Alisson has challenged Liverpool to sustain the defensive focus that has helped them secure back-to-back clean sheets for the first time since September.

The Champions League holders reached the last 16 on Tuesday thanks to a 2-0 win away to Salzburg, with Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah scoring the goals.

It was also Liverpool's second clean sheet in a row, following last Saturday's 3-0 Premier League win at Bournemouth, a result that leaves the Reds eight points clear at the top of the table.

Since losing the Community Shield on penalties in August, Klopp's side have only lost once in all competitions - a 2-0 defeat to Napoli in September - but their defence has nonetheless come under scrutiny following a run of 13 matches in which they conceded at least one goal.

However, with the Reds having now recorded consecutive clean sheets for the first time since victories over MK Dons and Sheffield United almost three months ago, Alisson - who played in neither of those September games - is eager to keep that run going.

"It was just a matter of time and of focus," the goalkeeper told Liverpoolfc.com when asked how their defence has improved.

"The last two games, we were focused for the full game. Even if they had chances we were there, the defenders were there, and I was there to help the team.

"We just need to keep going with this focus because we know our quality and we know what we can do on the pitch when we put in our whole intensity.

"You need to do that for 90 minutes – it's hard, we know, but I think we showed we can do this."

Alisson had to make a string of saves in the first half to keep Salzburg at bay before two goals in quick succession after the interval put Liverpool in control.

"In the first half they made our job more difficult with their intensity they put in," he said. "They had chances, of course, but we neutralised them in the chances, I could make the saves.

"I'm happy with the result and happy with what we did on the pitch.

"It was a difficult game for us, but we did very well, everybody playing together and moving together, defending in a good way and attacking in a good way.

"I'm glad about the score, I'm glad about the clean sheet – but the three points were the most important thing we needed."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has been crowned the first ever winner of the Yachine Trophy at 2019 Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris.

The 27-year-old beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ederson to be crowned the best keeper in the world.

Alisson played a crucial role in Liverpool's Champions League success and started six times for Brazil in their triumphant Copa America campaign.

He also won the Golden Glove in the Premier League last season with 21 clean sheets as the Reds fell just short of Manchester City in the title race.

Barcelona keeper Ter Stegen finished second in the voting, while Alisson's compatriot Ederson was third.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, Hugo Lloris, Jan Oblak, Samir Handanovic, Manuel Neuer, Andre Onana and Wojciech Szczesny were also in the running for the inaugural award.

Liverpool remain on course for a first ever Premier League title after a nervy 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion, while Manchester City could only manage a 2-2 draw at Newcastle United.

Jurgen Klopp's side endured a tense finish at Anfield after goalkeeper Alisson was dismissed with 14 minutes remaining, but they held on for a 13th win in 14 games this season.

City, meanwhile, were far from their fluid best at St James' Park and were denied a vital win by Jonjo Shelvey's superb late strike.

Jose Mourinho racked up a second consecutive Premier League win since taking over at Tottenham, Dele Alli proving to be the star man in a 3-2 win over Bournemouth, while West Ham pulled off a surprise 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

REDS SURVIVE ALISSON RED CARD

Runaway leaders Liverpool survived a nervy finale to equal their longest unbeaten run in the top flight and capitalise on City's slip-up.

A Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick set up the opener for Van Dijk in the 18th minute and the same combination soon provided a second goal as Brighton were found wanting at a corner.

Brighton were given an unexpected lifeline when Alisson was sent off for handling outside his box – meaning he will miss Wednesday's derby clash with Everton – and Lewis Dunk caught out replacement goalkeeper Adrian with a quick free-kick.

The Seagulls could not find a late equaliser, though, and while Leicester City can cut Liverpool's advantage at the summit to eight points by beating Everton on Sunday, there looks to be no stopping a team who have now gone 31 league games unbeaten, matching their record streak from May 1987 to March 1988.

CITY'S TITLE HOPES SLIP AWAY

City's hopes of claiming a third consecutive Premier League title suffered a fresh blow, with Shelvey's late intervention leaving them 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola's side looked set to cruise to all three points when Raheem Sterling scored his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign midway through the first half, but they were pegged back by Jetro Willems' fierce drive three minutes later.

