Virgil van Dijk run out at Anfield – but playing against Liverpool, rather than for them.
Still at Southampton after the club's efforts to bring him to Merseyside fell woefully short, the Saints threatened to report the Reds to the Premier League for their alleged conduct.
This game represented the first time the Dutchman faced off against Jurgen Klopp's side since the summer.
But how did he do?
His side lost 3-0 with a Mo Salah double followed up by Philippe Coutinho's strike, but what does that tell us about Van Dijk?
Here is an account of his afternoon at Anfield.Southampton's Virgil van Dijk ahead of the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 18, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
4 mins – Liverpool fire the ball forward towards Roberto Firmino, a tactic used often, but van Dijk wins the first battle of the afternoon. The Dutchman nips in front of Firmino to win the ball; moments later, he deals with pressure from Mo Salah.
12 mins – Evidently designated as the ball-player of the Saints' back four, pings a diagonal towards Dusan Tadic.exhibiting why his distribution is so highly rated.
18 mins – Liverpool begin to probe but Southampton, and van Dijk, stand firm. Philippe Coutinho's cute through ball is nodded away intelligently by the centre-back.Read More
21 mins – A mix up in the Saints defence sees Sadio Mane nearly profit, but they survive. Liverpool are beginning to ask questions.
27 mins – Shows his pace along the ground, beating Firmino in a foot race down the right-hand side.
31 mins – Liverpool take the lead and it stems from van Dijk. Sort of. It is he who heads away the corner, but Tadic loses the ball high up the pitch, with Firmino pressuring him. Moments later, Mo Salah opens the scoring with a superb curling effort.Van Dijk failed to impress (Image: Colin Lane)
41 mins – Southampton fall two behind – and van Dijk should be disappointed with his efforts. He does well to nip in front of Firmino to cut out Dejan Lovren's pass, but is then caught too high up as Liverpool press. He does not return to his position, instead following Firmino's run, and that allows Salah to collect Philippe Coutinho's fine through ball and prod home. Not the sort of defending befitting of a player of his stature.
43 mins – On the receiving end of a crunching tackle from – who else? - Dejan Lovren. The Croatian goes into the book for his challenge.
64 mins – Another corner cleared, this one from Coutinho, with a decisive header away.Read More
90 mins – As Liverpool press for a fourth, van Dijk stands firm. Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain finds himself free down the right, but his cut-back is cut out by the defender – a vital touch with Firmino lurking.
Post-match – Van Dijk is deep in conversation with compatriot Gini Wijnaldum, but there's no confirmation he was asking about the price of housing in Southport.Read More Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
Verdict – A strange performance to assess. There is no doubt he is a domineering centre-back, one who likes to communicate with his team-mates. The manner in which he pointed and spoke and organised did not go unnoticed. His aerial prowess was also impressive, putting his head on a number of Liverpool set-pieces.
But Liverpool's second goal can be laid at his feet, too. He was out of position, gravitating to the ball and leaving space in behind for Salah to run into.
Ninety minutes leaves no sort of real impression, but supporters leaving Anfield might do so with mixed emotions over a January wrangle for his signature. That Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan enjoyed a strong showing only adds to that feeling.
Yet the class of van Dijk is evident. Quick, strong, vocal and good in the air, he is a player who will clearly improve what Klopp has at his disposal.
Just how much that would cost, and how much Liverpool want that to happen, remains to be seen.
Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered his best Liverpool performance yet against Southampton - Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp praised Trent Alexander-Arnold after a fine display from the young full-back against Southampton.
The 19-year-old from West Derby was part of a back line which produced a clean sheet and his manager said he has produced "his best defensive performance".
Alexander-Arnold was certainly steady at the back and showed his attacking prowess with a lovely ball to put Roberto Firmino in on goal in the second half.
Much of the talk all week has been about Joe Gomez - after his man of the match display for England against Brazil, but Klopp said he didn't have to be reminded about the qualities of his other young English full-back.(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Liverpool boss Klopp said: "I didn't need today is a reminder but probably all the rest did.
"This will happen over the next few weeks. Usually I don't think too much about the next game, in this case I have to think about the next 13 games!"
