Goals from Sadio Mane and Thiago won the points for Liverpool, whose hopes of qualifying for next seson’s Champions League remain alive Read Andy Hunter’s match report from Anfield View the Premier League table 10.52pm BSTAndy Hunter was at Anfield to see Liverpool beat Southampton and keep their hopes of Champons League qualification alive. Read on … Related: Mané and Thiago sink Southampton to keep Liverpool’s top-four hopes alive 10.45pm BSTMore from Klopp: “They don’t give up, they go and go and go …” 10.44pm BST“It was good, it was good,” says the Liverpool manager. “It was tough, which is how Southampton games are. We knew that before and we had to work hard. We dod that and we scored a really nice goal.” 10.23pm BSTThiago on his goal: “As I say, it’s an amazing feeling butthe most important thing is we keep fighting for this small miracle that we can have.” 10.22pm BSTThiago Alcantara speaks: “I always try to bring out the reality,” he says in an interview with Sky Sports. “We are for sure not happy with the situation we are in now but for the mood, for the confidence in the next game … we are very happy with the win. It’s always a great moment when you score but we have to keep fighting to the end to have this small chance [to finish in the top four].” 10.18pm BSTA quick recap: Poor for the opening 20 minutes, Liverpool took the lead after 31 minutes when Sadio Mane headed home a Mo Slah cross from the right. They rode their luck at times, with Alisson forced to make a couple of excellent saves from Che Adams, who will be very disappointed to have missed some excellen t chances. Thiago Alcantara put the game beyond Liverpool Late doors with his long overdue first goal for the club. 10.12pm BSTPeep! Peep! Peeeeeeep! It’s all over at Anfield, where Liverpool have won 2-0 to close the gap to Leicester City in fourth place to six points. Liverpool have a game in hand over their rivals for that Champions League spot and a much easier run-in.It looks like a three-way shoot-out between Jurgen Klopp’s side, Leicester and West Ham for that final Champions League qualification place. With games to come against Brighton, West Brom and Southampton, I think West Ham are in the box-seat. 10.05pm BST90+3 min: Liverpool substitution: Curtis Jones on for Sadio Mane. 10.04pm BST Boom! Thiago cuts inside from the left, dribbles along the edge of the Southampton penalty area and unleashes a shot. It takes a deflection on its way into the bottom corner, wrong-footing Fraser Forster. That’s three points in the bag for Liverpool. 10.00pm BST86 min: Nothing much continues to happen at great length in a game that is fizzling out into nothingness. There’s a break in play as Kyle Walker-Peters receives treatment for an injury. Liverpool substitution: Mo Salah off, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on for his 11th Premier League appearance of the season. Mo is not best pleased at being hooked and takes his seat in the stand shaking his head at the injustice of it all. 9.54pm BST80 min: From a corner, Trent Alexander-Arnold stands the ball up for Sadio Mane at the far post. He volleys the ball home from the edge of the six-yard box but looks offside. The linesman waves his flag accordingly. No goal. 9.52pm BST79 min: Liverpool substitution: Bob Firmino on for Diogo Jota. Southampton substitution: Moussa Djenepo on for Che Adams, who has missed two huge chances tonight. 9.50pm BST77 min: Alisson plays the ball straight to Che Adams, who is so astonished to receive an inch-perfect pass from the Liverpool goalkeeper just outside the Liverpool penalty area, he passes it straight back. OK, it was a shot, but a pretty feeble one. He should have scored and it’s small wonder he walks back upfield with his head in his hands. . 9.46pm BST72 min: A Southampton goal would really liven up what is a fairly dreary contest with the air of a training ground practice game about it. Another Liverpool goal would finish the game as a contest altogether. It’s been a poor show. 9.44pm BST71 min: Now Diallo makes his mark, introducing himself with a shot from the edge of the Liverpool penalty area that Alisson turns over the bar. Nothing comes from the corner. 9.42pm BST69 min: Kyle Walker-Peters cuts inside from the right and tries a couple of stepovers before unleashing a shot. Fabinho blocks it on the edge of the penalty area. 9.41pm BST67 min: After good work from Redmond down the left, Che Adams threads a very neat through ball into the penalty area spotting Obafemi’s diagonal run in behind. Alisson is lightning fast off his line to deny the substitute a goal with his first touch. 9.39pm BST65 min: Southampton double-substitution: Nathan Tella and Theo Walcott off, Michael Obafemi and Ibrahima Diallo on. 9.37pm BST63 min: Nathan Tella finds himself in the Liverpool penalty area with Trent Alexander-Arnold to beat to get a clear shot on goal. The Liverpool defender stays on his feet and Tella is unable to find a way around him. Good, if unspectacular defending. 9.33pm BST61 min: Nathan Redmond is booked for swinging out of Fabinho’s outstretched arm as he attempts to dribble past the Liverpool midfielder. 