The disappointing 3-2 loss against Southampton has seriously dented Liverpool’s hope of clinching the all-important fourth spot. Realistically it is still possible but after Man City lost, this was the perfect opportunity for the reds to catch up.
Jurgen Klopp came under criticism for berating Christian Benteke after the final whistle. The Belgian missed a sitter in the second half, but only citing him as the reason for the loss is not right. Many chances were missed to kill the game off before Saint’s surge began.
It can be said that Klopp’s substitutions failed miserably and was the first mistake of his tenure since taking over in October. Bringing on Martin Skrtel for Lovren at halftime was uncalled for. Though he was on a yellow card, the German could have waited till a third goal considering the attacking play that was at display at St. Mary’s.
Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho have emerged as the most reliable pairing at the club in recent months. To disrupt such a pair that had produced clean sheets and looking confident was a mistake on Klopp’s part. Kolo Toure deserved a look in ahead of Skrtel because of the recent performances by the Ivorian and was clearly a sensible choice than Skrtel.
Martin Skrtel gave a penalty five minutes after coming on by pulling Pelle’s shirt for which he is known infamously and though Mignolet produced a fine save, that set the mood for Southampton’s attack and caused much avoidable havoc in the Red’s camp. This defeat was totally unavoidable and Liverpool lost much-needed ground that was needed in the top four race.
Jurgen Klopp has improved this squad to a large extent and there is a long way to go ahead under him. The growth in some of the players is there to be seen by all. Though the German’s plan didn’t work out for once and was the main reason behind the reds dropping crucial three points, Jurgen Klopp will learn about his players a bit more after this match and will definitely serve as a springboard for better performances in the remaining matches.