Liverpool’s African duo – Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – were on Monday night caged as Southampton earned a surprise 1-0 home win over English Premier League (EPL) leaders.
A superb lob by Danny Ings in the second minute put Southampton ahead and surprisingly was the only game of the match.
The Reds’ attack – spearheaded by Salah, Firmino and Mane – looked rudderless as they failed to score for the second game in a row.
The injury-hit champions fielded a makeshift centre-back pairing of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
Striker Ings, who joined Southampton on loan from Liverpool in 2018 before making the transfer permanent a year later, was able to exploit some confusion after a set-piece to secure the win.
The victory lifted Southampton to sixth in the table on 29 points, behind Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City on goal difference.
Liverpool stay top on 33 points ahead of Manchester United, who have a game in hand, on goal difference.
As Henderson called his players to shore up the middle, James Ward-Prowse floated a free-kick down the left which Trent Alexander-Arnold failed to deal with.
Ings then pounced to send a deft left-footed lob over Alisson into the net.
Liverpool did not manage a single shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, with their best chance headed just over the bar by Mohamed Salah during the first half stoppage time.
They dominated the second half, but once again a concerted effort by the massed ranks of Southampton’s defence kept them out.
Coach Ralph Hasenhuettl fell to his knees at the final whistle as his players celebrated.
“He (Hasenhuettl) is very passionate and he brings that passion into the game, and it’s great for us to see that,” goalscorer Ings said.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, whose side were held to a goalless draw by Newcastle United in their last outing, was disappointed with the display.
“They (Southampton) put a lot of work in. Our decision-making was just not good. That is how it is when you don’t have momentum. We should have had much more chances,” he said.
Mahrez, Man City Go Second after 2-1 Win over Aston Villa
Algerian international, Riyad Mahrez, played for 18 minutes as Manchester City dig deep to beat a hard-fighting Aston Villa 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The victory, their sixth consecutive, pushes Manchester City, who began the season on a low, to the second place of the English Premier League (EPL) table but with a game in hand.
Man City moved to 38 points, above Leicester City on goal difference, with Manchester United on 39 points after a 2-1 victory playing at Fulham later on Wednesday.
After both sides had created plenty of openings, Bernardo Silva put City ahead in the 79th minute with a brilliant left-footed finish after Rodri had robbed Villa defender Tyrone Mings.
Rodri had come back into play from an offside position and Villa Manager, Dean Smith, was given a red card for his protests at the referee.
Ilkay Gundogan made sure of the three points with a 90th-minute penalty after the ball struck Matty Cash’s arm in the box.
Morocco Overcome Resolute Togo in CHAN Group D Opener
In yet another 1-0 score line, Morocco overcame a resolute Togolese team in the group C opener of the African Nations Championship.
The Atlas Lions scored the winner through Yahya Jabrane in the first half of the encounter.
Defending champions, Morocco got their first three points of the tournament and currently lead the group after Uganda and Rwanda played out a goalless stalemate.
After six round of matches, the CHAN has produced just four goals with four games ending in narrow 1-0 score line.
So far, Cameroon, D.R. Congo, Mali and Morocco have all won their first group games with the last round of the first group matches to come up later on Tuesday.
Zambia, Guinea, Namibia and Tanzania will battle for an early top spot in group D as they play their first games of the tournament.
Morocco and D.R. Congo have been tipped to get to the final stages of the competition and probably have a shot on the title.
D.R. Congo have won the CHAN twice in 2012 and 2016, while Morocco have won it once in 2018.
Liverpool vs. Man United: Salah, Mane Eye Top Spot
Liverpool’s African imports – Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane – will hope to steer the Reds to a victory over visiting Manchester United and reclaim the top spot.
Leicester City beat Southampton 2-0 on Saturday to go second in the ongoing 2020/2021 English Premier League (EPL).
James Maddison and Harvey Barnes scored the goals to lift Leicester City to within one point of Manchester United, who play at third-placed Liverpool on Sunday.
Brighton and West Brom both picked up vital wins in their fight for survival Saturday while Chelsea and West Ham moved up the table with wins in the day’s other matches.
Maddison fired Leicester City ahead eight minutes before half-time and Barnes added a second deep into time added on to put Brendan Rodgers’ side above champions Liverpool.
Liverpool can regain the top spot, though, if they beat leaders Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
Fulham’s hopes of getting anything from their west London derby at home to Chelsea ended when Antonee Robinson was sent off for a nasty challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta.
Mount scored the only goal 12 minutes from the end to secure Chelsea a 1-0 win, lifting them to seventh, but only seven points behind the leaders.
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