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Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Five things to note as champions slump continues

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Five things to note as champions slump continues
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Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Five things to note as champions slump continues

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: 5 issues to notice as champions droop continues

It’s going to definitely be remembered as a fantastic end result for Southampton. Not day-after-day does a group objectively poised for the center of the desk beat the defending Premier League champions, although Liverpool look removed from that flattering description in the intervening time. It has been clear from the beginning that this marketing campaign might be quite a bit totally different from the earlier three when the Reds and/or Manchester Metropolis utterly dominated the pack, with slip-ups anticipated at each flip. However it can’t be argued that Liverpool are actually in a state of affairs which appears extra like a disaster with each sport.

Ings strikes towards former membership

He tried to remain calm after he scored the opening, and what proved to be the one, purpose of the sport within the second minute. Danny Ings didn’t seem to wish to rejoice scoring towards a membership the place he spent three years, however he merely couldn’t conceal the happiness. And even probably the most die-hard Liverpool supporters is not going to maintain it towards him. It was actually a superb strike, albeit helped by Jordan Henderson failing to maintain the offside entice in a working situation and Trent Alexander-Arnold not coping with the ball when he had the possibility.

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Nonetheless, it was a superbly weighed lobbed shot which gave Alisson Becker no likelihood of a save, and in a means it symbolizes the present stage of the 28-year-old’s profession. The Liverpool spell is over and it wasn’t nice, with not one however two ACL accidents he needed to cope with. Now he’s again at his finest, scoring objectives regularly, and it’s good to see him smiling in spite of everything he’s been by means of.

Worrying indicators at Liverpool

For some time it appeared Liverpool’s title defence was in peril of falling aside attributable to damage issues on the again. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are, in fact, out for the season, leaving the centre-back division, as skinny because it was earlier than, utterly ravaged. Joel Matip has had two separate accidents already, and in the intervening time, Klopp hasn’t acquired a single senior centre-back match to play.

Nevertheless, the emergency options the German has provide you with have carried out moderately properly. Midfielder Fabinho has carried out beautifully within the position, and Nathaniel Phillips (23) and Rhys Williams (19) haven’t been dangerous both. Ever Henderson did properly total on the 2 events he was put in the midst of defence. However issues are rising all over the place else.

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Liverpool merely aren’t capable of rating objectives the best way they used to. They create arguably sufficient, however the entrance three, so lethal for years, seem to have dried up for the second. It’s true that opposition defences take them very critically and mark them with notable dedication, in addition to that refereeing choices typically go towards them, however their sharpness has slipped and there might be no hiding from it. They’ve now scored as soon as of their final three video games, and that after placing seven previous Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino want to search out their taking pictures boots and quick, though others would additionally do properly to chip in each every so often. The overwhelming feeling is, Liverpool sorely miss Diogo Jota proper now, greater than Van Dijk or Gomez.

And the fullbacks?

Liverpool’s model within the final couple of seasons has included Andy Robertson and Alexander-Arnold incessantly busting down the flanks, going ahead and in search of attackers in good positions within the field with correct crosses. Nowadays they don’t appear to be managing it as a lot and it definitely impacts the group’s skill to attain.

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One piece of stats which stands out on this side is that Alexander-Arnold, as per Sky Sports activities, gave the ball away 38 occasions on this match – greater than every other participant in every other match within the league this season. Klopp clearly famous issues had been going badly over there, and he changed the 22-year-old with 35-year-old James Milner after 77 minutes.

Robertson on the left wasn’t as dangerous, notably within the second half, nevertheless it was nonetheless removed from sufficient from the Scotland captain.

Thiago wants time

A lot has been mentioned concerning the addition of Thiago Alcantara to Klopp’s group this season serving to Liverpool break by means of deep blocks. The Spaniard definitely has the power to unlock defences with shrewd and correct passing, he has proven it so many occasions earlier than. However taking a look at this sport, his efficiency notably picked up after the break, and there’s a motive why.

Within the first half, the house group typically pressed as excessive as they dared, not permitting the guests an excessive amount of time on the ball. Thiago (and all of the others) had been compelled to behave rapidly and incessantly move sideways. The previous Bayern Munich man merely wanted an excessive amount of time to show ahead when in possession, and he wasn’t allowed that point by his opponents.

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Within the second half, Southampton dropped and defender deeper, and Thiago’s skills grew to become instantly apparent. The conclusion is, he’ll have to hurry up his personal sport earlier than he can velocity up the play of the group, which is mainly what he’s been introduced in to do. To his defence, some degree of rust was solely to be anticipated after being out of motion from October seventeenth to December thirtieth. Klopp might be hoping it’s been eliminated now – he’ll want the 29-year-old at his finest within the subsequent sport: Manchester United at Anfield on January seventeenth.

Referee and VAR nonetheless a difficulty

It also needs to be famous that Liverpool had been denied two potential penalties on this match, one arguably extra apparent than the opposite. Nonetheless, with the VAR know-how in place, neither of these conditions ought to have been let to fly.

Each moments got here within the second half, when the guests had been pushing laborious for an equalizer. One was Southampton defender Jack Stephens utilizing his hand to dam Georginio Wijnaldum’s effort from the sting of the field, and the opposite was Kyle Walker-Peters clipping Mane from behind simply because the Senegalese ahead entered the field from the left.

Evidently referee Andre Marriner merely determined to not blow his whistle believing VAR would right his name if want be, whereas the VAR official had been reluctant to take action. One query stands huge right here: why wasn’t Marriner despatched to view these conditions on the pitch-side display?

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However, VAR additionally reviewed one state of affairs as a attainable Liverpool penalty, Ryan Bertrand tackling Salah contained in the field, however the Southampton left-back so clearly acquired the ball on that event that the entire thing was utterly pointless.

Be all of it as it might, Liverpool are actually left to choose up their act as finest they’ll, earlier than United, who’ve now caught them up by way of level tally with a sport in hand, come to Anfield. As 4 Southampton, supervisor Ralph Hasenhuttl, who seemed to be crying with pleasure on the finish of the match, will definitely be delighted with what his group is doing this time period.

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