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Reds Column I

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: Liverpool vs Southampton

Liverpool Fc (The Reds) returned to winning ways after defeating the visitors Southampton Fc 2-0 in the Premier League.

Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams started for the Reds Premier League home encounter with Southampton Fc (The Saints) and were lined-up in the centre of defence.

Prior to the game; Ozan Kabak, James Milner, Naby Keïta and Ben Davies were sidelined due to unspecified minor injury concerns.

Diogo Jota started in place of Roberto Firmino as the Brazilian was the other player to make way from the last outing of the Reds that ended in a 1-1 draw with the visitors Newcastle United Fc.

With Leicester City Fc losing their home game to Newcastle United Fc and Chelsea Fc beating the hosts Manchester City Fc meant that the Reds needed to win to have any lingering hopes of clinching a Top-four berth.

On-loan Takumi Minamino was ineligible to play against his parent club – the Reds.

The Saints looked to secure back-to-back wins over the Reds and started well as In the 3rd minute, Jannik Vestergaard missed his header to the left side of the post following an assist by James Ward-Prowse with a cross following a corner.

However early in the game, the Saints didn’t look comfortable with the ball at the back and the Reds looked to capitalise on that.

After a neat pass from Mané, Mohamed Salah struck his shot but was comfortably saved by Fraser Forster in the 19th minute. The Egyptian was selfish as he could have laid the pass to other Reds forwards.

The Reds kept up their tempo however and Alisson Becker produced double saves to deny the visitors by first blocking the effort from Che Adams (Southampton) after being assisted by Nathan Tella in the 30th minute.

Mané finally scored the opening Goal from very close range with a header thanks to an inch perfect cross from Mohamed Salah in the 31st minute.

One of the many problems that haunted the Reds was that they had many chances to score a lot like they did against the visitors Newcastle Fc but the more chances they missed, the greater the rising concern.

Despite trailing 1-0, the Saints felt they could get back in the game and Thiago looked like the weaker link in the midfield.

The Reds had to score the Second Goal to ease nerves during the Second Half and have a firm grip on the game.

Alisson produced a stunning save to deny a well taken strike from Ibrahima Diallo following an assist from Michael Obafemi with a headed pass in the 71st minute.

Too often this has been the way it has gone at Anfield, drifting towards a sleepy conclusion. They can’t allow the same thing to happen again.

After having an incredible game, Alisson came close to conceding an needless Goal as his misplaced pass went straight to Che Adams but thankfully, the Scottish International struck his shot straight to Alisson in the 77th minute.

Diogo Jota was then replaced by Roberto Firmino in the 79th minute.

In the 81st minute, Andrew Robertson provided a through ball but Mané despite striking his shot to the bottom left side of the net was caught offside.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought on to replace Salah in the 87th minute.

Right in the 90th minute and much to the delight of Jürgen Klopp, Thiago finally score his first Reds Goal (in front of the Kop) from outside the box and doubled the lead for the Reds following an assist from Firmino.

The Spaniard’s Goal put the result beyond doubt for the Reds.

With the Reds leading 2-0; deep in to the Injury Time, Curtis Jones replaced Mané.

The Reds went on to clinch a hard-fought 2-0 win over the visitors Saints and the result meant that they are just 6 points behind the fourth-placed Leicester City Fc in the Premier League Table with few just more games remaining for this campaign.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 10: Produced a Man of the Match winning performance. The Brazilian made double saves during the First Half moments before Mané scored the opening Goal and produced several more saves during the Second Half. Looked calm with good positioning and snuffed out the threat from the visitors.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7: Had some tough moments in defence during the First Half as the Saints probed especially through Nathan Redmond. The Englishman was consistent in terms of quality with distribution and provided good crosses.

Rhys Williams – 7: Looked confident especially with clearing headers and well timed tackles.

Nathaniel Phillips – 6: Besides winning his Ariel duels; admirably dealt with the threats from Nathan Tella and Che Adams.

Andrew Robertson – 6: The Scot defended well and looked lively with his willingness to probe forward!

Midfield:

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6: Despite not providing the desired impact; the Dutchman was industrious and worked hard for the Team to keep possession. Faded a bit as the game went on.

Fabinho – 7: Recycled the ball to Salah that eventually led to the opening Goal. The Brazilian looked at home playing at his preferred position. Made crucial interceptions and well timed challenges.

Thiago Alcântara – 7: The Spaniard looked defensively shaky and Alisson saved the Spaniard’s blushes moments before the opening Goal. Had to drop further back at times despite playing in an advanced role. Scored the winning Goal that clinched the win for the Reds.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 7: The Senegalese looked to have recaptured his form as he played with more intent against his former Club and scored the opening Goal for the Reds.

Diogo Jota – 6: Made several strong runs but conceded possession way too easily during the First Half.

Mohamed Salah – 7: Looked always a threat on the right flank. Provided the sumptuous cross that led to the opening Goal for the Reds. Just could not find a way past Fraser Forster who repeatedly denied the Egyptian.

Substitutes:

Robero Firmino – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact but provided the pass that led to Thiago’s Goal.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A: Like Firmino, not enough time to make an impact.

Curtis Jones – N/A: Just for game time.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 7: Had to deal with several injuries in the squad again but hopefully not the long-term injuries kind.

The Gaffer made the right tactical changes unlike the Newcastle Fc home encounter.

The Reds are due to play their rescheduled Premier League away fixture against Manchester United Fc next week.

The Gaffer would be hoping that the Reds would have rediscovered their old swagger.

 

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