Mohamed Salah simply unstoppable as Liverpool cruise past Southampton
Liverpool had too much for Southampton in Saturday's 3-0 win as Mohamed Salah added another couple of goals to take his tally to an impressive 14 for the season. Philippe Coutinho also got on the scoresheet as Liverpool's "Fab Four" attackers all caught the eye.
The ease with which these points were collected is the biggest positive. Good teams take care of business in games like this but too often Liverpool have fallen short. Since that disappointing 4-1 loss at Tottenham the response has been first class and the Reds have won by a three goal margin in four consecutive games.
Every area of the team functioned at a high level. Nothing to complain about here.
Manager rating out of 10
Jurgen Klopp, 8 -- Selecting his starting XI must be getting more difficult by the week as the treatment room clears and players continue to produce good form. Klopp left some very good players out of his starting lineup for this one but clearly got it right, as his team produced one of their most impressive all-round performances in some time.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Simon Mignolet, 6 -- Didn't have to make a save and only had to deal with one cross. The only testing moment he faced was when he decided to beat Shane Long with a Cruyff turn in his own six yard box. The crowd held its breath but the Belgian was in control of the situation.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 8 -- Defended with grit and determination and drew regular applause from the crowd with timely tackles and interceptions. Not as much of a factor going forward as he usually is, perhaps because his focus was so much on his defensive duties. Overall an excellent performance.
DF Dejan Lovren, 7 -- Came through what could have been a difficult test given how poorly he performed in his last start for the club. Defended with composure and passed the ball out from the back very well. Produced a fine block early in the second half to deny Sofiane Boufal, which drew warm applause from the crowd and a fist pump from Klopp.
DF Ragnar Klavan, 7 -- Assured display from the veteran Estonian. Strong in the air and on the ground, he was very sound positionally and used the ball well.
DF Alberto Moreno, 7 -- His defending was once again above reproach while he clearly enjoyed himself overlapping and linking up with Coutinho and Sadio Mane. Should have scored following a blistering counterattack but seemed reluctant to use his right foot and the opportunity went. A pity, as it would certainly have been one for the highlight reel.
MF Jordan Henderson, 8 -- The captain was everywhere, regaining possession and recycling the ball to Liverpool's creative attackers. Not as flashy as some of his teammates, but Henderson's contribution will have pleased his manager.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 7 -- Energetic in the middle of the park and linked frequently well with Alexander-Arnold and Salah until he was eventually pushed into a left wing role in the second half.
MF Philippe Coutinho, 8 -- His clever touches and turns in midfield allowed him to frequently find space when there appeared to be none. He created the second goal with a delightful through ball and scored the third himself, before being withdrawn by Klopp. That's an impressive 10 goals in his last 15 starts for the club, many of which have been in midfield.
FW Sadio Mane, 8 -- Being outshone and outscored by Salah but his time in the limelight will no doubt come again. Started the game very brightly and delivered a couple of terrific crosses from the left. Continued to cause problems for his former side into the second half and played a key part in Liverpool's third goal before being given a well-earned rest.
FW Roberto Firmino, 8 -- Just like against West Ham a fortnight ago, the only thing missing from his performance was a goal. The Brazilian's skill and work rate make life so much easier for his fellow front players and it was from his shot that Coutinho was able to follow up to score. Firmino went within inches of joining his fellow Brazilian on the scoresheet only to see his shot roll agonisingly wide.
FW Mohamed Salah, 9 -- He's absolutely unstoppable at the moment. His first goal was a brilliant curling shot from the corner of the penalty area, and his second came after a clever diagonal run in behind the defence followed by a deft finish. With 14 goals already, if he keeps this up you wonder just how many he could end up with.
MF Emre Can, 7 -- Some strong running and positive play after replacing Coutinho on 69 minutes.
FW Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, N/R -- Another lively display off the bench. Getting a start is difficult given the quality ahead of him, but the former Gunner has shown in recent weeks he can be counted on when needed.
MF James Milner, N/R -- A late replacement for Salah, he wasted little time getting involved in the game and he's another who has shown in recent weeks he's a valuable option to have in the squad.
Dave Usher is one of ESPN's Liverpool bloggers and the founder of LFC fanzine and website The Liverpool Way. Follow him on Twitter: @theliverpoolway.