Stuart Armstrong, Centre-Midfielder – 8
His ability to quickly recover in possession is impressive. Armstrong doesn’t always win the ball, but he disrupts a lot with his positioning. Wriggled out of trouble over and over in total unconventional centre-midfield play. He did get caught a couple times which cost his team, but overall there won’t be many Saints’ fans complaining. The team missed him in the attack, even though he made some well-timed runs from deep that were simply not used.
James Ward-Prowse, Centre-Midfielder – 9
JWP’s ability to anticipate the direction in which the second ball will fall is incredible. The recovery runs and breaking of Liverpool attack was spot on in the first half. All youth players need to see his anticipation, recovery, and interception in the 59th minute. His FK was caught by Alisson who sprung a counter, but JWP intercepted the next pass before it ever got to midfield. JWP is a robot, a machine, a possession beast, and better be the starting #6 at the Euros.
Theo Walcott, Attacking-Midfielder – 4
Afforded plenty of opportunity to attack, but did little other than drift to his right foot. This was not a good performance, at all. It felt as if he was playing without an ounce of confidence. Sure he could have picked up an assist on the Adams’ miss, but we need to be honest that something was just not right today.
Nathan Redmond, Attacking-Midfielder – 6
Flashed confidence early on, making Thiago look silly. However, couldn’t provide the finishing touch needed to put Southampton in the lead and it broke his confidence. The first 30 minutes Redz was dangerous, engaged, and walked with his chest out. When he smashed the ball into row zed he sent all that bravado with it. When Redmond goes wrong he starts stepping on the ball and the entirety of the second half his studs found the leather. He killed the pace of 2 or 3 attacks, and one has to wonder if it is by any design? According to Hasenhuttl’s gung-ho system, the answer is likely no.