Firmino struck early after Southampton centre-back Wesley Hoedt’s mistake, as the Dutchman horribly misjudged a Liverpool ball forward and gifted possession to the last player on the pitch that the Saints should allow to have the ball, Salah. The Egyptian forward laid the ball through to Firmino and the Brazilian finished the one-on-one with ease to score his first goal in seven games.
20 - Roberto Firmino has scored 20 goals in all competitions in a single season for the first time since 2013-14 with Hoffenheim (22). Clinical. pic.twitter.com/9d7SOaAeBK— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 11, 2018
Southampton occasionally threatened Loris Karius in the Red’s goal, and actually had chances to upset Van Dijk’s new side, however they were unable to take their chances. They lived to regret this as wonderful interplay between Firmino and Salah just before half-time meant that Salah scored Liverpool’s second and his 22nd league goal of the season and 29th in all competitions from 36 games.
Liverpool picked up where they left off after the break, as they controlled possession and were only prevented more goals by last-ditch defending from Southampton.
29 – Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 29 @premierleague goals this season (22 goals, 7 assists); the most by a @LFC player in their debut season for the club in the competition. Heroic. pic.twitter.com/4YNjRW3Xqg— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 11, 2018
Van Dijk epitomised exactly what Southampton now lack at the back and what Liverpool were looking for when signing him in order to strengthen a previously very weak and fragile area.
Today has shown why we paid £75m for Virgil van Dijk. Arguably our most vocal player; strong and never bullied off of the ball, quick, composed, has no difficulty winning balls in the air and is more than capable of passing the ball out from the back. Another immense performance.— Dharma Bhagalia (@Kloppholic) February 11, 2018
Southampton: McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand(c), Romeu, Lemina, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Carrillo.
Subs: Forster, Yoshida, Davis, Boufal, Redmond, Long, Gabbiadini.
Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Can(c), Wijnaldum, Mane, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Lovren, Milner, Moreno, Lallana, Ings, Solanke.