Premier League

Southampton 1-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as Reds take title race to final day

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Matip was Liverpool's hero
Matip was Liverpool's hero / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
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From St Mary's - Liverpool ensured the Premier League title race will be decided on the final day of the 2021/22 season with a 2-1 victory over Southampton on Tuesday night.

The Reds had to come from behind to secure victory after Nathan Redmond gave the hosts an early lead. However, they hit back with goals from Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip in each half to keep their title dreams alive.

The result moves Liverpool back to within one point of leaders Manchester City with each side having just one more game to play. The Reds host Wolves on Sunday while City have a home game against Aston Villa.

The Saints had the first chance of the game inside 10 minutes. Kyle Walker-Peters' knock into the channel found Armando Broja and the Chelsea loanee bullied his way into the box before his shot was smothered by the on-rushing Alisson.

Moments later the hosts would take a shock lead. Redmond was the scorer, cutting onto his right feet after a mazy run and bending an effort home via a slight James Milner deflection. Jurgen Klopp was cataclysmic on the touchline as he felt there was a foul in the build-up, but referee Martin Atkinson was unmoved.

Liverpool thought they had conjured the perfect response in the 17th minute when Roberto Firmino nodded home a free kick, but the offside flag was soon raised over on the far side.

The Reds would find their equaliser before the half-hour though, with Diogo Jota controlling Joe Gomez's cross and slipping the ball to Minamino to lash home against his former club.

Firmino had two opportunities to put his side into the lead before the interval, first opting to pass when he should have shot from close range and then stinging the returning Alex McCarthy's gloves from considerably further out.

Just a few minutes into the second half, Jota thought he had made it 2-1, but his pea-roller went agonisingly wide of the far post. In the 56th minute, Harvey Elliott went similarly close, firing into the side netting from close range.

Saints showed little inclination to break out from their 5-4-1 shape in the second half as Liverpool peppered their goalmouth with shots and crosses without finding the breakthrough.

Eventually this pressure paid off. With just over 20 minutes of normal time remaining Mohamed Elyounoussi failed miserably to clear a corner and his weak header fell invitingly for Matip to nip in front of Walker-Peters and loop an effort past McCarthy.

After getting the goal they needed Liverpool managed the game well, keeping Saints at arm's length with ease, much to the frustration of the St Mary's faithful.

Redmond did threaten their goalmouth on one occasion, but his well-struck strike well held by Alisson after a slight hint of a fumble.


1. Southampton (3-5-2)

Nathan Redmond
Redmond got his side off to a dream start / Clive Rose/GettyImages

Alex McCarthy (GK) - 5/10 - Returned from his lengthy injury layoff. Beaten at his near post by Minamino but little he could do about Matip's strange goal.

Lyanco (CB) - 6/10 - His overly-relaxed distribution attracted frequent nervous gasps. Often the one negating Liverpool's endless crosses.

Jack Stephens (CB) - 6/10 - Saints' best defender. He positioned himself well and engaged their forwards when he had too.

Mohammed Salisu (CB) - 6/10 - Has been suspect at times this calendar year but stayed disciplined here. Missed a header in the build-up to Minimino's goal.

Kyle Walker-Peters (RWB) - 6/10 - Saints biggest threat offensively and rarely beaten going in the other direction. Slow to react for Matip's goal, but his teammate did not exactly help him out.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 5/10 - Lacked his usual composure on the ball. Kept his shape but it was a frustrating night.

Ibrahim Diallo (CM) - 3/10 - Like a rabbit in the headlights when Liverpool pressed. He never looked comfortable on the ball.

Nathan Redmond (LWB) - 7/10 - Opened the scoring in superb fashion. Kept to his defensive duties diligently.

Mohamed Elyounoussi (RF) - 3/10 - Floated around the edges of the game without contributing a great deal. Terrible clearance for Matip's goal.

Nathan Tella (LF) - 5/10 - Teamed up with Redmond to cause Liverpool genuine problems early on. Faded badly as the Reds got a grip on the game.

Armando Broja (ST) - 6/10 - Pulled into the channels to great effect. The Reds never quite got a handle on him but service was rare.

SUB: Stuart Armstrong (RF) - 5/10

SUB: Oriol Romeu (CM) - 5/10

SUB: Che Adams (ST) - N/A


2. Liverpool (4-3-3)

Takumi Minamino
Minamino scored on a rare start / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Alisson (GK) - 6/10 - Made an important early stop from Broja. Other than that he had little to do.

Joe Gomez (RB) - 5/10 -
Gave Redmond too much space for the opener. A mixed bag going forward before he was taken off injured at the break.

Joel Matip (CB) - 8/10 -
A couple of shaky moments early on but he was largely untroubled. Became the latest unlikely hero for Liverpool at the other end.

Ibrahima Konate (CB) - 6/10 -
Enjoyed an entertaining running battle with Ibrahima Konate which the pair probably drew.

Kostas Tsimikas (LB) - 7/10 -
Often neglected his defensive responsibilities, but was pretty impressive in the final third.

Curtis Jones (CM) - 6/10 -
A tad sloppy in the first half, much to his visible and audible frustration. Sharpened up at the interval.

James Milner (CM) - 7/10 -
Your typical, ageless Milner display. His delivery was superb - a big reason for his six key passes.

Harvey Elliott (CM) - 7/10 -
Extremely efficient in possession and picked up some great positions between the lines.

Takumi Minamino (RF) - 7/10 -
Finished emphatically in the first half. Always working hard and had some nice touches.

Roberto Firmino (ST) - 6/10 -
Should have scored before the break. Decision making was a bit off but he knitted the attack together.

Diogo Jota (LF) - 6/10 -
Dropped between the line and caused issues with his clever flicks.

SUB: Jordan Henderson (CM) - 6/10 - Helped Liverpool keep control on things in the closing stages.

SUB: Divock Origi (ST) - 6/10 -
Held it up on the rare occasions Liverpool had to counter.

SUB: Naby Keita (CM) - N/A

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