Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson key as Liverpool fight back to beat Southampton
Liverpool fought back from a goal down to beat Southampton 3-1 and move back to the top of the Premier League table
By Nick Wright
Last Updated: 06/04/19 8:17am
We run through the talking points from Liverpool's 3-1 win over Southampton on Friday Night Football.
Pressure back on City
For a long time at St Mary's Stadium, it seemed Liverpool's title aspirations were about to suffer a major blow. But after the late drama which saw them past Tottenham on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp's men pulled off another morale-boosting victory to pile the pressure back onto their title rivals.
Manchester City's FA Cup semi-final date with Brighton on Saturday means they do not resume their Premier League campaign until next weekend, but Pep Guardiola's men must now head to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace knowing nothing less than a victory will do.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have now won more points from losing positions (16) than any other Premier League side this season. It's a trait which could tilt the title race in their favour - and give them a psychological boost over their rivals, too.
"These are the games that have a big psychological blow and City would have watched this tonight and they would have been switching off their TVs with five minutes to go and that's never a good feeling," said Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.
"You feel something is happening sometimes. That win at Spurs came from nowhere and they were behind tonight. I did think it was a matter of time before Liverpool went on to win the game.
"There's not that frantic feel about Liverpool that was there in their last title race. I think they are in a far better position now than they were a few years ago because I felt it was a bit desperate that time."
Salah ends his drought
What a time - and what a way - for Salah to end his scoring drought.
The Egyptian had not found the net in his previous eight appearances, a run which stretched back to the start of February, but he showed outstanding speed and composure to tear through Southampton's defence and clip his finish beyond the reach of the despairing Angus Gunn.
It was his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool and his delight was plain to see in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.
"I think that was goal number 50 in the Premier League so that was special," he said. "I'm very happy to score a goal and help the team. That's the most important thing."
⭐️ Man of the match Liverpool’s @MoSalah— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 5, 2019
1️⃣1️⃣ touches in opposition box - most in game
1️⃣1️⃣km distance covered
5️⃣0️⃣th @premierleague goal for @LFC - fewest games played to reach the milestone for the club pic.twitter.com/6jaJT0xrLd
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher described it as a "big goal" for Salah, and the hope for Liverpool now is that he will continue in the same vein for the rest of the season. Indeed, with their Champions League clashes against Porto either side of next Sunday's Premier League meeting with Chelsea to come, the Reds will need him at his best.
Is Henderson underrated?
Klopp opted to make changes to his midfield following the Spurs game, with Fabinho and Keita replacing Jordan Henderson and James Milner in the starting line-up, but it was only after the latter pair were introduced from the bench that the momentum of Friday's game tilted in Liverpool's favour.
Henderson, in particular, played a crucial role in the victory, setting up Salah's goal before dispatching Roberto Firmino's cross for the third. His dynamic all-round performance was a reminder of his often overlooked value to the side and the goal was clearly a cathartic moment for him.
"It's a big goal and a big performance," said Carragher. "Jordan has been frustrated with his role in this Liverpool team there's no doubt about that. He's never sure if he's playing. But it wasn't just his energy, it was his passing. When Jordan came on, the passing became quick."
After his disappointing afternoon against Spurs, when he was withdrawn in the closing stages, Henderson's game-changing contribution at St Mary's was exactly what he needed.
"Henderson had a tough time in that game against Spurs last week," added Neville. "There were groans from the crowd when he gave passes away.
"But he's a diamond of a lad. He'll go away tonight feeling like this week has been completely turned on its head, because he will have been disappointed and hurt after what happened last Sunday."
He may not be the most fashionable option in Liverpool's midfield, but Henderson is sure to play an important role in the weeks ahead.