Liverpool narrow gap to top 4 with win over Southampton

Sports Desk, May 8 (EFE).- Liverpool’s hopes of salvaging what has been a nightmare season for the 2019-2020 Premier League champions received a boost Saturday as the Reds beat Southampton 2-0 to move within striking distance of a top-four finish.

Jürgen Klopp’s men improved to 57 points, 6 behind Leicester City in fourth. The Reds have a game in hand on the Foxes, who have stumbled in recent weeks.

Manchester City are champions-in-waiting, while Man United and Chelsea look likely to finish second and third, respectively.

With Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat earlier Saturday to Leeds United, the battle for the final Champions League berth has come down to Leicester, Liverpool and fifth-place West Ham United, who look to have the easiest run-in among the three contenders.

Southampton, sitting 16th in the table, have been the poorest side in the Premier League since Jan. 1, but they are all but certain to stay up thanks to 10-point margin over the drop zone with four games left.

Visiting goalkeeper Fraser Forster had to make stops against Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah – twice – before counterpart Alisson was tested in quick succession by Che Adams and Nathan Redmond in the 29th minute.

The hosts took the lead two minutes later when Sadio Mane got his head to an exquisite cross by Salah.

Nathan Tella had a decent chance for the Saints just before half-time.

The margin was still only 1-0 when Alisson leapt to tip an effort from Ibrahima Diallo in the 70th minute, seven minutes before the Brazilian absent-mindedly sent the ball straight to Southampton’s Adams, whose poor excuse for a shot was easily saved by the Reds keeper.

Mane had a goal disallowed for offside in the 80th and Liverpool had to wait till the final minute of regulation for the 2-0, which came on Thiago Alcantara’s first goal since joining the Reds at the start of the season. EFE


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