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Reds Column II

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Southampton vs Liverpool

The Solitary Goal from Danny Ings early in the First Half consigned Liverpool Fc to their shock 1-0 loss to the hosts Southampton Fc in the Premier League.

Jürgen Klopp opted to make 3 changes to the squad that faced the hosts Newcastle United Fc. Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Georginio Wijnaldum were named in the Starting XI.

The Trio came in for Curtis Jones, Nathaniel Phillips and James Milner. Captain Jordan Henderson dropped back to partner with Fabinho at Centre Back.

Liverpool Fc (The Reds) got off to a horrible start as only in the 2nd minute, James Ward-Prowse’s whipped free-kick allowed Danny Ings in, the Englishman then looped the ball into the net past Alisson Becker (after Trent Alexander-Arnold made a mess of clearing the ball).

Roberto Firmino missed his shot following an assist from Mohamed Salah in the 5th minute.

Alexander-Arnold was having a torrid time at right back as he gave the ball away on numerous occasions during the First Half.

Alisson was fortunate not to concede an embarrassing Goal in the 22nd minute as the Brazilian gave the ball straight to Theo Walcott but the Englishman could not capitalise.

Southampton Fc (The Saints) could have gone 2-0 up in the 26th minute but Moussa Djenpo’s shot went high after a headed assist from Ings.

Sadio Mané missed the chance to equalise for the Reds but his shot went wide and high after a neat assist from Thiago.

Both sides were culpable of poor defending during the First Half. The Reds however could not capitalise on their chances and will count themselves fortunate that the First Half ended at 1-0.

For the Reds to have any chance to draw or win, the passing and finishing needs to improve for the Reds in the Second Half.

To bring more creativity in the attack, Oxlade-Chamberlain made way for Xherdan Shaqiri in the 56th minute.

The Home side had another chance to make it 2-0 but Ings shot went straight to Alisson following an assist from Stuart Armstrong in the 66th minute.

Despite all the pressure, the Reds simply could not conjure a single goal on target in the last 20 minutes.

Diogo Jota’s return could not be much sooner as the usually dependable Mané, Firmino and Salah looked toothless.

Worse of all, the Reds were not clinical in front of goal and that continued even during the Second Half.

In the 70th minute, Firmino’s header was off target following an assist from Shaqiri.

Birthday boy James Milner came on the field in place of Alexander-Arnold in the 77th minute.

Alisson was spared from another embarrassment in the 86th minute as the Brazilian charged out as Van Valery broke clear and shot past Alisson but Jordan Henderson came to the rescue to clear the ball off the line.

The Reds had a final chance to equalise deep into the injury time but Mané’s header narrowly flew past the post following an Andrew Robertson corner in the 93rd minute.

Fortunate not to lose by many Goals, the Reds lost the Match 1-0.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 5: Could not do much with the opening Goal but lacked his usual calmness and composure and could have conceded more goals with poor clearances but fortunately the Home side were not ruthless enough.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 4: Poor defending that started with poor clearance that led to the opening Goal, easily conceded possessions and offered very little going forward. Very disappointing performance.

Jordan Henderson – 7: Switched to an unfamiliar position and even cleared the ball off the line late in the Second Half. His presence was sorely missed in the Midfield.

Fabinho – 6: Not a natural position for the Brazilian but stuck to his task with proper defending.

Andrew Robertson – 6: Got booked early in the First Half. Kept going and going forward was a constant threat on the left flank but nothing came at the end of it.

Midfield:

Thiago Alcântara – 6: Gave the ball away and conceded free kicks but fortunate not to get sent off very early in the Match and marginally improved as the Match progressed with couple of good passes.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6: Very subdued performance during the First Half but improved during the Second Half but the Saints Players crowded the Dutchman thereby limiting his impact on the Match.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5: Looked rusty and his movements looked somewhat aimless. His performance faded as the Match progressed and subbed during the Second Half.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 6: The Senegalese troubled the Saints Defenders but could not make a major impact. Also, some of the decisions including Penalty calls went against him much to the Reds dismay. Shot one over the bar during the Second Half and one header that went past the post in the 93rd minute.

Roberto Firmino – 5: Missed Goal scoring opportunities either shooting the ball wide or heading the ball wide. Largely ineffective but had few good touches. Jota’s Goal scoring prowess is sorely missed.

Mohamed Salah – 5: Sent his header wide off the post and never really got going. Looked jaded.

Substitutes:

Xherdan Shaqiri – 5: Replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain but could not provide the desired creativity and got booked. 

James Milner – N/A: Not a day to remember for the Birthday Boy and simply not enough time to make his mark on the game.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 5: All the lead that the Reds held few weeks ago have all been evaporated in just the matter of 3 Matches.

The Gaffer must seriously consider bringing an Centre Back by bringing in either David Alaba or Dayot Upamencano before the Reds Season gets off the Rails.

Even if injury prone Joël Matip returns back in a couple of weeks, the Reds simply cannot rely on inexperienced Young Defenders and injury prone Defenders to line up with Makeshift Defenders for the rest of the season.

 

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