"Not that I've already planned them but we need to try to. We cannot play one line-up and play them until they are all injured.(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
"We need to mix it up, even if we win games like today. Joe had two games in the last week, it's not a problem, he could have played today.
"But for Tuesday (Sevilla game) I don't think it would have been a good idea to bring him again and we have Trent.
"He is another type of defender. When he started he was a proper winger and sometimes a defender.Read More Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
"Now he's a proper defender and sometimes a winger. It makes much more sense in his position.
"He was really good today. It was probably his best performance over 90 minutes in defending. What he can do offensively everybody already knows."
Trent Alexander-Arnold delivered his best Liverpool performance yet against Southampton - Jurgen Klopp
"They are playing some of the best football ever played in the history of the Premier League. I think we're looking at another invincible team this season."
BBC pundit Garth Crooks was just one of those who lavished praise on Manchester City this weekend after they brushed aside Leicester 2-0 to give them a 16th consecutive win and the joint-best start to a Premier League season.
Afterwards, Leicester boss Claude Puel called City "the best team in Europe".
Pep Guardiola's team have 34 points from their 12 games, matching their achievement at the start of the 2011-12 title-winning season under Roberto Mancini.
Martin Keown, a member of the Arsenal 'Invincibles' squad who went through the entire 2003-04 league season unbeaten, believes this City side could match the Gunners' feat.
"I am happy to be part of that exclusive club that has gone a full season unbeaten. I hope they [City] don't do it, but it is looking like they will," the retired defender told Football Focus.
"I don't see who is going to stop them. If they get complacent, maybe. But I think Guardiola is all over that one. He is picking up on mistakes in training. He will stop at nothing. He is a serial winner."'A series of players who are artists' Manchester City will go all season unbeaten - Martin Keown
Keown is not only impressed by City's ability to win games but the manner in which they are going about their victories.
"City are a series of players who are artists," he said on Final Score. "They paint beautiful football for us each and every week, and in every game [Gabriel] Jesus or [Sergio] Aguero are on the end of it.
"You know the genius of Ronnie O'Sullivan in snooker, where he can choose which hand to play with? Kevin de Bruyne is like that with his feet."
Crooks, Keown's fellow Final Score pundit, was even more effusive about City's style of play, adding his own belief that Guardiola's side are set for an historic season.
"It is some of the best football ever played in the history of the Premier League," he said.
"Think about it as the sort of thing you'll play in five-a-side, except this is being executed at the top level. I've never quite seen anything like it.
"I think we're looking at another invincible team this season. They have the ability to go all the way unbeaten.
"They have so much depth in the squad, they can cover in any position and I've not seen a team like this in a very long time."'Man City are getting more and more dangerous' Leicester 0-2 Man City: Foxes beaten by best team in Europe - Claude Puel
On Saturday, Jesus gave them the lead from close range just before half-time from David Silva's pass, after the Spaniard was sent through by Raheem Sterling's disguised through ball.
After the break, Harry Maguire struck the post for Leicester via Fabian Delph's deflection but De Bruyne's thumping finish from Leroy Sane's cut-back 22 seconds later put the game beyond the home side.
"City are getting more and more dangerous as they go forward. They are a joy to watch this season," said former Tottenham boss David Pleat on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.
"They have more talented, technical players and there's no disputing that. To go unbeaten this far in the season is quite remarkable from this group."What will happen if they continue at their current rate?
City's current points-per-game average of 2.83 is 0.33 better than Chelsea's (2.50) in 2004-05 when they won the League with 95 points.
In 2015, Chelsea had 32 points after 12 games, a tally beaten by the current league leaders.
If Man City continue to win points at an average of 2.83 per game, they are on track for 108 points.Most points in a Premier League seasonTeamSeasonPointsGoalsManchester City (projected)2017-18108126Chelsea2004-059572Chelsea2016-179385Manchester United1993-949280Manchester United1999-009197Chelsea2005-069172Arsenal2003-049073
The 100-point barrier has never been crossed before in the English top division.
If they continue to score goals at their current rate of 3.33 per game they will net 126 goals this campaign, 53 more than Arsenal's 'Invincibles' side of 2003-04.
Paul Pogba was labelled "different class" by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho after returning from injury with a goal and an assist.
