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The media on Southampton 1-2 LFC: ‘Mane the game-changer’

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The media on Southampton 1-2 LFC: 'Mane the game-changer'

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino netted superb strikes as Liverpool claimed a hard-fought 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday.

Ex-Red Danny Ings pulled a late goal back for the Saints but the Reds held on to claim three points.

Here is what the media made of the victory…

Neil Jones, Goal.com

It’s always the ones you love that hurt you the most. Southampton know all about Mane but, at St Mary’s on Saturday, they got a painful reminder of their former star’s quality. Liverpool, his new love, left the south coast with three points and their perfect start to the Premier League season intact after a 2-1 victory that was more rugged than stylish, but nothing if not important. No Super Cup hangover for Jürgen Klopp’s side, who just about shrugged off their midweek workload. They’ll play better this season, for sure, but they won’t get many better wins, given the context. Mane, though, was the game-changer – just as he had been against Chelsea in the week. His brilliant strike, a minute into first-half stoppage time, broke open a game that looked like it might pass Liverpool by. After the break, as the visitors found more of their rhythm, it was the Senegal man who stood above everyone else. If there’s a better wide attacker in the game right now, he’s well hidden.

Connor Dunn, Liverpool Echo

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a player Liverpool fans have been excited to see back in action since his unfortunate injury saw him miss almost the entirety of last season. The travelling Kop got a first taste of what their side had been missing without the midfielder in Liverpool’s Super Cup triumph over Chelsea in Istanbul when he played a wonderful ball with the outside of his boot to Mohamed Salah early on in the match. The England international was making his first Premier League start since the Reds’ 3-0 win against Bournemouth in April 2018 and he was back in his preferred midfield position. It made a huge difference playing the England international in an area of the pitch that he knows so well, as he thrived down on the south coast linking the play between defence and attack superbly well with a skill set Reds fans have been crying out for.

Tom Morgan, Telegraph

Mane – the old hero of St Mary’s – stuck the knife in. Yet again it was a demonstration of devastating left-sided Liverpool attacking play, a John Barnes-style pearler. The biggest source of optimism for Klopp will undoubtedly be the second-half performance of Oxlade-Chamberlain who started consecutive games for the first time in more than a year. He was withdrawn at the half-way stage against Chelsea in midweek, but he sparkled in the second half, with neat flicks and long-range passes. “Outstanding” was the manager’s evaluation.

Tony Evans, Independent

Mane’s brilliance took the sting out of Southampton for most of the second period. Andy Robertson and James Milner exchanged passes on congested left flank and the ball was fed in to Mane. The striker opened his body and curled a shot into the far corner. Southampton looked stunned. Now Klopp’s team were on top and Liverpool could easily have extended their lead when Salah shot straight at Angus Gunn from an acute angle. Then Mane imposed himself again, winning possession from a Southampton throw-in and finding Firmino in the area. The Brazilian wriggled across the box until he found a little space and then arrowed a low shot into the net. Liverpool held on in a rousing finish. Hasenhüttl will be sick, Klopp relieved. Liverpool underwent a severe test.

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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