Futbol italiano: Juventus

Las mejores imágenes de la Juve

Milan allergico agli scontri diretti: 5 sconfitte su 5 sfide

Lazio, Roma, Inter Juventus e Napoli: contro le teoriche dirette concorrenti Champions, il Milan ha sempre perso. Ed è andato ko anche con la Samp 6ª.

Napoli 2 AC Milan 1: Insigne stars after Italy snub as leaders move four points clear

Napoli beat AC Milan 2-1 on Saturday to move four points clear of Serie A champions Juventus, Italy star Lorenzo Insigne scoring the opener.

Pjaca scores winner for Juventus Primavera on return from injury

Pjaca scores winner for Juventus Primavera on return from injury

Pjaca scores winner for Juventus Primavera on return from injury

Marko Pjaca could be close to a comeback for Juventus after impressing for the youth team against AC Milan.

Pjaca scores winner for Juventus Primavera on return from injury

Pjaca scores winner for Juventus Primavera on return from injury

La alineación del Barcelona ante la Juventus: día, hora, noticias y TV

El equipo de Valverde busca mantener el liderato del grupo en la Champions ante el inmediato perseguidor.

La alineación del Barcelona ante la Juventus: día, hora, noticias y TV

El equipo de Valverde busca mantener el liderato del grupo en la Champions ante el inmediato perseguidor.

La alineación del Barcelona ante la Juventus: día, hora, noticias y TV

El equipo de Valverde busca mantener el liderato del grupo en la Champions ante el inmediato perseguidor.

Coppe in tv: Napoli-Shakhtar su Canale 5, Milan-Austria Vienna su Tv8

Tra martedì e giovedì prossimi, le gare europee di Napoli e Milan saranno visibili in chiaro. Non così quelle di Juventus, Roma, Lazio e Atalanta.

Juve-Benevento, le pagelle: si salvano solo Higuain e Cuadrado

Juventus vs Benevento 2-1

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Liverpool 3 Southampton 0: Mo Salah and Philippe Coutinho overwhelm sluggish Saints

