Liverpool win title race with Man City on Sunday with Southampton winAuthor: Yuvi May 18, 2022
Joel Matip’s stopping header propelled Liverpool to a 2-1 victory in Southampton on Tuesday (17 May) to keep the Premier League title race alive until the final day of the season. The result leaves Liverpool one point behind leaders Manchester City ahead of the final round of Sunday’s (21 May) game, when City are at home to Aston Villa and Liverpool hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers.
City have 90 points with Liverpool on 89, meaning Pep Guardiola’s win against Villa, managed by former Reds captain Steven Gerrard, would secure their fourth league title in five seasons. Juergen Klopp converted nine of the squad that beat Chelsea on penalties in the FA Cup final on Saturday, with Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah injured but several others rested.
Klopp’s choice looked questionable when Southampton took the lead in the 13th minute through a wonderful strike from Nathan Redmond after the winger had cut from the left flank. Roberto Firmino, who led the line in Sadio Mane’s absence, had a header that was dismissed for offside as the visitors sought a quick way into the game.
Check out Liverpool’s Joel Matip score against Southampton here…
St. Mary’s is heading for an important winner to take all three points at pic.twitter.com/CkQ9WEdC60
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 17, 2022
Liverpool, who face Real Madrid in the Champions League final on 28 May, equalized in the 27th minute with Takumi Minamino, who spent a loan spell with Southampton last season, firing a fierce shot at the near post. Defender Joe Gomez, whose Liverpool career has been hampered by injuries, was to be replaced at intervals after suffering an ankle injury just before the break.
The goal had taken the wind out of Southampton’s sails and it was no surprise when Matip’s lead in a Costas Simikas corner in the 67th minute saw Liverpool score three points. It was a weak Southampton effort and Liverpool had little trouble watching the rest of the game and setting up a tense final day.
The 36-year-old utility player, James Milner, who was given a rare start, praised the back-up players for the way they took to the game. “The boys are incredible. People who might not have played that much, but you see it in training every day to see what level they are at and you can see it when they need to step up,” he said.
“It is a special group of players and a special football club. We fight till the end and keep going. All we can do is take it as far as we can,” he said.