SOUTHAMPTON: Central defender Joel Matip’s headed goal gave Liverpool a 2-1 win at Southampton on Tuesday, a result which ensured that the Premier League title would be decided only on the final day of the season (Sunday).
Liverpool (89 points from 37 matches) is a point behind table-topper Manchester City (90 points from 37 matches) with one round of games to be played. For the Southampton contest, ‘Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp made as many as nine changes to the eleven, which started the FA Cup final against Chelsea last Saturday.
Klopp’s decision looked questionable as the home team took a 13th-minute lead via Nathan Redmond, who cut in from the left flank and unleashed a wonderful strike that took a deflection. With the tourist looking for a quick way back into the match, Roberto Firmino, who led the line in the absence of Sadio Mane, had a header ruled out for offside.
But, Liverpool, which has already clinched two titles this season, drew level in the 27th minute. Takumi Minamino fired a fierce shot at the near post, which Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy could not even get a hand to.
The visitor was dealt an injury blow on the cusp of half-time as right-back Joe Gomez had to be substituted at the break with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Seven minutes past the hour-mark, Liverpool made it 2-1 through Matip, who headed the ball home following a corner from Kostas Tsimikas.
Southampton looked tired in its penultimate match of the season and Liverpool had little trouble seeing out the rest of the game.
Results: Southampton 1 (N Redmond 13) lost to Liverpool 2 (T Minamino 27, J Matip 67)