Mohamed Salah spent most of the second half at Anfield chasing a hat-trick. It is the only thing the sprinter supreme has failed to catch since he arrived at Liverpool. His manager, Jurgen Klopp, opted to substitute Salah with 10 minutes left, sparing not only the Egyptian’s legs for exertions ahead but those of Southampton’s defenders. Salah’s double exhausted them. Klopp offered an apologetic hug after denying the winger more time to complete the mission, but Salah’s work was done as he was given the standing ovation he deserved. The comfort of this win should not be underplayed. Liverpool failed to score in four attempts against the Saints last season, a stubborn defence extending beyond resistance to mega offers for Saints players. Liverpool did not have Salah to unpick defences then. Jurgen Klopp could only apologise for bringing Salah off late on Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters He was signed to create but he is re-writing goal records. Not since Robbie Fowler has anyone started a Liverpool career in such prolific form. Salah took his tally to 14 in 18 games, nine in 12 Premier League fixtures. Fowler struck eight in that time in the early 1990s. Salah’s first yesterday on 31 minutes had a dash of Kenny Dalglish picking out the top corner with a dipping, swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area. At first glance, it seemed Fraser Forster ought to have got closer. At second, it was evident the Southampton keeper had no chance. Four minutes before the interval, Salah had his second, drifting inward from the right wing to latch onto the kind of Philippe Coutinho pass that carries as much gravitas as the finish. Salah nudged past Forster with his lethal left foot and Liverpool’s superiority was confirmed. “The first one is not a real chance. It was a fantastic goal,” said Klopp. “The second? Fantastic play. What a pass.” The home side had started menacingly, the advancing of Trent Alexander-Arnold especially prominent, but there was a pleasing pace to their performance. The quartet of Salah, Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino brought wisdom as much as quality, the feeling a goal would come long before it was spectacularly delivered. Southampton were organised without being in full retreat but finding it impossible to escape. “We started well but then made a couple of mistakes which you cannot against this type of game,” said coach Mauricio Pellegrino. After the second goal, it was really difficult.” At least one of his defenders was prompting admiration in his efforts to repel Klopp’s attackers. Five months after his attempts to join the Merseyside club, Virgil van Dijk was finally at Anfield, and there was not a Premier League complaint in sight. The Kop was not sure whether to cheer or jeer. The only applause granted the defender was late on, and that was ironic as he sliced a clearance. Virgil van Dijk may well have wished he was playing for the other side Credit: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters Van Dijk had a glimpse of what he has been denied, helpless as the runners kept scurrying his direction through the second half. Liverpool squandered several opportunities to extend their lead, Alberto Moreno especially eager to celebrate becoming a father for the second time after his wife gave birth on Friday, but the third arrived courtesy of Coutinho, pouncing after Forster was unable to hold Firmino’s strike. Liverpool are quietly in form, with 13 goals in four consecutive wins since their humbling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last month. This time last season, an irresistible start to the season was undermined in the build-up to Christmas. This year, they look equipped to pick up the pace to reassert their top-four challenge. “It looked much more mature, and that is very important for us,” said Klopp. “It was just an all-round good performance and really deserved.” 4:54PM Full time, Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Liverpool got the routine win they were looking for in the end, with Southampton rarely threatening their goal and disorganised at the back more often than not. The Reds were good in fits and starts at first, but became slicker and slicker as the game went on. If they can bring that same consistency to their season as a whole, the current top four will be very worried indeed. Three goals, three points. A pleasing return from the international break for the Reds! �� pic.twitter.com/kF6GX94Kdu— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 4:49PM 90+1 mins Liverpool have a two-on-one break but the final ball is cut out by Virgil van Dijk. Roberto Firmino latches onto the clearance but shoots over the bar from distance. It was fantastic defending from Van Dijk who could – dare we say it? – have put himself in the shop window there. 4:47PM 88 mins Roberto Firmino very nearly lays on a perfect through ball for Gini Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman checks his run at the last minute and the chance evaporates into thin air. 4:44PM 86 mins Emre Can takes on two Saints defenders but ends up smashing a cross-come-shot past the post. 4:38PM 79 mins You'd think Liverpool fans would be bored of standing ovations at this point. Then again, it's Mo Salah coming off, and he has been absolutely mint all game. James Milner comes on in his stead. Not quite as exciting a footballer, but still. What a goalscorer, what a guy Credit: Paul Ellis/AFP 4:36PM 78 mins Last change for Southampton here as Shane Long comes off for Manolo Gabbiadini. 4:32PM 74 mins Liverpool make another change with Sadio Mane off for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Mane, too, gets a standing ovation. Hamstring injury, what hamstring injury? 4:28PM GOAL! Liverpool 3-0 Southampton Coutinho gets the goal he deserves after an elegant move from Liverpool. Some slick passing ends with Firmino turning on his heel in the box and shooting straight at Fraser Forster, who can only parry his effort into the path of the little Brazilian. Coutinho slots into the gaping net and is brought off immediately to a standing ovation, with Emre Can coming on. Southampton also make a change for what it's worth, bringing off Sofiane Boufal for James Ward-Prowse. 4:22PM 63 mins Coutinho goes close after a strong run by Mo Salah, pinging a shot inches wide of the post. Coutinho has been at the heart of things today Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 4:20PM 60 mins It's a yellow card for Oriol Romeu as he drags back Firmino in the middle of the pitch. 4:18PM 58 mins The Saints have a bright spell and win a corner, only for Liverpool to break and bear down on Forster's goal. The final ball comes to Alberto Moreno, which isn't ideal really. He is dispossessed and Forster gobbles up the ball gratefully. 