Kevin De Bruyne restored City's lead with a sumptuous half-volley in the 82nd minute, the Belgium international using his chest to control a headed clearance before unleashing a stunning effort that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.

Newcastle bounced back in style to ensure a share of the spoils two minutes from time, though, when Shelvey whipped home from 25 yards after Christian Atsu had picked him out with a short free-kick.

MOURINHO'S PERFECT START CONTINUES

Tottenham beat West Ham and Olympiacos in Mourinho's first two matches and were good value for their latest triumph at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, despite another late collapse.

The hosts made a slow start but took the lead midway through the opening period through Alli, who slotted the ball underneath Aaron Ramsdale after being teed up by Son Heung-min's first-time pass.

The England international scored a second early in the second half before Moussa Sissoko added a third with his first league goal in his past 69 appearances.

Harry Wilson pulled two goals back for Bournemouth in the closing stages - one of which was a superb free-kick - but Tottenham held on for back-to-back league wins for the first time since April to climb to fifth, six points off a Champions League place.

PRESSURE EASES ON PELLEGRINI AFTER FINE WIN

Aaron Cresswell scored the only goal of the game as West Ham eased the pressure on Manuel Pellegrini and ended their seven-game Premier League winless streak at Chelsea.

The Hammers became only the second side to win at Chelsea in the league this season and Frank Lampard's side, who lost at Manchester City a week prior, could have few complaints about the result.

Cresswell scored the winner early in the second half and West Ham could have extended their lead before surviving a late rally from the hosts to secure their first victory since they beat Manchester United on September 22.

Crystal Palace, meanwhile, beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor courtesy of goals from Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp.

Star goalkeeper Alisson says Liverpool deserve to win the Premier League this season despite still having room for improvement.

The Reds are eight points clear of second-place Leicester City ahead of Saturday's home game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Liverpool narrowly missed out on the title last term but a blistering start to the new campaign, in which they have won 12 of their first 13 league matches, has restored hope of a first top-flight triumph since 1990.

Alisson believes it would be nothing less than the European champions deserve.

"My aims are to win everything we play for," the Brazil international told Sky Sports. "Every time we go on the pitch to play a cup game, a league game or a Champions League game, we will give everything to win.

"The desire of the people is important for us and we have the same desire to win the Premier League this season.

"It's something we try with our full heart, to win, because the people deserve it, the club deserve it and we deserve it also because of what we did last season and what we have done this season so far.

"But we need to keep going, keep playing to win every game and keep improving – that's an important thing – but we will try to win all the tournaments we play."

Jurgen Klopp will expect his team to deliver a more convincing margin of victory against Brighton following a run of late winners and close results.

Liverpool drew 1-1 against Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday and have not kept a clean sheet in any of their past 11 matches in all competitions.

"I think we are playing the way that is necessary to win," Alisson said.

"I think we can improve and this is a good sign because we are winning and we are not playing our best. We are playing as best as we can but some things we know we can do better, like the clean sheets.

"In the defensive way, sometimes with the ball we can prepare better for the situations, but our mentality is our strong point and we are winning the games because of our strong mentality."

Alisson said Liverpool wanted to avoid a repeat of last season as he talked up the significance of Sunday's clash against Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions head to Anfield trailing Liverpool by six points through 11 games this campaign.

City claimed the title last season, finishing a point clear of Liverpool despite Jurgen Klopp's men losing just one game.

Alisson said Liverpool had no interest in experiencing that again, eager to go one better in 2019-20.

"We don't want to feel how we felt last season," the goalkeeper told The Guardian.

"Being second by just one point – and we don't know which game made us lose the title because we had a few draws where we could have done better, and we had the loss away to Man City when we could have won or drawn – means we know that we need to give everything in every game if we want to become Premier League champions.

"We want it and we will try to do it."

Liverpool have won 10 of their opening 11 Premier League games, drawing one, to open up an early lead at the top.

Alisson knows how important Sunday's encounter is as the European champions try to surge further clear.

"Last season we had a great experience, an almost perfect season," the Brazil international said. "We lost one game and that one game was against City. We know how big this game is for us.

"We know how big the game is for everyone – for them and for our fans. In the end it is just three more important points but Manchester City have been the best team in the league for the last few years so we need to give everything to win this game."

