Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius is finally relishing being Liverpool's first choice keeper with yet another stellar performance, this time on the south coast as the German produced some important saves that set the Reds on a crucial 2-0 win against Southampton to move back to third in the Premier League - two points off bitter rivals Manchester United.
The 24-year-old made his fifth successive appearance in the league, and the goalkeeper played a pivotal role in the opening goal at St Mary’s.
It was Karius’ quick decision making that started the reds build up to the opening goals, having thwarted a Saints corner, to throw the ball forward for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to release Mohamed Salah – who promptly set up Roberto Firmino to score.
The German then denied the hosts with a series of saves, notably rushing from his line to block a close-range effort by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and then tipping over James Ward-Prowse’s header.
And Klopp's side capitalised on his important saves to double their lead through Salah before half-time, which proved enough for three points that restored them to third in the Premier League.
“That’s my job, to try to be there for the team when needed. The first half was a bit busier than the second – but that’s my job,” Karius told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It was a very important game. We saw the other results, we saw Tottenham win – but we did our job. We kept a clean sheet and scored fantastic goals, that’s all we wanted.
“It’s good to go to the next away game with a positive result and to feel strong. We’ll recover and focus on Porto, which will be a big game for us.”
"My confidence is coming and growing"
Although Liverpool conceded twice against Tottenham in their previous outing, including a last-minute penalty that cost the Reds two crucial points against their top-four rivals. Karius however, made several impressive saves in the match – including a penalty save to deny Premier league top-scorer Harry Kane.
The Reds new No.1 feels his form is founded on having a stable position in the team and the German is relishing the manager's faith in him.
“It’s good and I feel good. Getting weekly game time is very important,” he said.
“I’m still young; I had plenty of experience in the past but it’s different if you play week in, week out again and not just come in every other week for a midweek game.
“My confidence is coming and growing, I’m getting used to the game time again. It’s good for me.”
The Reds keeper made a fine save minutes before their second which was clinical in the Reds going into a comfortable lead at half-time.
Højbjerg would have released Dušan Tadić clear on goal if not for the offside flag and then forced a sublime save from Karius after Oriol Romeu lofted a pass over the top of Andrew Robertson to find Højbjerg in space.
The German 'keeper stood strong to keep out the midfielder's effort and also denied record Southampton signing Guido Carrillo after he leapt above Trent Alexander-Arnold to head goalwards from a Ward-Prowse cross.
As Karius denied Southampton at one end with a fine save, Firmino and Salah combined to defeat them at the other.
“[They are] phenomenal, great guys,” added the ‘keeper.
“Everyone is working hard for them to score the goals at the end. They are brilliant players but it’s about teamwork and putting them in the position.
“We all know the quality they have, so if you keep a clean sheet then you pretty much always score with these guys and get three points. That’s what we have to focus on: defend and then they’ll do the job up front.”