In December, if you were to tell Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp that he will take his team right down to the last day to challenge City for the Premier League title, he would have laughed it off as wishful thinking. But come the penultimate Premier League game, we all are saying exactly that. And, Klopp? A proud man for that achievement.
The Liverpool boss took great joy seeing a much-changed Liverpool side keep the club’s title hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Southampton, even though the chances rests on City than it does the Reds..
Klopp was forced to name 9 changes to the side that beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Andrew Robertson and Mohamed Salah left out of the squad completely for the trip to St Mary’s. Although, it was more on the side of concern for the fitness of Salah and Virgil ahead of the Champions League Final to be left out of the squad if anything.
Like it always has been for Liverpool this season, the game wasn’t an easy one for the Reds, as it had the nervy moment when Nathan Redmond put Southampton up early on, but goals from Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip saw the Merseyside team ensure the brakes were back on as they chased Manchester City.
The win ensures City would not be celebrating winning the title yet or atleast till final match day.
Klopp was delighted his players were able to secure the needed points as he admitted his frustration to not being able to give some of his squad more minutes of game in his post match interview.
“What can I say about this group that I haven’t already said? It’s a bit overwhelming and really touching what the boys did.
“It’s pretty much a crime that Takumi Minamino does not play more often, that Oxlade-Chamberlain in outstanding shape is not part of the squad very often, Harvey [Elliott] didn’t play for a long time, Curtis [Jones] didn’t play for a long time and all these boys deliver and deliver and deliver. It’s unbelievable.” The Liverpool boss said.
Coming on to feature in the game were Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Takumi Minamino who haven’t featured in games for a while, with Roberto Firmino who showed a chance to impress in his first league start in 6 weeks after some time dealing with a foot injury.