Southampton put forth a valiant effort at Anfield, but walked away alone with an 0-2 loss to Liverpool.
Theo Walcott and Fraser Forster were the only changes in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side who drew with Leicester City. Jack Stephens slotted in at left-back again, with Ryan Bertrand injured and Mohammed Salisu questioning why he’s the bench. Stuart Armstrong was positioned in the number six role alongside captain James Ward-Prowse and appears preferred ahead of Ibrahima Diallo until Oriol Romeu returns.
Che Adams could have opened the scoring in what was a widely open first half. Alisson stood to the task at one end and Liverpool scored in the other within 40 seconds. The counter-attack finish is no surprise from LUFC, but considering the balance of play during the first 30 minutes, it was a real shame Southampton were not able to go ahead.
The Saints looked fragile in the attacking third overall. Nathan Tella put a glancing header on frame, Che Adams missed an open net after an Alisson error, and Nathan Redmond found the seats 20 rows up with a good look. Without Danny Ings the Southampton players appear as if they turn to one another to get the job done and are clearly struggling to cope with the pressure of goal-scoring.
Liverpool were a far cry from their Premier League Champions level a season ago. Southampton put forward a possession-driven effort in which they created opportunities in the attacking third, but rarely looked confident in scoring. Stuart Armstrong arriving from a deeper position may not be the answer, but the midfield is apparently far too open with Ibrahima Diallo running alongside the captain.
With 4 matches left on the docket, Southampton just need a win to secure 2021-22 Premier League status. Crystal Palace Tuesday await the Saints and as long as Southampton have the legs, they should be able to duplicate the performance today. One worthy of three points midweek.
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