready to show “100 per cent desire” who were “ready for a proper fight”, he has said.
The Reds boss drafted in nine changes from the side who were taken through 120 minutes of football, plus penalties, in Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea. And Klopp has now explained that decision as he left the likes of Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane out of the game completely.
Salah misses out
Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah missed out altogether for the Premir League encounter with Southampton – with the Egyptian not even travelling with the rest of the squad down to the south coast.
The Reds forward was seen enjoying a spot of lunch in Wilmslow having lunch at Juniper Restaurant ahead of kick-off. Salah limped out of the FA Cup final against Chelsea with an injury but could make a return at the weekend when the Reds will be hoping Manchester City slip up and they can win the Premier League title.