Liverpool drew a blank against Southampton and Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp chalked it down to the fatigue of the players due to the international break.
Liverpool travelled to the St. Mary’s on Saturday to face Southampton with the chance to go clear at the top of the table. Southampton record signing Sofiane Boufal started his first Premier League game as Claude Puel sought to shock the in-form table-toppers. The Reds dominated the game with the visitors having 15 attempts compared to the hosts. who managed just 3.
There was, though, a visible lack of the cutting edge that has been evident in their play up until now. The trio of Coutinho, Firmino and Mane looked their usual self in the buildup to all the moves but were unable to provide the finishing touch, which meant Southampton became the third team to stop Liverpool from scoring, after Burnley and Manchester United.
And in the post-match conference, Jurgen Klopp, surprisingly, was not downbeat about the result. The Reds manager appreciated and lauded the efforts of his side, even going to the extent of saying that the players exceeded his expectations based on the pre-match preparations done going into the game.
Klopp also praised the opposition, saying, “It was a really good performance against a side that are difficult to play against. Southampton are one of the best organised teams in the league. I think they adapted their style a little bit to our strength.”
Jurgen also hinted, as he spoke to BBC, that the Brazilian boys were tired coming into the game due to the international break, which did have an impact on the performance.
Klopp on @5liveSport: “Not frustrated, lot we can improve on, should have won but that’s football. Brazilian boys tired which didn’t help”
— Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) November 19, 2016
The result means that Liverpool remain at the top of the table, albeit only on goal difference, level on points with Manchester City. But they may be dethroned if Chelsea manage a win at Middlesbrough on Sunday. Klopp, though, would be relieved to have recorded a clean sheet and would be looking to forget the result and look forward to the next game already.