Lionel Messi will be hoping to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo at the Globe Soccer Awards after both were named among the nominees for the Best Men's Player for 2019.

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool team-mates Alisson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are also up for the annual honour, which is to be presented in Dubai on December 29.

Bernardo Silva, part of the Manchester City side largely snubbed at the FIFA Best awards, rounds out the seven-man field.

Juventus forward and five-time winner Ronaldo claimed the main prize for the third consecutive year in 2018.

Barcelona superstar Messi has won it once, in 2015.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan headline the contenders for the Best Women's Player title.

Lyon trio Amandine Henry, Lucy Bronze and Ada Hegerberg are all shortlisted and the French outfit have been nominated for Best Club, alongside Liverpool and Ajax.

Jurgen Klopp, Erik ten Hag, Fernando Santos and Djamel Belmadi, who guided Algeria to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations, are in contention to succeed Didier Deschamps as Best Coach, as is former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Other award categories include Best Agent, Best Sporting Director and Best Revelation, designed to recognise emerging players.

Inter's Antonio Conte, ex-England manager Fabio Capello and Portugal legend Luis Figo form part of the judging panel.

Teenage Real Madrid forward Rodrygo Goes has been included in Brazil's squad for the first time ahead of next month's friendlies with Argentina and South Korea.

The 18-year-old made his first competitive start for Madrid in Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win against Galatasaray, having also made a couple of substitute appearances in LaLiga this season.

Rodrygo is joined in Tite's 23-man squad by fellow newcomer Douglas Luiz, who has performed well in the Premier League since joining Aston Villa from Manchester City in July.

There is no place for fellow Madrid players Vinicius Junior and Marcelo, while injured Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar also misses out, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson returns to the squad after recovering from a calf injury.

Brazil take on South American rivals Argentina in Saudi Arabia in three weeks and then travel to Abu Dhabi for a friendly with South Korea.

The Copa America holders enter the match without a win in their past four outings - all friendlies - and Tite is looking for an improvement as preparations continue for next year's World Cup qualifiers.

"I was not satisfied with our performances and results," he said at a news conference on Friday.

"But we have played in three competitive competitions. In the first, we formatted the team. The second, we reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In the Copa America, we won the title.

"Now we are at a new stage of the preparations, preparing for the qualifiers."

Brazil squad in full:

Alisson (Liverpool), Daniel Fuzato (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City); Alex Sandro (Juventus), Danilo (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Emerson (Real Betis), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain); Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Fabinho (Liverpool), Lucas Paqueta (AC Milan), Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich); David Neres (Ajax), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Richarlison (Everton), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Willian (Chelsea).

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson hailed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's glorious double against Genk as a "special" moment for the European champions.

The injury-plagued midfielder marked his first Champions League appearance in 18 months with two exquisite goals in the club's comprehensive 4-1 win over Genk on Wednesday.

His low drive gave Liverpool the lead in the second minute and he lit up the Luminus Arena with an even better effort before the hour, stabbing a sublime shot in off the underside of the crossbar with the outside of his right boot.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp described the scene-stealing performance as "a great story" given Oxlade-Chamberlain's battle to overcome the serious knee injury he suffered in the semi-finals in April 2018.

Alisson, an opponent in the Roma goal that day, concurred.

"It was special for everyone," the Brazilian, recently recovered from a calf issue, told Liverpool's official website.

"We see him working hard at the training ground. In the last weeks, I worked with him; in the last international break, we had training and he was enjoying the sessions.

"I'm really happy for him scoring like that, playing like that and helping the team. I think he is really happy, as am I."

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah joined the England international on the scoresheet as the Reds issued a confident response to the lacklustre Premier League draw against Manchester United.

Next up is Sunday's home game against a Tottenham side fresh from a morale-boosting 5-0 hiding of Red Star Belgrade.

"It's always good to play against a tough rival," Alisson said. "Tottenham had a tough moment in the last five games but they proved their value in the last one, they proved their quality.

"We played against Red Star and we know how difficult it is. They did well, they won 5-0. It will be a good game for us, a good test.

"Now we need to rest and focus on that game 100 per cent."

Jurgen Klopp feels Liverpool's seven nominees for the Ballon d'Or are fully deserving of the accolade, though he does not feel any personal pride for the players' individual achievements.

Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum were all named on a 30-man shortlist for the annual award on Monday.

The nominations follow on from an incredible 2018-19 campaign for the Champions League winners, with Klopp's side also finishing second to Manchester City in a thrilling Premier League title race.

Speaking ahead of his team's European game against Genk on Wednesday, Klopp has no doubt Liverpool's stars are worthy contenders for the honour.

"It's nice. I don't understand or know too much about these kinds of things. When you win it is big but when you don't win it hopefully it doesn't hurt too much," Klopp told a news conference.

"It's a very good sign but after last season it is normal that a lot of players have to be nominated.

"I'm proud in general of the boys 100 per cent, but I didn't feel proud in that moment. I'm happy when they win things. I'm not sure if I should be proud in a moment like this, I had not so much to do with that. I'm proud of the football we play but no more."

Klopp is also unsure if the success of Liverpool's nominees will result in more top-level players wishing to join the club, though suggested none of his current squad will be leaving Anfield in the near future.

"Our seven players all deserve it. If that's the sign for us from now on, and if we will be a destination for players, I do not know," Klopp added.

"We all feel comfortable with each other, want to work together for the next couple of years or more. But we don't know, we will see what the future brings.

Liverpool sit second in Group E heading into Wednesday's clash in Belgium, having lost to Napoli before beating Salzburg. 

Despite making it to the final in 2017-18 and again last season, the Reds have won just one of their six away group stage matches under Klopp, who acknowledged that record must improve.

"Last year we were lucky the group was so tight that we could lose our away games and still have the chance to make it out of the group," Klopp said.

"That will not happen this year. We don't rely on home games all the time but obviously European nights at Anfield are really special. However, other teams can make a special atmosphere as well.

"We could have won away games, performance wise, but for reasons we didn't win. Historically it is not good, the last two years. We know we have to improve and we try again and again until it works out."

Neymar does not have to leave Paris Saint-Germain to fulfil his goal of becoming the world's best player, according to Brazil team-mate Alisson.

The forward was strongly linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window, but no move to Camp Nou came to fruition.

Neymar has instead remained in the French capital, scoring four goals in five Ligue 1 games since recovering from a foot injury.

The 27-year-old did not finish in the top 10 for the 2018 Ballon d'Or but, asked if Neymar could become the best player in the world by joining Barcelona, Alisson told Mundo Deportivo: "I think that Neymar can be the best in the world on any team.

"Neymar is a high-level player and would be fundamental in any team in the world. If he returns to Barcelona or not... I wish him good luck and to play with his usual joy and energy, wherever he is."

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi was reportedly pushing for Neymar to be signed by Barca, but he told RAC1 this month he was surprised his former team-mate did not join Real Madrid after it became clear he wanted to leave PSG.

Messi and Alisson met in the Champions League for the second season in a row last term, with the former Roma goalkeeper again coming out on top with a stunning second-leg comeback.

The Argentina captain had struck twice in the first leg to seemingly give Liverpool a mountain to climb but they won 4-0 at Anfield to overturn their deficit, going on to win the tournament by defeating fellow Premier League side Tottenham in the final.

Alisson also got the better of Messi at this year's Copa America, where Brazil beat Argentina 2-0 in the semi-finals before going on to lift the trophy on home soil with a win over Peru.

"The truth is that Messi played very well in the first leg in Barcelona and achieved two goals, but in the return I managed to stop him in some important moments," Alisson added.

"Messi is one of the best players in football history, but I don't think only of duels with him. Both Barcelona and Argentina are two very good teams that have high quality players.

"Luckily, in the last three matches I have been able to overcome him, but the merits are of the whole team: Rome, Liverpool and Brazil."

 

Naby Keita is close to returning for Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp is unsure when Alisson will be ready to replace Adrian in goal.

Alisson has been out of action since he suffered a calf injury in the Reds' opening 4-1 Premier League win over Norwich City in August.

Klopp initially indicated the European champions are expected to be without the Brazil international for the "next few weeks".

Speaking ahead of Saturday's home Premier League game against Newcastle United, Klopp issued an update on Alisson and midfielder Keita.

"Funnily enough, we had lunch again so he looked good," Klopp told reporters of Alisson's progress.