9.32pm BST59 min: Walker-Peters sticks out a leg to stop Sadio Mane making his way into the Southampton penalty area from the left. 9.30pm BST57 min: Free-kick for Southampton, wide on the left. James Ward-Prowse curls the ball straight into the gloves of Alisson but is alert enough to intercept the ball when the Liverpool goalkeeper tries to send Mo Salah on his way with a quick throw-out. 9.28pm BST54 min: Theo Walcott gets on the ball on the right flank, providing a timely reminder that he is actually playing in this game. He turned 32 in March … how ancient does that make you feel? 9.25pm BST51 min: Mo Salah tries to stand the ball up for Trent Alexander-Arnold at the far post but overhits his pass. Wide. 9.23pm BST48 min: Kyle Walker-Peters runs the ball out of Southampton’s defence after taking it down with his arm. It looked a blatant handball but he gets away with it despite appeals from assorted Liverpool players. Moments later, Liverpool are on the attack again and Diogo Jota brings a smart save out of Forster with a shot from a tight angle. A corner for Liverpool, from which nothing comes. 9.20pm BST47 min: Stuart Armstrong muscles his way down the right touchline but is unable to get a cross into the Liverpool penalty area. 9.18pm BST46 min: Liverpool kick off, playing into an empty Kop in this second half. 9.05pm BSTPeep! Kevin Friend draws the first half to a close and it’s one that won’t live long in the memory. Southampton were the better of the two sides in the opening 20 minutes but it was Liverpool who took the lead through Sadio Mane. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was called into action to save from Che Adams and Nathan Redmond in quick succession and preserve his side’s lead. Liverpool lead at the break but there’s very little in it. 9.02pm BST45+1 min: After the Nathans combine, it’s time for those of a double-barrelled surname persuasion to link up. Kyle Walker-Peters and James Ward-Prowse combine to win a free-kick for Southampton wide on the right. Ward-Prowse sends the ball in and Che Adams ends up bundling it into the net, but the whistle had gone for a Jan Bednarek foul in the penalty area. 9.00pm BST43 min: Nathan Tella gets on the end of a Nathan Redmond cross from the left but steers his header straight at Alisson from seven or eight yards. 8.56pm BST41 min: James Ward-Prowse whips the ball towards the far post aiming for Vestergaard, but Liverpool clear. 8.55pm BST41 min: Southampton win a free-kick between the right side of the Liverpool penalty area and the touchline. 8.52pm BST36 min: Fraser Forster does well to save from Mo Salah after the Liverpool man had got the better of Jack Stephens on the right and dribbled across the face of goal before pulling the trigger. The ball breaks to Fabinho, whose shot is blocked. 8.50pm BST33 min: End to end stuff there, but Southampton will be ruing not one, but two missed chances just before Liverpool scored. Following Alisson’s excellent save from Adams, Nathan Redmond robbed Trent Alexander-Arnold in possession on the edge of the penalty area. His rushed shot lacked the venom to test the Brazilian goalkeeper, who saved easily. 8.47pm BSTLiverpool lead. Sadio Mane out-leaps Kyle Walker-Peters to nod home at the far post after getting on the end of a Mo Salah cross from the right. It was from quite close range, but in the Southampton goal, Fraser Forster seemed slow to react. 8.45pm BST30 min: Alisson is quick off his line to deny Che Adams from eight yards after the striker had pounced on a cross from the left. 8.44pm BST27 min: Under pressure from Mo Salah, Fraser Forster fires a clearance straight at Diogo Jota. Such is the power of Forster’s delivery, the Liverpool striker is unable to control it and the ball ricochets back into the waiting arms of the relieved goalkeeper. 8.41pm BST25 min: Forster to the rescue again, parrying a Mo Salah shot after the Egyptian had been put in behind by a neat pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool are starting to take control of this game. 8.40pm BST24 min: Forster saves from a Diogo Jota shot that was fired straight at him from close range after the Portuguese was teed up by a Sadio Mane backheel in the Southampton penalty area. 8.38pm BST20 min: Nathan Redmond curls an effort well wide from distance after cutting in from the left. It looked to me like it took a deflection off Trent Alexander-Arnold but Liverpool are awarded a goal kick. Moments previously, Nat Phillips had headed narrowly wide with a downward effort after getting on the end of an Alex-Arnold cross. 8.35pm BST18 min: Diogo Jota tries to stand the ball up for Sadio Mane in the Southampton penalty area, but Jannick Vestewrgaard sticks out his head to intercept. Moments later, Mo Salah finds a yard of space after being played in by Mane and shoots from a tight angle instead of pulling the ball back for his provider, who was unmarked in the centre. Forster saves and puts the ball out for a corner, from which nothing comes. 8.32pm BST15 min: Southampton win a corner, which James Ward-Prowse will take. He drills a low ball towards the near post, which Andy Robertson reaches first. Liverpool don’t clear properly and Southampton win another corner off Fabinho. A set piece from the training ground, there … which probably should have stayed there for another couple of weeks. 