Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League on Friday night with a dramatic come from behind victory against Southampton. The Reds conceded a ninth-minute Shane Long goal before Naby Keita opened his Liverpool account with a 36th-minute header.
Mohamed Salah tallied his first goal in seven games with a scintillating run from inside his own half. Jordan Henderson scored six minutes later when he Roberto Firmino’s pass picked him out in the 18-yard box to finish off the Saints.
With five games left to play, here are 3 things we learned from the Reds’ come from behind victory.
James Milner and Jordan Henderson are indispensable
Jurgen Klopp chose to sit James Milner and Jordan Henderson and start a midfield three of Naby Keita, Fabinho, and Georginio Wijnaldum. Keita was poor early being caught in possession and Liverpool lacked the leadership they needed on the pitch.
Even after equalising through Keita, Liverpool struggled to prevent Southampton’s constant attacks.
Once Milner and Henderson were introduced in the 59th minute, Liverpool suddenly turned their play up a notch.
Henderson proved once more just how much he has improved as a player. The Reds’ midfield competition has made him a far better player and captain. Henderson not only notched a goal but he tallied the assist for Salah’s goal.
Mohamed Salah is back to his best
Okay, it is far too early to say the Egyptian is back to his best, but his goal to give the Reds the lead was classic Salah. The forward’s goals tally is now 18 in 33 matches.
Three out of Liverpool’s last five matches will come against teams in the lower half of the table. Only Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers are in the top half.
Salah has scored against four of their last five opponents already this term. Huddersfield, Newcastle, Wolves, and Cardiff City all conceded goals to Salah. Only Chelsea prevented the Egyptian from finding the back of the old onion bag.
Liverpool must keep winning
Liverpool must keep winning matches, but they have to hope and pray Manchester City drop points. Manchester City have a game in hand and 18 possible points left to play for. Liverpool have 15 points left to play for.
If both teams win out, which is a possibility, Manchester City would still top the Reds, 98 points to 97 points. Liverpool must still face Chelsea in their next Premier League fixture. Manchester City must play Tottenham in the league, as well as twice in the Champions League, along with Manchester United.
Anything can happen the rest of the way, but Liverpool must keep winning and hope Manchester City slip up.