Roberto Firmino's moment speaks volumes as another Liverpool career may have just ended - Liverpool Echo

Roberto Firmino’s moment speaks volumes as another Liverpool career may have just ended – Liverpool Echo

Kelleher faces a decision

Together with the expected departures, it cannot be ruled out that the traveling Kop unconsciously said goodbye to one or two others here.

And foremost among them could be Caoimhin Kelleher.

Jürgen Klopp was adamant earlier this month that it would take an exceptional bid for Liverpool to even consider letting the goalkeeper leave during the upcoming transfer window.

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However, that this was a first Premier League start in almost 18 months – and only a fourth appearance since his exploits in the League Cup final against Chelsea last season – shows the firm grip Alisson Becker has on the number one shirt.

Kelleher, for the good of his own career, may decide it’s time to move on. Earlier this season, he admitted that he would assess his options at the end of the season.

However, this was an afternoon to forget, no doubt disappointed in conceding four goals, especially those from Kamaldeen Sulemana and Adam Armstrong.

Yes, it’s hard to be overly critical given the Irishman’s undeniable ring rust and porous defense in front of him on an sometimes slapstick afternoon. But Alisson may be Liverpool’s player of the season for a reason. A big decision awaits.

The fitting farewell to Firmino and Milner

There was something very apt about the way two loyal servants ended their Liverpool careers in a boiling St Mary’s.

For James Milner, the afternoon began as midfield captain and ended with him handing the captain’s armband to Jordan Henderson as he played the last half hour at left-back – the position he reluctantly spent the entire 2016-17 season in.

No wonder the banner in the far corner read “Milner 7 Legend,” the unassuming 37-year-old who was nudged by Cody Gakpo after the final whistle to take the eulogies.

Roberto Firmino, meanwhile, took his leave by flipping two Southampton defenders on their backs before netting in Liverpool’s second goal.

At his substitution shortly before the hour mark, the Brazilian received a standing ovation from not only the away supporters, but also from most of the home supporters. It was a well-deserved recognition of one of the Premier League’s most unique talents.

Between them, Milner and Firmino made 694 appearances for Liverpool, scoring 137 goals. But numbers alone cannot fully quantify their seismic impact during a glorious period in the club’s illustrious history.

Salah falls short

Amidst the wave of change on the south coast, there was one Liverpool player who never wanted to rest before this dead rubber.

After all, if goals are scored, Mohamed Salah really wants to get in.

The Egyptian’s inclusion in the starting line-up and Alisson’s absence meant he was the only player to be involved in every Premier League game this season.

The fact that he has not kicked a ball in just 10 of Liverpool’s top 228 games for six years since his arrival speaks volumes for both his importance and durability.

Although it wasn’t Salah’s best outing, he still assisted Diogo Jota’s second, hit the post himself and grabbed a brilliant save from Alex McCarthy meaning he fell short in his bid to become the first player to score 20 goals and score at least 10 assists in three games. Premier League campaigns.

Jota’s season, meanwhile, included the team’s as he was sidelined twice by long-term injury problems and more than a year without scoring before his brace here meant he finished with seven goals in his last nine appearances.

Like Luis Diaz, he will be eager to start the new season. But for most others associated with Liverpool, the end couldn’t come soon enough. Time to regroup and rethink.


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