Pogba set up Anthony Martial for the equaliser and scored the third goal as United came from behind to beat Newcastle 4-1 at Old Trafford.
The France midfielder had missed the past 12 league and cup games with a hamstring injury.
"It was a great performance from him," said Mourinho.
United had failed to win three of their previous seven league games without Pogba as he recovered from injury.
However, the 24-year-old produced a man-of-the-match performance as United set a club record of 38 games unbeaten at Old Trafford to beat Newcastle and stay in touch with leaders Manchester City.
"Paul Pogba is different class - Paul and Nemanja Matic grew up together at the start of the season and are the engine of the team," added Mourinho, who replaced Pogba after 70 minutes with Marouane Fellaini.
"It was in Paul's hands, how many minutes to play until he began to feel fatigued. It was a great performance from him."Manchester United's Premier League record with Paul Pogba starting (left) and without the midfielder (right) since the start of the 2016-17 season
On a positive day for United, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic also marked his return to action with a 14-minute appearance as a substitute.
Ibrahimovic, 36, was making his first appearance since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on 20 April.
"To see him back is a great emotion," added Mourinho. "His was such a dramatic injury.
"You recover some players and you lose others, some teams are luckier.
"We have had to go through difficult matches without important players. Let us see if we can go through the Christmas period with all the players available at our disposal.
"The more players we have, the better for me."Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The return of a lion - 5 reasons why Zlatan was missed!
Liverpool Under-23s delivered a convincing 4-0 mini-derby victory over champions Everton in a display full of cutting edge football and clinical finishing in front of a big Saturday night crowd at Prenton Park.
First half goals from Herbie Kane and Corey Whelan, and two magnificent second half efforts from Rhian Brewster and substitute Yan Dhanda saw the Reds take the local bragging rights in no uncertain terms.
The top-of-the-table Premier League 2 clash featured two strong line-ups with plenty of first team experience as you'd expect for a Merseyside derby.
Liverpool had Danny Ings leading the line and Jon Flanagan at right back with Ovie Ejaria anchoring midfield.
Franny Jeffers' Blues included the impressive Beni Baningime, a standout in midfield in the first half, along with Mo Besic and summer Croatian signing Nikola Vlasic on the left.
It was Harry Wilson with the first big chance of the game, the Welshman slipped in on seven minutes but unable to beat Louis Gray in the Everton goal.Premier League Two leaders Liverpool U23s in action against Everton U23s in the so-called 'Mini Derby' at Prenton Park. Photo by James Maloney
The Everton keeper was in the action again after a quarter of an hour when he somehow survived a blatant penalty shout.
Gray called for the ball and Blues captain Morgan Feeney left it to him. Kane was too fast and got there first, only to be tripped by Gray's despairing dive.
A certain spot-kick but referee David Richardson somehow waved play on.
Everton almost rubbed salt into the wounds by taking the lead but Whelan produced a captain's block to deny Josh Bowler as he cut in off the right before Nikola Vlasic blasted the rebound well over.
Whelan, fresh from U21 duty with the Republic of Ireland, almost turned provider within a minute, his perfect pass spiltting the Blues defence and finding Wilson in his stride but he dragged his finish wide of the post.
Ings beat a couple of men before curling wide but Liverpool got themselves in front just after the half hour mark.
A poor clearance from keeper Gray fell to Herbie Kane 30 yards out. He freed Wilson on the right and his delightful cutback found Kane perfectly in stride inside the box and he hammered it powerfully into the net with 33 minutes gone.
Three minutes later and the lead was doubled in the simplest of fashions.
Wilson's curling corner saw Whelan rise above a defender at the back post to head home.
He almost added a second before the break, this time heading wide from another corner.
Ovie Ejaria stretched his legs to great effect just before the break but should have played Harry Wilson in a second sooner and the chance was gone.Liverpool U23s player Rhian Brewster in action against Everton U23s in the so-called 'Mini Derby' at Prenton Park. Photo by James Maloney
Liverpool stretched their lead within five minutes of the restart and what a goal it was.
Left-back Juanma released Herbie Kane down the line and his superb cross was met by a magnificently controlled volley by Brewster to give Gray no chance.
