Liverpool have again come within one point of leader Manchester City. The Reds won on Tuesday evening with a glorified B-team on the field of Southampton with 1-2. It will be very exciting next Sunday on the last day of the Premier League.
It was hard to swallow for all those who care about Liverpool when the club announced the line-up for the game on the Southampton field on Tuesday evening. Not a single Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah or Virgil Van Dijk in sight, not even on the bench. And that while Liverpool couldn’t lose to have a chance at the title. Salah and Van Dijk suffered minor injuries after Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea, the reason for Mane’s absence is still unclear.
The game also started badly for Liverpool. After 13 minutes Nathan Redmond scored the opening goal for Southampton. His kick was still deviated, but still went in nicely. Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp saw a mistake on Diogo Jota beforehand and was furious about it, the VAR did not intervene.
Roberto Firmino’s equalizer was (rightly) disallowed for offside five minutes later, but just before half an hour Takumi Minamino took the deserved 1-1. Liverpool pushed hard in the second half, although the winning goal had to come from a stagnant phase. It was Cameroonian defender Joël Matip who headed the 1-2 against the ropes.
If Manchester City don’t beat Aston Villa on Sunday on the last day of play and Liverpool beat Wolverhampton, Divock Origi, who came in against Southampton after 65 minutes, can still call himself the champion of England. In a tie, Man City remain first, barring miracles: their goal difference is +72, Liverpool’s ‘only’ +66.
With two games (one Premier League game and the Champions League final) to go this season, Liverpool are still in the running to take home four trophies. Regardless of the outcome of those matches, that is very clever.