Liverpool depth like “having Ferraris in the garage”
The race for the Premier League title alive until final day as Liverpool beat Southampton 2-1 with a team of mostly backups.
Liverpool faced Southampton on Tuesday, playing mostly backups. Two of their key players Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk were out with minor injuries. The two are expected to be fine to play in the Champions League on May 28, but still needed the rest on Tuesday. Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp decided to rest Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Rovertson, and Sadido Mane as well. Nine of the players who helped win in the FA Cup Final on penalties against Chelsea sat out on Tuesday. No matter - Liverpool’s backups made sure the Premier League title race would be pushed to the final.
The Reds went home with the win, 2-1. “Wow! These boys, it’s like having Ferraris in the garage, and then you let them out and they directly do it like this,” said Klopp.
Behind by one after Nathan Redmond scored in the 13th minute, backups Takumi Minamino and Joel Matip put Liverpool back in the lead. This was Minamino’s first start since December 2020. Harvey Elliott also started for only the sixth time this season.
“Harvey, I’m not sure when he played last time, Curtis [Jones], no rhythm, Minamino, it is a crime he is not playing more often,” said Klopp.
The 2-1 win leaves Liverpool just one point behind the leaders Manchester City. The final round of games take place this Sunday. If City beat Aston Villa, they will secure the title.
The Reds are the first side to remain undefeated in their first 18 EPL matches of a calendar year since Chelsea in 2008. They’re the only team that has not lost an EPL match yet in 2022.
“Whatever happens this year will happen because of the group is a pretty special group,” said Klopp.