Everton almost hit straight back, half-time substitute Fraser Hornby somehow heading Harry Charsley's cross wide.
But it was Liverpool offering most of the threat.
Everton were having to throw bodies in the way of goalbound shots while Ovie Ejaria danced through before going down for what looked a half decent penalty shout.
Wilson put a cutback into the side netting when a goal looked more likely and it was no surprise when a fourth arrived.
Ejaria carried the ball well from the edge of his own box before feeding substitute Yan Dhanda.Liverpool U23s captain Corey Whelan celebrates adding a second against Everton U23s in the so-called 'Mini Derby' at Prenton Park. Photo by James Maloney
He just raced past a defender on a solo run and fired an unstoppable shot low across Gray and into the far corner with 10 minutes left.
The game was long over but it put a wonderful gloss on a deserved victory.
The young Reds go five points clear at the top of Premier League 2 once again.
Liverpool: Kamil Grabara, Jon Flanagan, Juanma (George Johnston, 87), Corey Whelan, Lloyd Jones, Ovie Ejaria, Matty Virtue, Herbie Kane, Harry Wilson (bobby Adekanye, 81), Rhian Brewster (Yan Dhanda, 65), Danny Ings
Everton: Louis Gray, Harry Charsley, Luke Garbutt (Lewis Gibson, 82), Beni Baningime, Morgan Feeney (c), Matthew Foulds, Josh Bowler (Fraser Hornby, 46), Mo Besic, David Henin, Liam Walsh, Nikola Vlasic
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is pleased with his side's "dominant" reaction after they fought back from a goal behind to beat Newcastle 4-1.
MATCH REPORT: Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United
Watch all of Saturday's Premier League goals on Match of the Day, 22:30 BST on BBC One and the BBC Sport website & app.
The Championship returned from its last international break of 2017 and certainly added to the frivolity of Leagues One and Two.
There are stories of a manager-in-waiting engaging in festive joy, an English club record that nobody wanted and a horrible miss that will do the rounds on social media for weeks to come.
BBC Sport brings you five things you may have missed from Saturday's EFL action.Stadium of (Christmas) Lights
It is that time of year when reality TV stars, talent show contestants and local celebrities are called upon to switch on Christmas lights in towns and cities across the UK.
Such bookings are in the diary months in advance and Chris Coleman was not going to let his impending appointment at Sunderland get in the way of a prior engagement.
Coleman quit as Wales boss on Friday but was not on Wearside for their draw with Millwall (more on that result to come...)
The former Fulham and Coventry manager was instead instead in the Welsh city of Newport for the switching on of the Christmas lights - which seemed appropriate, as his new office will be the Stadium of Light, after all...
When asked if he would be managing the Black Cats at Aston Villa on Tuesday, he replied: "That's the idea. I've got an early flight tomorrow [Sunday] and then I'm straight into it.
"It's a big game on Tuesday at Villa Park."Wearsiders' woes plumb new depths
Coleman will inherit a record-breaking side, but for all the wrong reasons.
Sunderland became the first team in English football history to fail to win in 20 successive home games in all competitions, drawing 2-2 against Millwall.
They relied on Adam Matthews' wayward cross to salvage a draw, but they remain bottom of the Championship and without a win at the Stadium of Light since beating Watford in the Premier League in December 2016.
Speaking to BBC Radio Newcastle after the match, caretaker-boss Robbie Stockdale said: "The fans crave success and they deserve it, so whoever is lucky enough to get the job and gets this place rocking again will have a fantastic club on their hands."
Sunderland have three opportunities in December to avoid going through the whole of 2017 without a home victory - maybe black cats are unlucky after all.Maupay's miss Try as you might, I'm afraid we can still see you Neal...
In this social media age, there is no hiding place for footballers - everything they do is hyper-analysed and can be shared by thousands across the world.
Brentford striker Neal Maupay is probably wishing we could rewind to a time before the internet existed after his "miss of the season" contender against Cardiff.
After Sean Morrison had given the ball away on the edge of his own box, Ollie Watkins squared the ball for the Frenchman, who had the whole goal to aim for and bags of time - but managed to skew wide from seven yards.
