Liverpool made to sweat before cool Mo Salah eases title nerves

If this is to be Liverpool’s year, it may be resilience and an admirable ability to bounce back from setbacks within games, rather than a dazzling forward line or stingy defence, that makes the difference. They were rarely at their best on the south coast and even fretted in arrears for a period but, ruthlessly, they still prevailed.

In time – particularly if that agonising 29-year wait is finally ended next month – they may reflect on this win as having far more significance than merely serving to re-establish a two-point lead over Manchester City in the run-in. Jürgen Klopp would have attempted to spin a positive riposte, no doubt, but dropping points even at a revitalised Southampton would have felt disastrous, surrendering all momentum to the champions.

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