"He's improving but as normal we cannot put any pressure on it. It was a really serious injury in the calf and it is now much better of course.

"That's good for us, good for him, but we don't know exactly. The target was always after the next international break he could be ready, but we don't know.

"That's no pressure on it. Hopefully everything will be fine for the rest of the season, that's the plan.

"Naby is close, much closer than Ali. I think he could be in training when we come back from Napoli next week [in the Champions League].

"Clyney [Nathaniel Clyne] and [teenage striker] Paul Glatzel are obviously far away still but doing big steps. It looks quite okay at the moment."

Liverpool are top of the Premier League table having taken maximum points from their first four games of the season before the international break, a run that saw Klopp claim the August manager of the month award.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were among the Reds stars given a break from international duty, which was welcomed by Klopp.

"It was perfect for the boys who didn't have to go," Klopp added. "There's always that challenge.

"I'm really happy boys being named for their national team, it's really nice, a big honour and all that stuff but I've said it 500 times - if you see the players who didn't have to go this time, for different reasons, everything is different.

"It's in a very intense period to have five or six days off. They train, they always train, but they don't have to be here and we do proper football sessions because usually we only have three players here and it makes no sense, this time we could have had five.

"Could have trained but it still makes no sense - then Sadio and Mo would not have had the time off they needed. It's really tough always to have two games when we speak about the international break, then they have another week with two games which is not easy.

"But we can't change that so we don't think too much about it. They are refreshed, that's how it is, hopefully we can use that."

Jurgen Klopp hailed Virgil van Dijk's UEFA Men's Player of the Year award as a prize for all of Liverpool's players.

Van Dijk enjoyed a supreme 2018-19 campaign, helping Liverpool to Champions League glory and captaining Netherlands to the Nations League final.

The former Southampton defender has maintained his form heading into this season and edged out superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to the honour in Monaco on Thursday.

Klopp was quick to laud Van Dijk's individual displays but pointed out his triumph was one that would not be possible without all of Liverpool's squad.

"Brilliant! It's really big. I wanted to call him immediately, but he had to go on stage. I'm so happy for him," Klopp told Liverpool's official website.

"I'm happy for us as well because he knows that without the boys around him, he cannot win that prize.

"It's a prize for all of us – but we send our big man there to get it. It's really rare for a defender. Yes, we all love goals – we want to score them and see them – but more and more and more people get excited about defending.

"Virg is an exceptional defender, in the moment 100 per cent the best defender in the world, so he deserves that prize absolutely.

"It's now the icing on the cake of the Champions League campaign last year."

The awards ceremony took place after the Champions League draw, in which Liverpool were pitted against Napoli, Salzburg and Genk in the group stage.

Van Dijk's team-mate Alisson picked up the Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season accolade and Klopp had no doubt the Brazilian was worthy.

"I would say well, well, well deserved. He made exceptional saves," Klopp said.

"In the first season with us and immediately winning the Champions League. What a year he had, he won the Champions League, won the Copa America and now is the best goalie of last year."

Alisson is walking without crutches but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp remains determined not to rush the goalkeeper back into action.

The Brazil international suffered a calf injury during the opening fixture of the Premier League season against Norwich City a fortnight ago.

Deputy keeper Adrian came on as a substitute and started the penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup and the 2-1 league victory at Southampton last weekend.

The former West Ham man saved from Tammy Abraham in the Super Cup but committed an error to gift Southampton a goal and put Liverpool's win under threat.

Alisson has resumed fitness work in the gym, but Klopp appears ready to be patient over his return.

"Not that close," Klopp said of the 26-year-old on Friday when asked how near he was to playing again.

"I had lunch with him today so at least he can eat! He looks good, good shape, good mood, but it will take time. I don't know how long exactly.

"[There is] No date really in my mind, or nobody told me a date. We didn't ask [the medical department]; we want to give him the time he needs.

"At the beginning, he was on crutches, which is normal with the injury he had. They are not there now so he walks normally. He can really train now, [which is] completely different to a week ago.

"I think now it will go quickly but I don't know how quick."

Liverpool also remain without Naby Keita, who will miss Saturday's match against Arsenal due to a muscle strain.

The Reds won 5-1 when the Gunners visited Anfield last December but, with the teams level on six points after two games this term, Klopp is braced for a tighter contest.

