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.
“It’s time for a change right now” – Former USA international urges Liverpool target to leave Bundesliga giants
Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic has been told that it is time for a change, with the January window around the corner.
The Liverpool Echo adds that the Reds have kept tabs on the 20-year-old and Chelsea are also interested in signing the winger.
Former United States international Alexi Lalas believes it is time for the winger to leave Dortmund for bigger things in the future.
“There are teams all over the world that would love to have Christian Pulisic right now. I think he’s done a great job in going over to Germany, he’s done a great job at Borussia Dortmund.
“But I think it’s time for a change right now for Christian Pulisic, and a change to an even higher profile team.”
The report adds that the American is out of contract in 2020 and should he refuse to extend his stay at Dortmund, the club could sell him in the coming window.
Liverpool could do with someone like Pulisic in their side, and he would certainly do well under his former boss Klopp.
The American is one of the bright players in the Bundesliga but hasn’t been great in the current campaign for Borussia Dortmund.
The youngster has been upstaged by Jadon Sancho, who is playing better than him at the moment.
“I rate him among the very best at the top” – Liverpool star heaps praise on teammate after Bournemouth win
Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum believes James Milner is one of the best players in the world and praised the versatility of the 32-year-old.
The Englishman played his 500th Premier League game for the Reds in our 4-0 win over Bournemouth and even captained the side as Jordan Henderson was on the bench.
“Which player in the world can you play in every position in a team and he will do really well in all of those positions? There is no-one, apart from Milner.
“He has played in so many different roles — and he is always brilliant. That’s why I rate him among the very best at the top, I really do.”
The Dutchman added that Milner always puts his 100% on the pitch, which is good for the team.
“What Milner is capable of at this level, I have never seen other players do that. Milner will always get great marks, no matter on what position our manager puts him.”
The midfielder has been used all around the park by Jurgen Klopp. The former Leeds United star even played a majority of a season as our first-choice left-back ahead of Alberto Moreno during the 2016/17 season.
The 32-year-old has only gotten better with each season under his belt and Wijnaldum highlighted the professionalism of the midfielder.
“Some players can get frustrated when they have to switch positions. But with Milner, you will never see a mood swing. His attitude just stays the same.”
The Reds play Napoli in a huge Champions League clash, and we can be sure that Milner will give his 100% on the pitch.
“It’s like one of those goals you’d see Maradona score” – BBC commentators in awe of Liverpool star in 4-0 win over Bournemouth
The Egyptian rounded the Cherries goalkeeper Asmir Begovic twice, before beating a couple of players on the goal-line.
The 26-year-old won a lot of plaudits for the goal, and one BBC commentator claimed this goal had an air of “Diego Maradona” about it.
Conor McNamara raved about Salah’s goal on BBC 5 Live (h/t Express):
“You don’t see that often. He goes around the goalkeeper twice, he’s calmness personified. It’s like one of those goals you’d see Maradona score in the 80s.
“It was the sort of flick you do if you’re playing with your nephews in the back garden or something ‘lets flick it passed you no problem’, he just sort of nonchalantly scored.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell compared it to a classic goal scored by Ricky Villa for Tottenham, while McNamara claimed the goal was “outrageous” and showed just how confident Salah is of his abilities.
“You go around the goalkeeper and he’s thinking hang on a minute, I’ve done it once, I’ll do it again.”
The Egyptian is peaking into form at the right time, which is perfect for us as we look to make it to the next round of the Champions League.
The Reds face Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday, where we need a 1-0 win or a two-goal difference win (if the Italians score).
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