Liverpool take title race to the final day after victory at Southampton

Jurgen Klopp's Reds maintain pressure on Manchester City for in Premier League climax

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Liverpool ensured the Premier League title race will go to the final day of the season as the understrength quadruple chasers survived a scare to beat Southampton 2-1 on Tuesday.

After Liverpool defeated Chelsea on penalties in a gruelling FA Cup final just three days earlier, Jurgen Klopp took a gamble with nine changes at St Mary's.

But Klopp's picks held their nerve after trailing to Nathan Redmond's early strike, and hit back through goals from Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip, leaving the Reds just one point behind leaders Manchester City, with both teams having one game left.

A title race for the ages will go City's way if they win against Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, whatever Liverpool's result against Wolves at Anfield, but it's a fitting end to the season for the two heavyweights.

"It's unbelievable, what they've done makes it even more special. Outstanding. What can I say about this group?" Klopp told Sky Sports.

"I never had a group like this. They push each other constantly. Tonight is really special. It worked out because of the boys."

On the final day, he added: "We all know. We never gave up. We'll give it a try, It's our home game, last home game of season. The atmosphere will be outstanding. We'll try to use it. We have to do our job. Football is a tricky game sometimes. Aston Villa play on Thursday and then Sunday. We'll see but you have to focus on yourselves."

James Milner added: "The guys are incredible. The guys who may not have played as much but you see it in training every day the level they put in and you can see it when they need to step up.

"It is a special group of players and a special football club. We fight to the end and keep going. All we can do is take it as far as we can.

"It shows how ready everyone is, how ready they are mentally. It is special and that starts right from the top with the manager.

"City are an incredible team to go up against. Whatever happens we've done ourselves proud. All we can do is try to win our games.

"It wasn't going to be easy after the weekend. Hopefully we can have two more big performances."

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker and defender Ibrahima Konate the only men retained and Sadio Mane joining injured duo Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah in being given the night off.

Klopp's rejigged side enjoyed plenty of early possession but were rocked by Redmond’s fine 13th-minute effort.

After Lyanco dispossessed Diogo Jota just outside Saints’ box, Redmond received the ball from Nathan Tella and ran almost half the length of the pitch before cutting in from the left and delightfully curling home from the edge of the area via a slight deflection off James Milner.

Japan international Minamino claimed the 27th-minute equaliser, beating recalled Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy at his near post with a powerful, rising drive into the roof of the net after being expertly slipped in by Jota.

Liverpool were forced into a change at the break as captain Jordan Henderson replaced the injured Joe Gomez, pushing the versatile Milner to right-back.

The enforced alteration had little impact on the flow of the game and, after going close through Jota and Harvey Elliott, the visitors decisively edged ahead in the 67th minute.

Tsimikas’ outswinging corner from the left was inadvertently flicked on by Saints winger Mohamed Elyounoussi and Matip held off Walker-Peters to send a looping header beyond McCarthy and into the right corner in front of the delirious travelling fans.

Southampton rarely threatened a costly equaliser, although Liverpool keeper Alisson fumbled a Redmond effort from distance late on.

Updated: May 17, 2022, 9:41 PM