A frosty afternoon at Anfield was quickly melted away by a blazing performance by Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool against Southampton. It took the home side just two minutes to open up the scoring thanks to Diogo Jota.
The Portuguese tapped in a low driven cross by Andy Robertson after the left back linked up beautifully down the left with Sadio Mane. Jota celebrated in unique fashion by sitting down and looking to play on a games console. A reference to him missing the end of his FIFA 22 tournament to come play this match.
However, it wasn't plane sailing for the Reds to begin with. After taking the lead, Alisson was forced to make two crucial saves after Thiago lost possession on the edge of his own box then Ibrahima Konate was out paced by Armando Broja minutes later.
Jota was soon to add his second of the game, this time assisted by his other strike partner Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian worked the ball down the right with help from captain Jordan Henderson before squaring a ball across the box to Jota who tapped in his second.
Liverpool's half wasn't finished there and just before half time Thiago would add his name to the score sheet. A slick ball roll inside the box opened up space for the Spaniard to strike at goal. His shot took a heavy deflection sending Alex McCarthy in goal the wrong way.
The second half saw more Liverpool dominance and was capped off with former Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk volleying a powerful effort directly from Trent Alexander-Arnold's corner.
Robertson suffered a hamstring injury during the latest international break with Scotland. The left back had started to receive criticism during recent games for club and country after he looked out of form with tiredness.
He returned to the starting XI this weekend and put on an outstanding performance to display why he is one of the best left backs in the world. Continuous running and perfect weight of pass the Scotsman earned himself an assist after producing the most chances, sprints and passes in the opposition half out of everyone on the pitch.
Liverpool's left back situation is in safe hands with Kostas Tsimikas filling in whilst Robertson was injured and produced an excellent performance. The Greece international has yet to concede a goal for the Reds having played eight games for them.
Jota stepping up at the right time
Roberto Firmino picked up a "serious" injury during Liverpool's win against Atletico Madrid earlier this month and is yet to return to training. This injury paved the way for Diogo Jota to return to the squad where he has started four of his last five matches.
The Portugal international picked up two goals against Southampton and could've had more if it wasn't for a scuffed shot or a scuffed pass by Mo Salah.
What was just as impressive as his goals was his work off the ball. Jota worked tirelessly trying to win the ball back high up the pitch and set a good example going forward his his attacking runs.
This improvement in form has come at a great time for Liverpool who will be without two of their deadliest strikers in Salah and Mane when they represent their home nations respectfully in the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year.
Jurgen Klopp's men face Rafa Benitez's Everton next at Goodison Park on Wednesday night. The Toffies are in a tough run of form at the moment where they sit 14th in the league having not won a game in their last five.
Following that they travel to The Molineux next Saturday to face Wolves. December is a very busy period and Klopp will be hoping to keep injuries to a minimum.