His boss Dean Smith was supportive of his striker, saying: "Neal knows he should have scored and 999 times out of 1,000, he does. He's had one of those moments you don't want to see on a football pitch."
The Bees were trailing 1-0 at the time and went on to lose by a further goal. scored by Danny Ward, who has played a part in nine goals against Brentford in nine games against the Bees.Glee for the Lees as Luton net seven again
You have two sons playing for the same team and there is a derby game in the calendar - what do you do? If you are Rob Lee, you go to Twickenham to watch England play rugby instead.
As a former England, Charlton and Newcastle midfielder he might have known better, and he missed a stellar display from his two sons as their Luton side put seven past Cambridge.
That is not even half of the story, as Olly Lee scored from inside his own half - and, according to Luton, potentially from a different postcode to the goalposts - while his younger brother Elliot bagged a brilliant double.
Olly may feel grateful his speculative shot went in after listening to the thoughts of his boss Nathan Jones.
"We work very, very hard on our counter-attacking and our structure and he should've played it to Danny Hylton, because Hylton made a great run and he should've played it to him," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.
"Hylton wasn't happy and initially I wasn't until I saw the ball sailing over the keeper.
"They showed [David] Beckham's one for 10 years, they're probably still showing it - that's as good, if not better."Luton were on the receiving end of a goal from behind the halfway line from Xabi Alonso in an FA Cup tie against Liverpool in 2006
Hylton led the way with a hat-trick for the Hatters, who have scored seven goals or more on a remarkable three occasions already in League Two this season.
How many times can you reuse a 'seventh heaven' headline?Greens see red once more Ryan Edwards has been sent off twice for Plymouth this term
When you've just been promoted, the odds are that the following campaign will be a testing one - unless you are Championship high-flyers Sheffield United, of course.
Plymouth have found out exactly that in League One, as they are second-bottom, but have been their own worse enemy with an EFL-high six red cards.
In September, boss Derek Adams said finishing games with 10 men was "killing" his side, but their disciplinary record has not got much better since.
The Devon side went into their game with Oxford on a six-game unbeaten run, but Ryan Edwards' sending-off contributed to a second 4-0 home reverse of the season.
The Pilgrims have now had five red cards in home games alone - the same as the number of points they have picked up from league games at Home Park this term.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez want to stay at the club.
Both players are out of contract in the summer and could be sold in January.
Sanchez scored in the Gunners' 2-0 win over north London rivals Tottenham on Saturday, while Ozil was named man of the match.
"I am convinced they love the club and love the team, but all the rest will be decided - when? I don't really know," said Wenger.
"I believe they love the club and want to stay, but there are other top clubs out there who offer good contracts as well."
Sanchez's goal was only his second in the Premier League this season but takes his career total for the club to an impressive 55 goals in 112 appearances.
Ozil, meanwhile, provided the assist for the opening goal. He has now produced 45 assists since making his Arsenal debut in September 2013, more than any other Premier League player.
"They've shown their commitment again [against Tottenham]," added Wenger. "I've never questioned their commitment.
"They can have bad games but the problem is that, when a player gets near the end of his contract and has a bad game, everybody says it's because he's going. Their interest is to play."
Liverpool verdict - Jurgen Klopp and Reds in good health in display of perspiration, inspiration, maturity and control
This was just what the doctor ordered.
Three goals, a clean sheet and an emphatic fourth successive victory for Jurgen Klopp's resurgent Liverpool side.
After his recent health scare, Klopp enjoyed the luxury of a stress-free afternoon as the Reds broke their Southampton hoodoo in style.
Liverpool carried on where they had left off before the international break to ensure it was a chastening return to Anfield for Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.
Once again Mo Salah led the way as his deadly first-half double did the damage. His left foot is a wand and he has cast a spell over Kopites since his summer move from Roma.
The Egyptian winger, who departed to a thunderous ovation and a Klopp bear hug late on, has surpassed all expectations. In a world of ridiculously inflated transfer fees his £36.9million price tag looks like the signing of the season.
He now boasts 14 goals in just 18 appearances for the Reds. Put into context nobody scored more than that for the club in the whole of last season.
His dazzling return of nine league goals in his first dozen top-flight outings for Liverpool is the best of the Premier League era – surpassing Robbie Fowler's tally of eight.
