Liverpool 4-0 Southampton: player ratings, heroes and villains as Reds romp to victory

A Diogo Jota double and goals from Thiago Alcantara and Virgil van Dijk helped the Reds to all three points.

Liverpool’s imperious goalscoring form continued as they swatted aside Southampton 4-0 at Anfield to move second in the Premier League.

The Reds’ devastating first-half performance put them on the road to a third successive victory.

Diogo Jota opened the scoring in just the second minute before he notched his second of the game 30 minutes later.

Thiago Alcantara then netted his second goal in as many matches when his 37th-minute strike flew in via a Lyanco deflection.

Virgil van Dijk put the gloss on the win with a neat finish from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner in the 52nd minute.

The heroes

- Diogo Jota: the Portuguese will be disappointed not to have gone home with the match ball when he failed to hit the target in the second half to complete a hat-trick. Still, he proved a fox in the box for the Reds. Both of his goals were close-range finishes, but it was Jota’s movement which gave him the opportunities to pounce. In addition, the clever positions he took up between the visitors’ defence and midfield caused all sorts of problems and he couldn’t be shackled.

- Andy Robertson: the Scot was back to his very best - especially in the first half. Robertson displayed superb thrust down the left flank and constantly asked questions of Southampton. His cut back put Jota’s opener on a plate, while his inch-perfect free-kick found Sadio Mane’s head, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. Robertson should have had a second assist after the interval but Jota poked wide. Man of the match.

Alisson Becker: the scoreline would suggest the Liverpool keeper had his feet up all afternoon. However, Alisson showed brilliant awareness to race off his line and thwart James Ward-Prowse not long after the Reds had taken the lead. He also made a smart save from Adam Armstrong.

Diogo Jota celebrates scoring his second goal with Mo Salah and Jordan Henderson. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The villains

- Oriol Romeu: the former Chelsea midfielder was spotted hugging Thiago at half-time. It’s the exact opposite of what you should be doing when three goals down. Southampton supporters must have been irate. He then allowed Van Dijk to get away far too easily to net Liverpool’s fourth.

- Ralph Hasenhuttl: it’s always a difficult challenge to get anything against Liverpool. But a switch to a wing-back formation failed to pay off and Southampton were blown away. Hassenhuttl’s woeful record at Anfield continued, having lost his previous visits 4-0 and 2-0.

- Jan Bednarek: the defender dived into a high tackle on Sadio Mane in the first half. Bednarek earned a yellow card but it could well have been a sending off with another referee. He was then subbed at half-time.

Oriol Romeu of Southampton competes for a header with Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool. Picture: Alex Livesey/Getty Imagesture:

Player ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 8, Alexander-Arnold 7, Konate 7, van Dijk 8, Robertson 9, Henderson 7 (Milner 67; 6), Fabinho 7, Thiago 7 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 59; 6) Salah 7, Jota 9 (Minamino 81), Mane 8.

Southampton (3-4-3): McCarthy 5, Bednarek 4 (Redmond 46; 5), Lyanco 4, Salisu 5, Livramento 5, Ward-Prowse 4, Romeu 3, Perraud 4 (Walker-Peters 88), Broja 4, Adams 5 (Tella 46; 6), A. Armstrong 5.

What’s Liverpool’s next fixture?

The Reds have one of the biggest games of their season on Wednesday - the Merseyside derby.

Klopp’s men make the short jaunt across Stanley Park to face Everton at Goodison.