4:14PM 54 mins Southampton make their first substitution as Dusan Tadic comes off for Charlie Austin. Mauricio Pellegrino is trying something, at least. 4:12PM 53 mins Chance for Liverpool! Roberto Firmino is the latest player to slip through the porous Saints defence, but Fraser Forster makes the save. 4:10PM 50 mins  Sofiane Boufal makes hay down the left for Southampton, barrelling into the box and shaping up to shoot. Thankfully for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren slides in and makes the block. That was a crucial moment for Southampton, and ultimately it came to nothing. 4:07PM 48 mins Shane Long looks as if he might get in behind Liverpool's centre-backs, but Simon Mignolet is alive to the danger and clumps the ball back up the pitch. Shane Long has been quiet so far Credit: Jan Kruger/Getty Images 4:05PM 46 mins Mane has a shot blocked by Romeu, with Liverpool picking up pretty much exactly where they left off. 4:04PM Teams are back out  Southampton will need to be much improved across all areas of the pitch to get anything out of this. Any more errors like those in the first half, and it's game over for the Saints. 3:49PM Half time ... and it's 2-0 to Liverpool. The game has hinged on two moments of genius from Liverpool – or ineptitude from Southampton, depending on perspective. 3:47PM 43 mins Dejan Lovren is the first player into the book after a foul on the edge of the Liverpool area. Ryan Bertrand stands over the free kick and sends an effort sailing just past the post. Mignolet was worried there. Still, it's not quite enough for the Saints. 3:45PM GOAL! Liverpool 2-0 Southampton Coutinho is the provider as he strokes a pass through the Saints back line, exposing their defensive sloppiness once again. Salah runs in behind and slots past Fraser Forster for the brace. Liverpool haven't been fantastic this afternoon, but Southampton's fallibility has been all too inviting for them. Salah and co. celebrate his second of the game Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:41PM 39 mins Liverpool fans aren't happy after Mike Jones fails to play advantage for a shove on Mane. For shame, ref. For shame. 3:38PM 36 mins Coutinho is starting to cause Southampton serious problems now, especially when he runs directly at their defence. He nearly tees up Mane on the flank, but Cedric hooks the ball away. 3:36PM GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Southampton Liverpool win several corners in quick succession, putting sustained pressure on Southampton. Dusan Tadic attempts to play his way out of danger when a clearance falls to his feet, but is dispossessed on the edge of the box before the ball is threaded through to Mo Salah. Salah takes aim and curls in a beautiful strike from just outside the area. Southampton players throw their hands in the air in frustration, as Tadic slinks back to the centre circle without making eye contact. Salah celebrates his opener with aplomb Credit: Peter Byrne/PA 3:26PM 23 mins Coutinho is on free-kick duties in a dangerous position to the left of the box, but he blasts over the bar with an uncharacteristic lack of accuracy. 3:24PM 22 mins Save! Georginio Wijnaldum has a bash from long range and Forster palms away the shot dramatically. 3:22PM 20 mins This hasn't been the greatest 20 minutes of football so far, with neither side looking particularly effective in possession. 3:20PM 18 mins Sadio Mane gives Southampton a scare as he chases down a loose ball in the box, but Cedric manages to clear it away. Sadio Mane in action against Dusan Tadic and Oriol Romeu Credit: Phil Noble/Reuters 3:14PM 8 mins Chance for Liverpool! Southampton are incredibly sloppy in defence and Fraser Forster fumbles a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold, all before a mad scramble in the box. Mo Salah gets on the ball and drags his follow-up wide of the post. That's a let off for the Saints, who switched off completely there. 3:03PM Kick off ... and Dusan Tadic is down clutching his thigh almost immediately. After a once-over by the Southampton medical staff it looks like he'll be able to continue. 2:25PM Jurgen Klopp on Liverpool's line-up “We know about the quality of Southampton, we know about all the stats of course,” Klopp has told the Liverpool FC website ahead of kick off. “They are a possession-based team. That could depend on the opponents they’ve had so far, so we will see today, but we need to be ready to react on that. “If they have the ball and things like this, then we have to bring through our idea of football and that’s the reason for today’s line-up.” 2:08PM Mane in, Lallana out Sadio Mane has clearly overcome his hamstring issue and starts against the Saints. Jurgen Klopp appears to have erred on the side of caution with Adam Lallana, who won't feature despite returning to full fitness and training this week. 2:01PM Southampton team news Team news is here! Here's how #SaintsFC line-up to take on #LFC this afternoon in the #PL: pic.twitter.com/Z5BlYuN4Bc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) November 18, 2017 2:00PM Liverpool team news �� Our team to face @SouthamptonFC... pic.twitter.com/Jj1KNhBczt— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 18, 2017 1:43PM Match preview While Jurgen Klopp has relatively little to worry about on the injury front this weekend, the Liverpool boss is himself on the mend after a midweek health scare. Klopp was admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell on Wednesday, but is fighting fit once again ahead of Southampton's visit to Anfield. “I am really completely fine,” he said in his pre-match press conference.  “I told the players that the doctor said the only thing that can kill me is if we lose football games. That’s it.” No pressure on Liverpool, then, though at least they will be close to full strength as they attempt not to kill their manager with a bad result. Adam Lallana has been passed fit after three months out with a thigh injury, while Jordan Henderson should also be back in action. Sadio Mane is a doubt and is due a late fitness test after picking up a hamstring tweak on international duty with Senegal, while Joel Matip has a thigh problem and is likely to miss out. Other than that, Nathaniel Clyne is the only other notable absentee for the Reds with a long-term back injury. Currently 6th in the table after two wins from their last five league matches,  Liverpool will be hoping for a routine victory to see them keep pace with the top four and boost their middling goal difference. Meanwhile, 13th-placed Southampton are without former Juventus man Mario Lemina on account of an ankle knock. The Saints will, as ever, want to cause an upset at Anfield – this as a small measure of revenge for all the players they have lost to Liverpool and the resulting litany of  ‘feeder club’ jokes. Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are once again in contention for Liverpool Credit: John Powell/Getty Images

