Observations from Liverpool’s frustrating draw against Southampton

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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.

Creating Chances

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.

Clean Sheet

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.

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  1. The point about why Klopp waited until 80th minute to bring fresh legs is mind-boggling. You wonder whether he really wants the league crown. Why be so cruel to Sturridge when he showed in 10 minutes that given more time he would have done damage to the saints in place of some players who were too tired to play 90 minutes?

  2. Old habits die hard. The movement around the opposition box was lacking. “Pass and move” aka one-twos were sorely lacking in the final third. “International break” syndrome? More training is needed to drill this bit into the players for consistency’s sake.

  3. Okay, was this (“You wonder whether he really wants the league crown”) just frustration showing at the final result of the match? ‘Cos if it wasn’t, then I have to ask you: what color is the sky in this dream-world you live in? Did Klopp wait too long for substitutions? Sure. But re-read what Sam posted in the previous section: if the Reds played like the Reds of this season, the score would have been 4-0 midway through the 2nd half. As it is, Liverpool came away with a point and will be no worse than 1 off the lead. Nothing to gnash your teeth over.

  4. A Draw Away At Southampton And The Pessimists Are Already Out Questioning ‘if We Want To Win The League’. Obviously Our Best Legs Were Fatigued, Yet We Created Tons Of Chances. Unfortunately We Didn’t Put Them Away, But Certainly Not For Lack Of Trying. Moreso, Most Title Winning Teams Win Majorly Cause Of Their Home Form As Results Like Yesterdays Away From Home Are Inevitable. Judging By That, We’re Obviously On Point So Ditch The Pessimism And Move On With The Team. #klopprocks
    Sam You’re One Of My Favourite Writers On Here, Keep It Up

  5. When Klopp joined Liverpool I was ecstatic and rightfully so as we can see with our performances and results so far, however I’ve always had one issue with him and that was his lack of a Plan B. I must make it clear that i’m by no means trying to sound sour but just giving an honest opinion here. The other issue that I’ve picked up since he joined is that he takes too long to bring subs into the game and more often than not, like in the Saints game, they’re not given enough time to impact the game and this may in some point be related to my point above, and until this article I felt as if I was the only one to have picked this up. But let me reiterate that I believe he is the coach for us and will take us places and that what he has given the club as a whole is truly remarkably. I remain Klopptimistic looking towards the future… YNWA

  6. I must make it clear that i’m by no means trying to sound sour Sure, except you just did.
    The other issue that I’ve picked up since he joined is that he takes too long to bring subs into the game So, bringing in subs is like totally not Plan B but you just wanted to make the exact same point, like, totally not the same point except it is.
    more often than not, like in the Saints game, they’re not given enough time Because your point has, like, totally been made (again) by providing zero evidence other than the game just played and all of the other times you imagine but, like, totally can’t be arsed to think of. Well played, sir, well pla…..meh.
    I felt as if I was the only one to have picked this up you are SUCH a special snowflake, er, incisive analyst.
    I spend too much time on Deadspin reading Margary but that must be obvious.


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