Southampton 1-2 Liverpool
Liverpool maintained their winning start to the new Premier League season with a slender 2-1 win against Southampton at St Mary’s.
The Saints endured a miserable opening day of the season last weekend as they went down 3-0 at Burnley, while Liverpool followed up a 4-1 win against Norwich by picking up the Uefa Super Cup at the expense of Chelsea in midweek.
The hosts enjoyed the upper hand throughout the first half proceedings but former striker Sadio Mane when he put Liverpool ahead on the stroke of half-time.
Roberto Firmino added a second after the break, but a late howler from Reds’ goalkeeper Adrian gifted a goal to former Liverpool striker Danny Ings.
But Liverpool managed to see off some pressure in the closing stages and collected their second consecutive win of the season to move them on to six points.
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl opted to make two changes from the XI which started at Turf Moor with Ings and Jack Stephens replaced by Maya Yoshida and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Jurgen Klopp had Adrian passed fit to play after recovering from the damaged ankle he suffered in a collision with a pitch invader after the win over Chelsea on Wednesday.
The Reds boss made three changes to the side that won on penalties in Istanbul as Georginio Wijnaldum, Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold all returned.
Liverpool made the brighter start with James Milner, Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all threatening the opening minutes.
At the other end, Adrian delayed his clearance and was relieved when the ball rebounded out of play behind him off the advancing James Ward-Prowse.
Milner then required treatment on a nasty head injury after a collision with Ward-Prowse before the hosts had a couple of chances to break the deadlock.
Jannik Vestergaard toe-poked a Che Adams effort just wide inside the area, before Adrian pulled off an impressive save to prevent Yoshida heading the Saints in front on 21 minutes.
There was a response from Liverpool and Mohamed Salah went close on 33 minutes as he got an edge on Yoshida down the left side of the area but fired wide of the post from a tight angle.
The hosts continued to look comfortable heading towards the break only for Liverpool to take the lead in stoppage time when Mane managed to dig the ball out from under his feet inside the area and curled his effort beyond the dive of Angus Gunn.
Liverpool gradually got a grip of the second half as Milner fizzed a low shot wide, Mane was then denied by Gunn and Firmino somehow managed to side-foot the ball wide from just 10 yards on 65 minutes.
Ings stepped off the bench for the Saints and almost equalised with his first touch as he curled a 25-yard effort just over Adrian’s goal from 25 yards.
That miss proved costly as Liverpool extended their lead with their next attack on 71 minutes when Jan Bednarek was caught in possession and the ball was played to
Firmino who managed to hold off Vestergaard before hitting his effort across Gunn and into the corner of the net.
Southampton had Gunn to thank for keeping his side in the game as he produced good saves to prevent Mane finding the net with a header, before he then pushed away a fierce strike from Andrew Robertson on 77 minutes.
Those saves were even more significant when Saints hauled themselves back into the game seven minutes from time when again Adrian delayed his clearance, but this time his kick as charged down by Ings and rebounded into the empty net.
Ings should have levelled on 86 minutes, but he somehow slid his effort wide of the far post after being teed up by Yan Valery.