At half-time, Liverpool played in the home game against Southampton as if the team needed the next two-week break into the game as if they were in urgent need of the next two-week break. Manager Jurgen Klopp’s side looked tired, fuzzy and lucky that his former team-mate Danny Ings didn’t score for Southampton just before half-time. But after the break, the Reds’ game seemed as determined as they had been in the previous weeks, and in the end a clear 4-0 (0-0) victory came out.
It was Liverpool’s 16th consecutive Premier League win, leaving them with just two wins to break Manchester City’s league record in 2017. The Reds now have a 22-point lead over ManCity in the table, with coach Pep Guardiola’s team only playing for Tottenham on Sunday (5.30pm). But even if the lead were to go back to 19 points, the English Championship is decided under normal conditions. Liverpool are expected to lose seven of their next 14 games and City would win everything.
But for Klopp and his team, there is a bit of calm. The FA Cup return match against third-level Shrewsbury Town scheduled for next Tuesday does not change that. The German coach had announced that he would not use any of his pros and would not even be sidelined in the Anfield Road stadium. The next game is not scheduled until 15 February in Norwich City, and its stars can recover in the meantime.
Against Southampton, it took only a few seconds in the second half before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored with a shot from the box to make it 1-0 in the 47th minute. Earlier, Andrew Robertson and Roberto Firmino had turned the joy of playing with two laps of hacking in the first 45 minutes. Captain Jordan Henderson (60th) and goalkeeper Mohamed Salah scored twice in the final moments (72nd/90th).
Team goal scores twice for Chelsea
A little unnoticed, The German international Antonio R’diger has played again in the regular formation of FC Chelsea after overcoming a groin injury. The central defender has played more than 90 minutes in every Premier League game since Round 17 in mid-December. In the 2-2 (0-0) away game against Leicester City, he scored twice for the first time in his career.
Chelsea, however, missed out on a draw closer to Leicester in the table. The surprise team remains in third place with 49 points, with the Blues trailing by eight points in fourth place. After a corner (46th), he gave Chelsea the lead after a corner (46th) before Leicester rinsed the game thanks to goals from Harvey Barnes (54′) and Ben Chilwell (64′). He was then again header on the shot after a free kick (71′).