Liverpool’s disastrous 2017 continued as they were knocked out by Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final. The home side needed to beat the Saints by two goals at least to have any chance of making it to another final at Wembley but Claude Puel’s side were excellent ion their game plan.
The Saints nullified a strong looking Liverpool attack and were more than happy hitting them on the counter with Nathan Redmond doing an excellent job. It took the 90th minute for Shane Long to get the only goal of the game and ensure Jurgen Klopp didn’t celebrate the third final in his short stint as Liverpool manager.
The Reds will have to regroup themselves as they next host Wolverhampton in the FA Cup again at Anfield. Basis the showing today, they still have a lot of work to do and it is a surprise that a free-flowing attack has come to such a grinding halt.
We look back at the game and share the player ratings for the Liverpool team.
Loris Karius – 7/10
The German goalkeeper had another good showing for the Reds as he kept out Dusan Tadic in the first half. He couldn’t do much to save Long’s goal but it was due to the keeper’s efforts that Liverpool were still in the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/0
The right-back had a tough time against Redmond and Ryan Bertrand in the first half but did much better in the second. His deliveries into the box could have been better but a decent showing nonetheless.
Dejan Lovren – 7/10
Lovren didn’t really have a lot to do except push the occasional header away. The Croatian looked much better alongside Joel Matip.
Joel Matip – 6/10
Matip struggled to deal with the pace of Redmond in the first half and was extremely careful in not tripping him a couple of times. A lack of game time was showing for the Cameroon star but he did do much better in the second half.
James Milner – 7/10
James Milner was the ever reliant James Milner, nothing too special from him.
Adam Lallana – 6/10
Lallana was booed every time he touched the ball but fatigue seemed to be setting in as he couldn’t get the Liverpool attack going all that well.
Jordan Henderson – 6/10
Henderson might be the captain of the club but he barely did a captain’s role when the team needed it. No urgency, no galvanising the team, this wasn’t his best showing for the Reds.
Emre Can – 6/10
The German almost got the first goal of the game when his shot was spilled by Fraser Forster but the goalkeeper recovered well. That was it for Can in the game and it seems he is another player that really needs a rest.
Roberto Firmino – 5/10
It didn’t even seem like Firmino was playing in the game, it was hard to see what the Brazilian did in the game.
Philippe Coutinho – 7/10
Coutinho did have a few bright moments in the game but again a well-drilled Southampton team ensured that he didn’t have a lot of openings to create having for the away team.
Daniel Sturridge – 6/10
The game just proved that Sturridge isn’t sharp enough to start games and well he didn’t really do much in the match either. He had a couple of glorious chances but failed to score and had it been the Sturridge of old, Liverpool would have been packing bags for Wembley.
Divock Origi – 6/10
The Belgian did work the channels well and did have a decent shout for a penalty late on but barring that, there was nothing noteworthy that he did.
Georginio Wijnaldum – NA
The Dutch midfielder didn’t have a lot of time to make an impact in the game.
Jurgen Klopp dispels injury concern after surprise substitution against Southampton
Xherdan Shaqiri started for Liverpool in the clash against Southampton and was instrumental in our a 3-0 lead at half-time.
His shot was turned into the net by Wesley Hoedt for our first goal and his free-kick was slotted into an open net by Mohamed Salah for our third.
It was a little surprising that Jurgen Klopp decided to take the Swiss star off at half-time and replace him with James Milner.
Shaqiri was our most impressive attacker on Saturday as he played an advanced role behind our front three.
However, Milner came onto the pitch and we played with three central midfielders, something Klopp has used to great effect throughout his time at Liverpool.
The German spoke to the club’s official website as he explained he wanted more control in the game and that’s why he took Shaqiri off.
“I said to Shaq at half-time that I had never brought a player off after such an influential time without an injury. He is not injured. But I wanted to control the game and go back to our normal formation. And that helped, we really controlled it.”
The manager further added that it was not easy to make the change, given how influential Shaqiri was in the first half.
Klopp did explain the change to Shaq but playing the Swiss star had an impact on our defence and that was a problem for the manager.
“The only problem was defensively. Offensively, it was a good idea but, how I said, we have to work on that more often. But he was good and I liked it.”
The 26-year-old had a fantastic game and it will be great to see him play more games if he can have the same sort of impact in the coming months.
Stats prove this Liverpool star is back to his best after win against Southampton
Mohamed Salah scored in the 3-0 win over Southampton but he could have gotten a few more too. The Egyptian was unlucky that a goal was called offside and also had a brilliant backheel just going wide of the post.
The former AS Roma forward hasn’t looked as sharp as he did last season but Sky Sports shared some stats that prove otherwise.
The forward is still some way off matching his 32 goals from last season in the Premier League but now, he has three to his name.
📈 THE SALAH STATS
Mohamed Salah ended his mini goal drought against Southampton and, despite suggestions he is short of form, the stats underline his continued threat for Liverpool: https://t.co/EvKOPzWxW5 | @p_smith86 pic.twitter.com/nqc1C4Nw1b
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 22, 2018
What will come as a major relief, however, is that the 25-year-old is getting into the right places to score. The forward was brilliant but that little bit of luck was missing when it came to his finishing.
He did score our third goal against the Saints as he reacted to Xherdan Shaqiri’s free-kick and that just proves he is hungry as ever to get on the scoresheet.
Fortunately for Liverpool, we have goals coming in from other positions too. Joel Matip got one yesterday, while we have also seen James Milner, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum score multiple times this season.
Liverpool and the Egyptian haven’t looked as sharp as they did last season but that is a good sign for the coming months.
The Reds are on top of the Premier League and once Salah starts banging the goals in, we should win games more comfortably.
Stat proves Liverpool have made Anfield a fortress as Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0
Liverpool made it seven wins a row in all competitions on Saturday after beating Southampton 3-0. The Reds were barely troubled by the Saints as an own goal from Wesley Hoedt opened the scoring for us.
Joel Matip got the second before Mohamed Salah finished the scoring in the first half to keep us at the top of the Premier League.
The win saw us register our fourth clean sheet of the season but also brought up another stat regarding our domination of teams at Anfield.
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 22, 2018
Liverpool didn’t lose a single Premier League game at home last season and have continued that form in this campaign too.
The only concern for us has to be the draws at Anfield. Last season, we dropped a number of points despite taking the lead in games.
Everton and Tottenham were a couple of teams that pulled off draws at our home but this season has a different feel for the Reds.
This is the first time we have won our opening seven games in the history of the club. And we should break a few more records along the way.
Our next clash is in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea at Anfield and it will be interesting to see how it goes against our title rivals.
We face the Blues next weekend in a huge Premier League clash as well and hopefully, the Reds will come up with all three points at Stamford Bridge and continue our march.
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