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti (L) and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri both distanced themselves from taking up the vacant Italian national team post

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti (L) and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri both distanced themselves from taking up the vacant Italian national team post (AFP Photo/GIUSEPPE CACACE)

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti (L) and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri both distanced themselves from taking up the vacant Italian national team post

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti (L) and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri both distanced themselves from taking up the vacant Italian national team post

Luis Suarez, Paulinho Give Barcelona Win Over Leganes

Barcelona moved seven points clear of the chasing pack in a thrilling win against CD Leganes in Madrid. The Catalan side faced enthusiastic opposition in Leganes, whose performances disguised the fact that the club is only playing its second ever season in the Spanish top division.

The first half started as an end-to-end game, with Barca surprisingly not dominating the possession in the manner they have been known for.

Barcelona returned to their old 4-3-3 formation, with Paco Alcacer shifting up to the left forward position. The midfield three, made up of Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, remained quite compact.

Barcelona’s full-backs played extremely high, and should’ve made the first breakthrough together with Semedo’s pass to Alba setting up Suarez for a tap in.

It would’ve been a well-worked goal had Alba not been ruled out for offside, when he was actually in line with the Leganes back line. However, Barcelona broke through soon after with a great left foot shot from Luis Suarez, which nestled in the bottom right corner.

Whilst Barcelona always had threatening presence when in possession, especially with Semedo at right back, Leganes also had their chances. One particular Alexander Szymanowski effort produced a decent reflex save from Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Nordin Amarabat, on loan from Watford, looked the most dangerous for Leganes as he headed up the attack for the hosts. Even after Suarez’s goal, Leganes did not let up their attack and continued to be a nuisance for the Barcelona defence.

They could’ve pulled a goal back after a great cross from Szymanowski was just too long, with ter Stegen rooted to the spot as it made its way to the back post.

But as the first half went on, Barcelona held onto possession a lot tighter, whilst Leganes made their use of the ball more productive, making six shots to Barcelona’s one.

The second half very much improved in every aspect. Leganes became even more hungry to grab a goal, with ter Stegen being peppered with shots, albeit most of them easy saves.

Whilst the home side didn’t let up their pressure, it left them open to getting caught up in the moment, with many sloppy fouls being given away, especially in the middle of the park.

Just before the hour mark, Luis Suarez made it 2-0 with a brilliant acrobatic volley following a rebound.

Paco Alcacer’s shot rebounded off the woodwork and came towards Suarez at chest height, with the Uruguayan shifting his body to hit it first time. The shot was actually going straight towards the goalkeeper, but a huge deflection took it into the net.

One player that shone for Ernesto Valverde's side was Paulinho, whose great attacking display in midfield justified the praise he has been receiving since his surprise transfer this summer.