8.29pm BST14 min: Nothing much continues to happen at great length. If this is what is passing for prime time Saturday night entertainment, I want my old job back. 8.26pm BST11 min: Southampton win a free-kick on the halfway line for a foul on Nathan Tella. 8.25pm BST10 min: Mane chests down a pass from deep on the edge of the Southampton penalty area ahead of Vestergaard. He lets it bounce before shooting high over the bar. 8.24pm BST8 min: Kyle Walker-Peters plays the ball wide to Theo Walcott, whose cross from the left is headed clear. Southampton definitely in the ascendency in these early stages, but no chances for either side so far. 8.22pm BST7 min: Fraser Forster boots the ball long after an aborted Southampton effort to play the ball out from the back. A vaguely promising attack breaks down when Rhys Williams dispossesses Nathan Redmond with a meaty challenge. 8.20pm BST5 min: Mo Salah canters down the right wing with the ball at his feet but is dispossessed by Jack Stephens before he can get a cross in or cut inside. 8.19pm BST4 min: Southampton win a throw-in on the halfway line by the technical areas. 8.18pm BST4 min: Not much of note to report so far but Southampton are dominating proceedings in these early stages. 8.17pm BST2 min: Correction, Southampton wear white shirts with a red sash – they’ve come to Anfield disguised as Peru. Or altar boys. They win an early corner, which James Ward-Prowse takes. Jannick Westergard gets his head to the ball but can’t control his effort. Trent Alexander-Arnold clears. 8.15pm BST1 min: Southampton get the ball rolling, their players wearing white shirts, shorts and socks. The players of Liverpool wear their usual red home kit. 8.13pm BSTNot long now: James Ward-Prowse leads Southampton out and the visitors are followed by Liverpool, skippered by Gini Wijnaldum. Southampton are rank outsiders to win this game, but I have a feeling in ma bones they might just get a result tonight. We shall see … 7.59pm BST 7.57pm BST 7.49pm BSTThose teams: Jurgen Klopp makes two changes, bringing Rhys WIlliams into the heart of his defence in place of Ozan Kabak, who is not in the matchday squad. Diogo Jota is in for Roberto Firmino, who drops to the bench. On loan at Southampton from Liverpool and therefore ineligible for this game, Takumi Minamino is replaced by Theo Walcott in Ralph Hassenhuttl’s only change. 7.31pm BSTLiverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Williams, Robertson, Fabinho, Thiago, Wijnaldum, Jota, Mane, SalahSubs: Adrian, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Woodburn, Williams, Koumetio. 7.19pm BSTChelsea have just come from ebhind to beat Manchester City by the odd goal of three at the Etihad Stadium. A comedy penalty miss by Sergio Aguero just before half-time proved the turnbing point, the Argentinian striker incurring his manager’s wrath with an ill-advised panenka that Eduoard Mendy saved easily. Goals from Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener, the Spaniard scoring in the second minute of added time to steal all three points for Chelsea and put Manchesterr City’s title coronation on hold. Chelsea go third and Liverpool find themselves nine points off the top four, having played two games fewer than Leicester and Chelsea. Related: Manchester City 1-2Chelsea: Premier League – live! 7.02pm BST 7.01pm BSTHaving been named in Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up for the postponed game against Manchester United last weekenbd, Nat Phillips is expected to return to action tonight. His fellow central defenders, the long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez remain on the sidelines. Jordan Henderson is also out, as is reserve goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.Southmapton loanee Takumi Minamino is unable to play against his parent club and will have to watch this one from the stands, where he will be joined by his fellow striker Danny Ings, who is not expected to play again this season. 1.19pm BSTHaving been treated to an unexpected and unwanted day off last Sunday due to the fan protests at Old Trafford and in Manchester city centre, Liverpool go into tonight’s game against Southampton seven points off a Champions League place and unable to risk dropping any more in the run-in. Following defeats for Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, their hopes of making the top four look considerably less forlorn than they did at this time 24 hours ago. In other good news for Liverpool, Chelsea are currently being held at Manchester City. Having claimed just six points from the past 30 available at Anfield, the outcome of tonight’s match is by no means a foregone conclusion, even if Jurgen Klopp’s side are hosting a Southampton team that have largely uinderwhelmed and are without a win in their past three games. Kick-off at Anfield is at 8.15pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up. Related: Klopp: Old Trafford scenes show pundits must calm down when urging protests Continue reading…
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