Few can claim to be more prolific than 'God'. Chelsea's loss is Liverpool's gain.
Salah maybe top of the Premier League scoring charts but this was far from a one-man demolition job. The Reds were impressive in all departments.Read More Liverpool 3-0 Southampton
This was the first time Klopp had unleashed the attacking quartet of Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho from the start of a league game and they purred with intent.
They complement each other so well – the perfect mix of perspiration and inspiration. Southampton simply couldn't handle their movement and ingenuity.
Mane, who has passed fit after a hamstring scare, tormented his former club as he cut in off the left to wreak havoc.
No wonder Saints dug their heels in and were so reluctant to sell Liverpool Virgil van Dijk. They know the Reds put one over them when they secured the services of the Senegal international for just £30million last year. He's now worth more than double that figure.
Firmino set the tone with his tireless work rate, while Coutinho flourished in an advanced central midfield role. Saints made the fatal mistake of giving him space and he duly punished them.
The little Brazilian, who had missed the Reds' previous three matches with a groin injury, capped a fine display by wrapping up the points with the third goal. The Kop are chanting his name once again.
This was a mightily impressive team performance from Klopp's men.
They didn't fly out of the traps. They didn't take any unnecessary risks. They played with real maturity and control.
This wasn't one of those days when the visitors parked the bus and simply challenged the hosts to find a way through.Video Loading
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Saints did try to swing a few punches of their own with Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond getting up in support of Shane Long, but they failed to lay a glove on the Reds.
With Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum rock-solid behind Coutinho, there was a decent balance to the side.
Young Trent Alexander-Arnold excelled at right-back and Alberto Moreno, who missed the birth of his son after opting to stay with the squad, maintained his excellent form on the other flank.
There was also the sight of Dejan Lovren earning applause rather than brickbats.
Joel Matip's thigh problem meant that the Croatia international was handed his first start since last month's shambles against Tottenham.
Lovren could hold his head high. Tougher tests await with Tuesday's trip to Sevilla in the Champions League followed by next weekend's visit of Chelsea to Anfield.
But this was a decent step forward for him. Rather than wilt at the hands of the boo boys in the away end, he silenced them with some crucial blocks and interceptions.Mohamed Salah Scores his second (Image: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
Since last month's debacle at Wembley, Klopp has summoned the perfect response with 13 goals scored and just one conceded.
For all the talk of defensive woes, Liverpool have only let in one league goal at Anfield in nine hours of football so far this season.
Yes, the past few months haven't been plain sailing with some punishing setbacks on their travels, but with key personnel returning there's good reason to believe that momentum can be maintained.
Thirteen games in the space of 44 days will certainly test the depth of Klopp's squad, but with James Milner, Joe Gomez, Daniel Sturridge, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emre Can, Dom Solanke on the bench here and Adam Lallana set to return, the boss certainly isn't short of options.
Liverpool failed to score in all four meetings with Saints last season but a repeat never looked likely as they gradually cranked up the pressure in the first half.
Wijnaldum's strike was pushed away by Fraser Forster, who was then called upon to claw Coutinho's low drive behind.
Just past the half hour mark the breakthrough arrived. It was testament to Firmino's tenacity as he picked Tadic's pocket 20 yards out.
Ragnar Klavan and Wijnaldum combined to tee up Salah, who unleashed an unstoppable curler from the edge of the box.
Four minutes before the break it was 2-0. Coutinho's pass delivered with the outside of his right boot was exquisite and Salah ensured it got the finish it deserved.Video Loading
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Van Dijk, who was then dumped on his backside by Lovren, was found wanting. How the Dutchman will be hoping that when the clubs meet again at St Mary's in February he will be wearing the same colours as Salah.
In the second half Saints briefly rallied and Lovren did brilliantly to thwart Sofiane Boufal. There was a roar from the stands and a fist pump from his boss.
Liverpool swiftly regained the initiative with Firmino going close after being expertly set up by the marauding Alexander-Arnold.
Some of the Reds' incisive build up play was sublime. Coutinho fired wide after slaloming his way through but he soon made amends.
Firmino's piledriver from Mane's flick hit Forster and Coutinho was on hand to tuck away the rebound for his fifth goal of the campaign.
