Liverpool 2-0 Southampton: Reds Keep Top-Four Hopes Alive | Premier League

Goals in each half from Sadio Mane and Thiago kept Liverpool in the hunt for a top-four Premier League finish on a nervy Anfield night.
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The relief was palpable at full time as Liverpool maintained their fading hopes of finishing inside the UEFA Champions League qualification spots with a 2-0 victory over Southampton at Anfield.

Following what was yet another misfiring display, for the most part, Jurgen Klopp was delighted to see Thiago Alcantara seal all three points late on after a Sadio Mane header had nodded the Reds in front. 

Having not played for almost a fortnight following the Manchester United postponement, Klopp's men perhaps should've come flying out of the blocks. 

Instead, in typical after the Lord Mayor's show fashion this season, the hosts were cagey in the opening exchanges and struggled to settle into any rhythm. 

After 20 minutes Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago started to control the tempo and before too long Mane had found himself free on the edge of the box, firing over when perhaps the Senegalese ace should've done better.  

A string of half chances presented themselves thereafter and for a while, it seemed as though Fraser Forster could be having one of those infamous opposition goalkeeper performances against Liverpool. 

On the back of an attacking onslaught, during which Georginio Wijnaldum grazed the bar from one of a succession of corners, the Saints bared their teeth for the first time and produced a smart double save from Alisson Becker. 

Moments later Mohamed Salah turned provider for just the fourth time this season when his pinpoint cross found Mane at the back post and Liverpool were in front. 

The lead perhaps should've been more before the break, but brave defending and profligate finishing kept the scoreline at 1-0 at half time. 

Twenty minutes of the second period passed by, perhaps worryingly, without incident as Klopp's side seemingly refused to put another home game to bed. 

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Chances came and went and the match took on an all too familiar complexion as the clock ticked past the 75-minute mark. 

Thereafter the counter-intuitive Reds continued to make their own issues, passing up gilt-edge opportunities time and time again. 

As the match entered prime time for this incarnation of Liverpool to throw away the points, arguably the best player on show, Thiago stepped up to the plate with a sumptuous finish from the edge of the box - his first goal for the club - much to the delight of a smiling Klopp. 

Liverpool will now take on arch-rivals Manchester United on Thursday night before heading to the Midlands to face a relegation-doomed West Brom next Sunday.