Liverpool 0-1 Southampton Match Report

22 Sep

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Liverpool 0-1 Southampton Match Report

 

Liverpool lost their unbeaten start to the season at Anfield to Southampton who were the last team to inflict a league defeat on the Merseyside club.  A Dejan Lovren second half headed goal was the difference between the two sides, although the visitors thoroughly deserved the win with a superb performance.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers had to make a few changes to his team with Glen Johnson still out injured along with Coutinho who had an operation on his injured shoulder this week after sustaining it against Swansea on Monday night. Mignolet kept goal with a defence in front of him consisting of 4 central defenders including Toure, Skrtel, Agger and Sakho at left back. Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson, Sturridge and Moses made up the rest of the team with Aspas deputising for Coutinho.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool started the game under pressure as the visitors worked hard to press the hosts high up the park forcing Mignolet into more pass-backs than they would have liked. Liverpool found it hard to create chances in the early stages and were forced to try their luck from distance.

 

Sturridge teed up Henderson for a curling effort that was comfortably saved by Boruc before Lucas’ long range effort failed to trouble the Saints keeper. Gerrard went close with a 30 yard free-kick which forced Boruc into a superb save.

 

But just as Liverpool started to build up a head of steam Southampton almost caught them out with a sucker punch when a cross from the left fell to Rickie Lambert but a last-ditch intervention from Skrtel prevented the striker from firing at goal.

 

Liverpool responded with Moses bursting his way into the area before Boruc saved his prodded effort. Sturridge was then felled just inside the area but the referee waved away Liverpool’s appeals.

 

Then Sturridge met a Gerrard free-kick but his header looped narrowly over the crossbar.

 

Southampton started the second half energetically as they pressed Liverpool into mistakes. Lallana came close after forcing the hosts into a mistake but his effort was foiled by the arm of Mignolet.

 

Then Liverpool gave away a corner which Southampton scored from when Lovren headed past Mignolet with Gerrard unable to clear off the line.

 

The next attack saw Mignolet pulling off a great save from a low drive from Dani Osvaldo. Southampton continued to threaten Mignolet’s goal as Liverpool struggled to find their passing game in the second half and Mignolet had to pull off a triple save to keep Liverpool in the game when he thwarted Shaw from scoring after the full-back charged into the area, the rebound came off the grounded Sakho which Mignolet palmed out before he quickly reacted to punch away the ball with Southampton players waiting to pounce.

 

Substitute Sterling made a darting run down the right flank before cutting the ball across the face of goal for the onrushing Henderson but Lovren intercepted superbly.

 

Liverpool continued to try and work their way back into the game but chances were few although Sturridge should have done better when he cut in from the right before curling an effort over the bar with team mates better placed in the middle.

 

Liverpool’s day was summed up when Sterling was sent clear behind the Southampton defence in the dying minutes but the youngsters first touch saw the chance gone as Liverpool lost their first game of the season.

 

Summary

 

Liverpool’s worst performance for a long time, it was really poor. With injuries to Johnson and Coutinho Liverpool struggled without them. Rodgers started with 4 central defenders in defence which restricted Liverpool’s attacking options down the flanks. It looked as though Rodgers wanted to find a place in the team for Sakho as he started him at left back in place of Enrique. Aspas continued to struggle and was replaced at half-time. That was the poorest I’ve seen Gerrard play, he wasn’t himself. Liverpool looked lethargic and Southampton looked hungrier and fitter as Liverpool struggled to hold possession with some poor passing and Mignolet must have received more passes than any other Liverpool player as Liverpool were pressed back. Hopefully it was just a bad day at the office but Liverpool need to win these kind of games if they are to challenge for a top four spot.

 

 

 

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