Xherdan Shaqiri and Joel Matip star as Liverpool continue perfect start against Southampton

Alex Broun 20:31 22/09/2018
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Joel Matip took his goal superbly

A routine win for Liverpool over visiting Southampton with an early own goal from Wesley Hoedt, added to by Joel Matip’s thundering header on 21 minutes and Mohamed Salah‘s speedy rebound finish from Xherdan Shaqiri’s blistering free-kick on the stroke of half time.

The win kept the Reds perfect start to the season in tact and meant they recorded seven consecutive wins to kick off the season for the first time in their history.

Here are our Liverpool player ratings:

Alisson – 6: punched an early cross he could have caught, out smartly for a clearance on 63 minutes, usual accurate distribution – 22 passes at 86.4 percent accuracy, good save on 90 minutes to preserve the clean sheet

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6: superb work to cut out a dangerous cross at the back post on 27 minutes, got forward well into dangerous positions, passing accuracy poor with 79.6 percent from 54 passes, five crosses with one assist – the corner for Matip’s goal, one interception, two clearances  – 6

 Joel Matip – 8: In for the rested Joe Gomez, sloppy back pass on 11 minutes almost let Southampton in but made up for it with a superb header on 20 minutes for the second goal, grew into the game in the second half and will be pleased with his overall performance, one tackle, a team high three interceptions, one clearance and one blocked shot

Virgil van Dijk – 8: a flawless performance from the Dutchman, great cleaning up and blocking, two tackles, one interception, two clearances, two blocked shots, superb with the ball at his feet making 65 passes at 95.4 percent accuracy, subbed on 54 minutes, Reds fans will be hoping his injury is not serious

Andrew Robertson – 5: usual busy performance in attack and defence, good chance on 84 minutes but hit his volley over the bar, one tackle, one interception, one clearance and one blocked shot, 97 passes (second only to Matip) at 84.5 percent accuracy and two crosses

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates the Reds opening goal

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates the Reds opening goal

Xherdan Shaqiri – 8: Got his chance for the rested James Milner, whipped in the cross from the left that Hoedt turned into his own net on 10 minutes and then a blistering freekick which came down off the bar for Salah to turn in, subbed at half time perhaps being saved for a start against Chelsea on Wednesday night

Jordan Henderson – 8: absolutely dominant, tireless effort in the holding role, sharp distribution with 90 passes at 95.6 percent accuracy, one cross, one tackle and one blocked shot, skipper will be very hard to leave out on this form

Gini Wijnaldum – 7: the Dutchman has been among the Reds best player this season and he was again today, hungry like a wolf in the middle of the park with three tackles and a clearance, superb linking making 54 passes at 94.4 percent accuracy, subbed on 70 minutes for Naby Keita

Sadio Mane – 6: ran constantly but not too much purpose as the final touch for an assist or goal eluded him, 26 passes (including one key pass) at just 76.9 percent accuracy, one shot on target, one dribble but also dispossessed twice, not his best day

Mohamed Salah – 7: Pushed further forward as Klopp tried to get him on the score sheet, a good chance on 20 minutes but too slow on his final touch, a backheel on 43 minutes went inches wide and then finally on the stroke of halftime he was quickest to knock in the rebound from Shaqiri’s superb freekick, late second ruled out for offside.

Roberto Firmino – 7: dropped deep into more a playmaking role and defensive role (more occupied by Salah of late), put in a huge defensive shift making a team high four tackles, his linking was fair with 51 passes (one key pass) at 74.5 percent accuracy, two shots but neither on target

 Subs:

James Milner – 6: curiously brought on at half time for Shaqiri who had been superb, perhaps pre-arranged or saving Shaqiri for a start on Wednesday night, played a slightly more attacking role with Henderson sitting deep, two shots (one on target), two dribbles and two crunching tackles

Joe Gomez – 6: on for the injured Van Dijk and slotted in well next to Matip, one superb tackle (two in total), one interception and one clearance,  44 passes at a team high 97.7 percent accuracy

Naby Keita – 5: came on to give Wijnaldum a well-deserved rest, settled in on the left between Robertson and Mane, linked fairly well 35 passes at 88.6 percent but will be disappointed he couldn’t find a key pass or get into more attacking positions

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