A stunning Philippe Coutinho strike inspired Liverpool to a huge victory over Southampton at Saint Mary’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
This moved Liverpool to within one point of fifth-placed Southampton in the Premier League table; they are now only two points behind Manchester United in fourth place. It also proves that Brendan Rodgers’ side have overcome their stuttering start to the season, which even led to speculation that he could be sacked just a couple of months ago.
Liverpool have now taken 23 points from a possible 27 in the Premier League. It was also their fourth straight victory.
And they had their attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho to thank for their victory, as his stunning 25-yard curling effort set Liverpool on their way in the third minute.
Philippe Coutinho WHAT A GOAL! https://t.co/FLENVGsjIu
— Sideline Blues (@SidelineBlues) February 22, 2015
Southampton then tried to recover from this shocking start, which led to them having two penalty appeals rejected after Filip Djuricic found himself challenged by Emre Can and Joe Allen in the area.
However, both of these decisions went against Ronald Koeman’s side, and with only 17 minutes remaining, Raheem Sterling was able to make it 2-0, shortly after he had his own penalty shout rejected.
Raheem Sterling makes it 2-0 for Liverpool after a miscue in the Southampton defense (h/t @RedCrusade) https://t.co/aQCuRxVFGb
— Ryan Krasnoo (@RyanKras) February 22, 2015
Liverpool were then able to easily close out their victory, which means that they are now the form side in the Premier League.
Liverpool are the only team in the league who haven’t lost a game yet in 2015, while it also means that they were able to leap-frog Tottenham into sixth place.
They are now only three points behind Arsenal, who are currently in third place, while they are just two behind Manchester United in fourth. In order for Liverpool to return to the Champions League, they need to finish in the top four, and their fans will be optimistic that they can do just that after their hugely impressive form over the last nine matches.
After the match, Rodgers admitted to BBC News that Liverpool had taken a huge stride in their efforts to reach the top four.
“We knew if we drew the game today, there were enough games still to make a challenge for the top four. But to win the game was a giant step. We’ve beaten Southampton home and away and that’s a sign of how well we’re playing.”