Southampton’s Danny Ings, right, celebrates after scoring inside the opening two minutes.
Liverpool slumped to a second loss of their title defence in the English Premier League after a second-minute goal from former player Danny Ings earned Southampton a 1-0 win on Tuesday (NZT).
The champions have gone three games without a win – after back-to-back draws against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle – and lead on only goal difference from Manchester United, who have played one game fewer.
Ings, who had an injury-plagued spell at Liverpool from 2015-18, lifted a shot over goalkeeper Alisson Becker and into the far corner after latching onto a free kick by James Ward-Prowse.
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From then, it was attack vs defence but Southampton held firm, meaning Liverpool failed to score in successive games for only the second time in Jurgen Klopp’s five-year tenure.
Indeed, such has been Liverpool’s lack of cutting edge of late that Klopp’s team have managed just seven shots on target in the past three games.
Southampton were depleted for the game, missing the spine of their team with first-choice goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (coronavirus), central midfielder Oriol Romeu (hamstring) and striker Che Adams (concussion) joining giant centre-back Jannik Vestergaard on the sidelines.
But the Saints picked up another impressive win and moved up to sixth place.
Four points separate Liverpool from seventh-place Everton, with 10th-placed West Ham seven points off the lead after nearly half of the campaign.