Liverpool cruised to the end as Coutinho, Mane and Salah were all given a breather.
This time it was Southampton's turn to take their medicine. The Reds are in rude health.
Liverpool verdict - Jurgen Klopp and Reds in good health in display of perspiration, inspiration, maturity and control
Tony Pulis said he will "plough on" as the West Brom manager if the club's board "want him to" after his side suffered a 4-0 thrashing by Chelsea.
Eden Hazard scored twice with further goals from Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso as Chelsea won at The Hawthorns.
The result means Albion have not won in 10 Premier League games and are one place above the relegation zone.
"I am a realist, and I understand the game as well as anybody," Pulis, 59, told BBC Radio 5 live.
"I have had a really poor run of results - I think the last time was 2005 when I was at Stoke, which is 13 years ago. Obviously I was hoping to change that but it hasn't happened. So you move on, you move on, you move on until you're otherwise told."Pulis' contrasting fortunes at West BromPremier League games onlyTimePWDLFAWin ratioJanuary 2015 to May 2017942927389612130.9%August 2017 to present1224691816.7%
Pulis, who has also managed in the Premier League with Stoke and Crystal Palace, was appointed Baggies boss in January 2015.
He guided them from 17th when he took over to 13th in 2014-15, 14th a year later and 10th last season - the club's highest finish in four years.
They won their first three matches of this campaign, but have not won since 22 August when they beat League Two Accrington 3-1 in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Since then, Albion have drawn four times and lost seven and Pulis has admitted he would not be surprised if he was sacked.
"The board of directors will decide what they have to do," Pulis told BBC Sport. "I have been in this position before. It's up to them. I feel for the players. They have worked hard but they have made basic mistakes.
"I spoke to the owners yesterday; they are really decent people. It's not about them, it's about what's best for the football club.
"That is more important than anybody. It's a decision they have to make. I'll keep ploughing along if they want me to do."Tony Pulis has won 36 of his 120 games in charge of West Brom in all competitions
In an interview with 5 live, he was pressed on what was said in a meeting with chairman John Williams after the game.
"[What was said] is between me and him - you've got no business to know that," added Pulis. "You've got no business to know what me and the chairman talk about."'I would be amazed if he stays in a job' - analysis
BBC Final Score pundits Garth Crooks and Martin Keown thought this could be Pulis' last match in charge of the Baggies.
Crooks said: "Tony Pulis looks a resigned figure on the touchline.
"At the moment, he does not seem to be able to offer anything to his team. The Baggies have been roundly beaten today, while Chelsea have played with a freedom and panache.
"Slaven Bilic cut such a forlorn figure towards the end of his time at West Ham, and that quickened his downfall. The same could be happening here to Pulis. The hatch on the trapdoor is opening.
"It would have been different if they had gone down fighting and lost only 1-0. But the Baggies owners were there watching today. Are they going to give supporters what they want, which would be a new manager?"
Keown added: "I don't think Tony Pulis can survive this. Partly that's down to the brand of football - we are coming towards the end of his time at The Hawthorns.
"This sort of poor West Brom performance is game after game. The Baggies need a shot of creativity right through the club. Are the players being asked to play football by the management?
"This has been a long time coming, and this result and performance today is really going to test the resolve of the owner.
"You never like to see someone lose their job but I'd be amazed if, by the next West Brom game, Tony Pulis is still in the job. It was dire today. There's only one way to go and that is to the Exit door for Pulis."
Paris St-Germain extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to six points with a 4-1 victory at home to Nantes.
Edinson Cavani's low drive from inside the box put Unai Emery's side ahead and Angel di Maria's cross snuck in to double the lead before half-time.
Prejuce Nakoulma turned in from close range to give Nantes hope, but Javier Pastore's fierce angled strike and Cavani's second sealed the victory.
Cavani's double moved him up to 15 goals from 13 league games this season.
He is the first player to reach the total in 13 games since former Mali striker Salif Keita's return for Saint-Etienne at the start of the 1971-72 campaign.
Victory in Paris leaves PSG six points clear of second-placed Monaco, who drew 1-1 at relegation-threatened Amiens on Friday.