Diogo Jota scored a double and Thiago Alcantara, Virgil van Dijk, and Thiago Alcantara were also on Jurgen Klopp’s free-scoring side at a blustery Anfield.
Virgil van Dijk couldn’t believe his luck.
The Liverpool man was nine yards away and completely unmarked. His volley was too firm for Alex McCarthy in Southampton’s goal. It went, the Dutchman’s hugewatt smile lighting up Anfield’s November afternoon.
Van Dijk’s first goal since the beginning of last season would seal this most routine of home wins. The Red Hurricane did the most damage in this match, not Storm Arwen.
Jurgen Klopp’s team cannot stop scoring this season. This is their 39th Premier League game, and it was their 17th consecutive game with at least two goals.
Although we are used to seeing this side break records, these numbers still jar. Anfield has never seen anything like it.
Van Dijk is the 13th Liverpool player to score this season. The Reds also have the Premier League’s top 3 goalscorers.
Amazingly, only two of them were able to score here. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were the only ones to experience a dry afternoon, while Diogo Jota took centre-stage.
Portugal’s international soccer player scored twice in the opening half. This brings his total for the season up to eight in all competitions. Only Salah and Mane have 34.
Jurgen Klopp said Friday that “we will need to have creativity”, pointing out Southampton as one of the most resilient and well-organised teams in the league.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team had defeated Manchester City earlier in this season and also ran Chelsea close at Stamford Bridge.
However, they were quickly undone here. Liverpool took just 97 seconds for the door to be unlocked. Andy Robertson ran down the left to cross low to Jota. His poacher’s instincts were on full display as Jota slid in to score.
He was at the right spot at the right moment to bag the second.
The game was over in 32 minutes. It was, when Thiago Alcantara scored Liverpool’s third goal five minutes later.
On Wednesday, the Spain international scored a stunning goal against Porto. He was smiling again, even though his shot required a heavy deflection from Saints defender Lyanco to beat McCarthy.
Van Dijk added the cherry on top seven minutes into the second half, Trent Alexander-Arnold scoring his ninth assist in five games for country and club.
Mohamed Salah was directly involved in 25 goals this season in all competitions
One suspects Hasenhuttl would have taken the last whistle right then and there.
Liverpool managed to finish the remaining game in second gear. The main question was whether they were able keep their clean sheet (yes), and whether Salah could score his goal (no).
Jota was also frustrated by Takumi Minamino’s substitution in the chase for his hat-trick. However, Liverpool have little to be unhappy about.
They are in great shape since the international break and, after an injury-hit fall, their squad is beginning to look reassuringly healthy again.
They will be thrilled by Robertson’s performance, as he delivered his best performance of the season after returning in for Kostas Tsimikas.
Competition seems like it is bringing out the best of both those two,. The same can be said for midfield, where Thiago & Henderson controlled proceedings, before being replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain & James Milner.
The likes of Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones and Naby Keita should all return in the coming weeks to increase numbers. Klopp might have the same problem picking his bench as when he picks his first XI.
Liverpool can continue to stroll along in the meantime. The next step is to cross Stanley Park to Everton.
If you can, stop them.