Diogo Jota scored two goals as Liverpool beat Southampton and moved up to second in the Premier League, one point behind leaders Chelsea.

Diogo Jota scored twice as Liverpool thrashed Southampton to move up to second in the Premier League, football, one point behind leaders Chelsea., sport
Diogo Jota’s goal after just 97 seconds against Southampton is Liverpool’s earliest Premier League goal since April 2019 (15 seconds against Huddersfield)

Southampton arrived at Anfield, clearly determined to attack the hosts, but their bold intent was punished in less than two minutes when Andrew Robertson was allowed to walk over the flank and get Jota to intervene.

Liverpool sensed the possibility of a big win against wide open opponents and kept the attack going, Sadio Mane headed wide before a goal was excluded due to a narrow offside.

But a second hit came after half an hour, when the unmarked Jota knocked in after a good clash between the Egyptian international and Jordan Henderson after a square ball from Mohamed Salah.

Those two goals brought Liverpool the 700 goals since Jurgen Klopp’s arrival at Anfield – they are also the first top team in English football to score at least twice in 17 straight games in all competitions since Sunderland in 1927.

The Reds weren’t finished there, however, and a third hit came just minutes later when the visitors failed to clear their lines properly and Thiago Alcantara punished them with a deflected shot for his second goal in as many games.

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The half-time break provided only a brief respite and Liverpool scored the 4-0 shortly after the restart when Virgil van Dijk shot in from a corner.

Jota almost completed his hat-trick in the middle of the second half but only narrowly missed when Southampton kept the damage to four goals when in truth it could have been much worse.

A perfect result on the way into the busy Christmas season

With games every three or four days, it looks like December could be a pivotal month in the title race, but Liverpool are heading into the festive season in domineering form.

In seven days they sent Arsenal, Porto and now Southampton off Anfield Road empty-handed – scoring 10 goals and conceding none.

It’s the kind of marker they had to set after a few disappointing results earlier this month – a draw with Brighton and a loss at West Ham – but the past few days have shown Liverpool on their best offensive.

They were supported in that game by a Saints team that seemed disjointed and far too open from the start, but the hosts’ attacking play would have found a way through a stiffer defense.

Liverpool’s pace forward was relentless as Jota, Mane and Salah hung from the shoulders of Southampton defenders ready to take advantage of any opportunity.

This was a rare game that Salah wasn’t on the scorers list, but he still more than played his part and his assist for the second meant he is now right on 150 goals in the Premier in his 171 league games for the Reds League was involved.

The pace has certainly slowed down after Van Dijk scored Liverpool’s fourth goal, but with nine games in December, Liverpool may have conserved their energy.

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