Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino strike at Southampton as Liverpool won 2-1 to continue their run of consecutive Premier League victories despite a late Adrian mistake.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds started poorly on the south coast on Saturday, seeing their hosts squander a couple of presentable first-half chances, but Mane, as so often, came up with the goods. His brilliant effort – a third of the season after two in the UEFA Super Cup final – woke Liverpool from their slumber and they were comfortable in the second half.
There was a wobble when Adrian hacked the ball straight at Danny Ings for an unlikely Saints response. Former Reds striker Ings should have equalised with a gilt-edged chance for his second, yet Liverpool held on.
Liverpool, perhaps missing Alisson’s calm in possession, looked shaky at the back early on, but they were grateful to Adrian – passed fit after a freak ankle injury in the Super Cup celebrations – for an instinctive close-range stop from Maya Yoshida following a corner.
The hosts remained on top and had another huge headed chance as Che Adams met Oriol Romeu’s cross 10 yards out but nodded over the crossbar. Yet after 46 minutes of toil, former Southampton man Mane came up with a moment of inspiration for the European champions in first-half stoppage time, cutting inside from the left and drilling into the top-right corner from 20 yards.
Gunn expertly saved from Mane and Andy Robertson, and Southampton threatened a late fightback when Adrian comically hurried a clearance into Ings’ shins with the ball finding the back of the net. The former Liverpool man squandered another late chance from close range as Klopp’s men escaped.