Liverpool takes title race to the wire with win over Southampton

Southampton's Mohammed Salisu, left, challenges for the ball with Liverpool's Takumi Minamino during their English Premier League soccer match in Southampton, England, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Frank Augstein/AP)

SOUTHAMPTON, England — Liverpool took the Premier League title race with Manchester City to the final round of the season after coming from behind again to beat Southampton 2-1 on Tuesday.

Joel Matip completed Liverpool’s latest comeback by unwittingly heading home the winning goal in the 67th minute, leaving Jurgen Klopp’s team a point behind City with one game left for each team.

That’s on Sunday, when Liverpool hosts Wolverhampton at the same time as City is at home to Aston Villa — managed by Liverpool great Steven Gerrard.

City remains the favourite but Liverpool has done its part by taking the defending champions to the wire.

The quadruple is still on for Liverpool, but only just.

Klopp fielded basically a second-choice lineup at St. Mary’s Stadium, with the game coming only three days after Liverpool’s energy-sapping FA Cup final against Chelsea that went 120 minutes before the Reds won a penalty shootout.

Despite the slew of changes, Liverpool dominated a passive Southampton team with nothing left to play for this season but still fell behind in the 13th minute when Nathan Redmond cut inside from the left and sent in a shot that deflected off James Milner and into the far corner.

Liverpool’s players kept their composure and replied 14 minutes later when Diogo Jota laid the ball off to Takumi Minamino, who displayed quick feet before firing a rising shot inside Alex McCarthy’s near post. The Japan forward was on loan at Southampton last season and hadn’t started a league game since then.

The rest of the match saw Liverpool camped inside Southampton’s half but only managing to create half-chances. The atmosphere was starting to get tense when Liverpool was gifted what proved to be the winning goal, after a corner by Kostas Tsimikas was glanced on at the near post by Southampton forward Mohamed Elyounoussi.

The ball flew across the area, skimmed off the head of Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters, hit the forehead of Matip and rebounded into the far corner beyond McCarthy’s despairing dive.

Liverpool also came from behind in its last two league games, a 2-1 win against Villa and a 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

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