Observations from Liverpool's frustrating draw against Southampton
A draw away to Southampton isn’t the worst result but given how the events played out it’s disappointing to say the least. The Reds carved out some good chances but were wasteful throughout when in front of goal. The finishing clinic they put on against Watford just a fortnight ago eluded them against the Saints. Manchester City’s win against Crystal Palace means Pep’s side are now level on points with Liverpool and Chelsea have the opportunity to go clear at the top if they beat a struggling Boro side.
It’s not the ideal result but there were positives to be taken from the result as well as a few questions that need answering.
The narrative online and in the media will be ‘Liverpool failed to break down a side who sat deep’. It’s gaining momentum with Klopp’s men unable to break the deadlock against Burnley, Manchester United and now Southampton. In all three matches the opposition sat deep, defended well and didn’t really show any attacking intent. But just because Liverpool didn’t score doesn’t mean they didn’t create chances.
United concentrated all of their efforts on nullifying Liverpool but if it wasn’t for David De Gea they would have lost. Likewise against Southampton, Fraser Forster pulled off a worldie of a save but Sadio Mane should have done better. The former Saints man had a few chances but failed to take any. Emre Can shanked a shot wide when he should have hit the target. Nathaniel Clyne somehow managed to miss a header from 6 yards out. Coutinho dithered when through on goal and Jose Fonte was able to get a block in. Then there’s Firmino. The Brazilian missed a sitter when you would’ve put your house on him to score.
Southampton did defend well but Liverpool still created countless opportunities and on another day could’ve finished the match with 4/5. To say this Reds side can’t create chances against a ‘low block’ is lazy and inaccurate.
Klopp reluctance to make substitutions
It’s 0-0, you’re creating chances but you’re unable to put them away and the clocks ticking. The opposition have absolutely no intention of attacking and you have Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi on your bench. What are you waiting for?
Why didn’t Klopp bring Sturridge on until the 80th minute and why did Origi enter the fray in stoppage time? Why not give the pair longer to have an impact on the result?
Sturridge came on and immediately created a chance, and looked pretty sharp against a tiring Saints defence. Origi’s power and pace would’ve cause Cedric Soares – who was on a yellow card – some problems.
It was just a bit of a head-scratcher really.
Let’s finish on a positive note. The Reds managed to keep a clean sheet. They weren’t really troubled defensively but Clyne managed to put off Charlie Austin to prevent what looked like a certain goal. Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren did well stopping the Southampton attack whenever they got into the Liverpool third. It could have been a tricky fixture but as a team we did well.