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English Premiership

Liverpool Force Title Decider to Final Day

Liverpool came from a goal to beat Southampton 2-1 to make the title decider to the last day of the season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side knew defeat would hand the title to Manchester City – while even a draw would effectively end the challenge because of their inferior goal difference.

And it looked as if Liverpool might have a struggle on their hands when Nathan Redmond gave Southampton a 13th-minute lead with a curling right-foot shot beyond Alisson.

Liverpool, with nine changes from the side that won the FA Cup by beating Chelsea on penalties at Wembley on Saturday, once again showed their resilience and reserves of strength as Takumi Minamino levelled before half-time with a thumping drive against the club where he spent a spell on loan last season.

The pressure built after the break and Liverpool took a deserved lead after 67 minutes when Joel Matip sent an instinctive looping header over Saints’ keeper Alex McCarthy.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to BBC Sport: “The way we played with nine changes is outstanding.

“I saw a sensational performances without rhythm. The mentality after being 1-0 down in a situation I think we agree could have been a free kick. We were all a bit outraged but the boys calmed down.

“We scored a wonderful goal, we were never out of the game but it was open again. Second half we kept going, had spells where we didn’t control the ball well enough then scored to make it 2-1 and then it was normal.

“Top game, unbelievable performance, nine changes. It worked out because of the players. If it hadn’t worked out it 1000% would have been my responsibility.”

Title still unlikely? “Of course it is unlikely because City play at home against Aston Villa, who play only on Thursday. It will be tough against Burnley, they fight for survival.

“But it is football. I think the time when City became champion [in 2019] it was because of 11 millimetres. If someone wants us to be champion then we have to win first and Aston Villa need to get a point at City. It is possible, not likely but possible. That is enough.

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