"I wouldn't expect [a high-scoring match], to be honest," he said.

"Both teams are probably offensively orientated, at least. Arsenal will probably change at least two key positions. Probably [Nicolas] Pepe will start, which does not make them weaker, and [Granit] Xhaka.

"It happened a lot to us in the last few months: we analyse a team and then they play completely different against us.

"I am not saying Arsenal will, but it makes life tougher, especially in the early stage of the season."

He added: "If you look at how they set up, they have good footballers in each position and real speed up front. Wow, real speed.

"That makes it tricky to defend. You have to be brave, play your own football, try to keep possession, be direct.

"There are a lot of things to consider in this game."

Georginio Wijnaldum believes Adrian's error against Southampton will prove an aberration as the Liverpool goalkeeper settles into the side.

The experienced Spaniard had a moment to forget on his first Premier League start for the Reds when a poor pass bounced off Danny Ings and into the net.

Liverpool were two goals clear at the time and held on to win 2-1 after former Reds striker Ings squandered a gilt-edged chance for an equaliser.

Adrian almost missed the match after a supporter inadvertently kicked his ankle amid the celebrations of last week's UEFA Super Cup victory over Chelsea.

The former West Ham player had been the hero in Istanbul, decisively denying Tammy Abraham in the penalty shoot-out, but could now be targeted by opponents as Liverpool's number one, Alisson, remains sidelined with a calf injury.

"Those kind of things can happen with a goalkeeper," midfielder Wijnaldum said of Adrian's mistake.

"Last season it happened to Alisson against Leicester City and in a pre-season friendly.

"How is he going to react to the mistake? I think that is more important than the mistake itself. Everyone can make a mistake, also a goalkeeper.

"But the only thing is he is a goalkeeper and if he makes a mistake a lot of times it will result in a goal."

Liverpool signed Adrian four days before their Premier League season opener after selling Simon Mignolet to Club Brugge.

Wijnaldum said: "Everyone needs time to adjust. He [has been here] not even two weeks, so we have to get used to each other.

"It would have been easier if he had come in from the start with Simon leaving and him coming in.

"Now we just have to take the time that we have and train with each other and get to know each other better because everyone needs time to settle in.

"I had it also when I came here, I think all of the signings had it when they signed for Liverpool. So he will be okay."

Jurgen Klopp defended Adrian after the goalkeeper's late gaffe provided a nervy ending for Liverpool in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win at Southampton.

Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino struck to put the European champions in control at St. Mary's, but the Saints hit back in the closing stages.

Danny Ings profited when a poor Adrian pass cannoned into the open goal and the former Reds striker then missed a gilt-edged chance to snatch a draw.

Adrian was a pre-match injury doubt after he was inadvertently hurt by a supporter during the celebrations after Liverpool defeated Chelsea in a shoot-out to win the UEFA Super Cup.

After Liverpool maintained their strong start to the new season, Klopp drew parallels with Adrian's injured colleague Alisson, who made a similar error early last season against Leicester City.

"Adrian must have thought 'I played well like Alisson, so I need to make the same mistake he did'," Klopp said.

"Ali did the same. Obviously it's a goalie thing at Liverpool, no problem with that as long as we win the games. All good.

"Adrian had a swollen ankle and we played too many balls back to him in that period. I was happy with everything he did today, all the saves, all that stuff.

"The other players have to then feel more the responsibility for the build-up and cannot give all the balls back to him and hope the painkillers still help or whatever.

"I don't think the goal was because of that, but a few other balls were. He is completely good with his feet.

"If you would have seen his ankle on Thursday after we left then you would say even the pass before the [Southampton] goal was better than you would have expected! It is all fine."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starred against his old club, starting in a midfield role, and Klopp was fulsome in his praise for the fit-again England international who was withdrawn at half-time against Chelsea in Istanbul.

"Brilliant. It was outstanding good," Klopp said. "It was 45 minutes on Wednesday, we can now say they helped for sure, to get the minutes, to feel the intensity, and know you are ready for the intensity.

"Then today we had to make changes and we did. Especially for us it's really important that in the centre of the park we are ready for all these long runs, all these decisive things, so we changed there… it was good to have these opportunities and Ox was obviously not bad today."

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