He capped his performances with a deft finish into the centre of the goal to confirm all three points for Barça.

As the last half 20 minutes came to pass, it was obvious that Barcelona’s willingness to attack was diminishing, with more conservative play and only taking chances when they were handed on a plate.

As Barca’s attack diminished, so did Leganes’ confidence, as flashes of what they had shown in the first half became few and far between.

They still retained their excitement, with Diego Rico’s effort from over 35 yards out being saved in the bottom left hand corner.

Whilst Barcelona deserved the victory, Leganes’ effort showed that they deserve to sit in a respectable ninth place in La Liga, having 17 shots with only 32% possession.

The win for Barca gives them a greater edge over second placed Valencia, as well as an 11-point advantage over Atletico and Real Madrid.

The win will also give them confidence going into their Champions League clash with Juventus on Wednesday, ahead of a top two match away to Valencia next Sunday.

Luis Suarez, Paulinho Give Barcelona Win Over Leganes

Barcelona moved seven points clear of the chasing pack in a thrilling win against CD Leganes in Madrid. The Catalan side faced enthusiastic opposition in Leganes, whose performances disguised the fact that the club is only playing its second ever season in the Spanish top division.

The first half started as an end-to-end game, with Barca surprisingly not dominating the possession in the manner they have been known for.

Barcelona returned to their old 4-3-3 formation, with Paco Alcacer shifting up to the left forward position. The midfield three, made up of Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, remained quite compact.

Barcelona’s full-backs played extremely high, and should’ve made the first breakthrough together with Semedo’s pass to Alba setting up Suarez for a tap in.

It would’ve been a well-worked goal had Alba not been ruled out for offside, when he was actually in line with the Leganes back line. However, Barcelona broke through soon after with a great left foot shot from Luis Suarez, which nestled in the bottom right corner.

Whilst Barcelona always had threatening presence when in possession, especially with Semedo at right back, Leganes also had their chances. One particular Alexander Szymanowski effort produced a decent reflex save from Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Nordin Amarabat, on loan from Watford, looked the most dangerous for Leganes as he headed up the attack for the hosts. Even after Suarez’s goal, Leganes did not let up their attack and continued to be a nuisance for the Barcelona defence.

They could’ve pulled a goal back after a great cross from Szymanowski was just too long, with ter Stegen rooted to the spot as it made its way to the back post.

But as the first half went on, Barcelona held onto possession a lot tighter, whilst Leganes made their use of the ball more productive, making six shots to Barcelona’s one.

The second half very much improved in every aspect. Leganes became even more hungry to grab a goal, with ter Stegen being peppered with shots, albeit most of them easy saves.

Whilst the home side didn’t let up their pressure, it left them open to getting caught up in the moment, with many sloppy fouls being given away, especially in the middle of the park.

Just before the hour mark, Luis Suarez made it 2-0 with a brilliant acrobatic volley following a rebound.

Paco Alcacer’s shot rebounded off the woodwork and came towards Suarez at chest height, with the Uruguayan shifting his body to hit it first time. The shot was actually going straight towards the goalkeeper, but a huge deflection took it into the net.

One player that shone for Ernesto Valverde's side was Paulinho, whose great attacking display in midfield justified the praise he has been receiving since his surprise transfer this summer.

He capped his performances with a deft finish into the centre of the goal to confirm all three points for Barça.

As the last half 20 minutes came to pass, it was obvious that Barcelona’s willingness to attack was diminishing, with more conservative play and only taking chances when they were handed on a plate.

As Barca’s attack diminished, so did Leganes’ confidence, as flashes of what they had shown in the first half became few and far between.

They still retained their excitement, with Diego Rico’s effort from over 35 yards out being saved in the bottom left hand corner.

Whilst Barcelona deserved the victory, Leganes’ effort showed that they deserve to sit in a respectable ninth place in La Liga, having 17 shots with only 32% possession.

The win for Barca gives them a greater edge over second placed Valencia, as well as an 11-point advantage over Atletico and Real Madrid.

The win will also give them confidence going into their Champions League clash with Juventus on Wednesday, ahead of a top two match away to Valencia next Sunday.