Southampton and Liverpool played out a 0-0 draw at St. Mary’s on Saturday as both the sides were unable to score.
Southampton hosted Liverpool on Saturday with Puel hoping to surprise Klopp and his men. But the game ended up being a rather drab affair. Liverpool did, however, dominate the proceedings and had more attempts (15) compared to Southampton’s 3.
However, the in-form visitors were unable to replicate their prolific self and went home with just a point.
The Hard Tackle takes a look at a few significant talking points from the game at St. Mary’s.
Substitutions at an earlier time could have had an impact
Liverpool did dominate the proceedings but it was in the last 10 minutes of the game that the side looked their most threatening when Daniel Sturridge was brought on to replace Emre Can. Klopp also put Origi on to the field, who replaced Sadio Mane, in additional time as the Reds looked for a winner.
Klopp should have made the subs earlier today. Especially Origi.
— Matt (@FalseFirmino) November 19, 2016
Someone ask Klopp in the presser why he made subs so late. Bizarre
— Martin (@Turner_LFC) November 19, 2016
The German may have left it too late for his substitutes to have an impact and could have given Sturridge and Origi a better chance against the Southampton defence by bringing them on at an earlier stage in the match.
International break came at the wrong moment for Liverpool
Liverpool were in sublime form and gave perhaps the best account of their abilities, till date, in a 6-1 mauling of Watford, who came into the match on the back of 3 consecutive clean sheets. After the international break, the Reds returned to their club duties to face Southampton. Fans were in anticipation of another brilliant attacking display by the most fluent attack in the Premier League.
You can clearly see who’s had the most and least minute on Brazil duty this game. Firmino everywhere, Coutinho looks tired.
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) November 19, 2016
But Liverpool, in stark contrast to their form, lacked the edge and could not score a single goal in 15 attempts at St. Mary’s. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp chalked the result down to the international break, which seemed to have come at the wrong time for Liverpool. Not only did the break mean a loss of momentum but the players also returned having played under different managers and in a different tactical environment compared to the club.
Love Klopp & wouldn’t change him for anyone but he needs to stop making subs after the 85th minute, only reason to do that is to waste time
— O Magico (@GobshiteKopite) November 19, 2016
It will be interesting to see how Liverpool fare in the next few matches.
Sturridge sizzles in late cameo, stakes claim on starting places
As mentioned above, Sturridge’s inclusion in the game gave some more gumption to the Reds attack and even though it was a short cameo, the English international has surely done enough to stake a claim to be in the starting lineup for future matches.
I no what your saying Paul but sturridge with them chances yesterday It would of been 2 or 3 nil mate https://t.co/dCdTO8qOO6
— Phill Wonderley (@phill0182) November 20, 2016
The injury-plagued striker looked menacing after coming on and could have had a better impact had he played a more integral part in the game. And such a performance, albeit inconsequential in relation to the ultimate result, would surely put him in Klopp’s thoughts as and when he selects his side for the next game.
Romeu finally coming of age
Oriol Romeu had arrived in England from Barcelona with hopes of making his mark in the Premier League. The player, who was touted as one of the better players to come through the ranks at Barcelona, though, found it hard to establish himself at Chelsea, spending most of his time out on loan. After 22 senior appearances for the Blues, the player arrived at St. Mary’s looking to prove himself.
Oriol Romeu’s Premier League season by numbers so far:
550 passes completed (89%)
28 tackles won
Rock solid pic.twitter.com/C4Q1IRl5YF
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 18, 2016
And now, under new manager Claude Puel, the player is finally showing why he was so highly rated in the first place. He has been consistent thus far this season and was once again the standout player on Saturday night as the Saints battled to a 0-0 draw against Liverpool.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 19, 2016
A lot of his good work has gone under the radar but the player is finally living up to his billing and could turn out to be another gem from the La Masia academy.
Southampton’s current form belies squad quality
Southampton are winless in the last four games, a run that may fool some to believe that they are set for a mediocre season. But the current squad exudes confidence, flair and grit in all areas. The towering Virgil van Dijk has already positioned himself as one of the top performers in the league this season, the midfield duo of Oriol Romeu and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg have shown that they are more than reliable while the attack consisting of Nathan Redmond and Sofiane Boufal are full of flair.
Five Southampton players to look out for today: Virgil van Dijk, Oriol Romeu, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Sofiane Boufal and Nathan Redmond.
— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) November 19, 2016
The whole squad is more than capable of matching up to the best of rosters in the Premier League and there are some positive signs to look forward to. Southampton became the third club to stop Liverpool from scoring and they can take heart from the performance on Saturday night.
It may not be long before Puel’s men start firing on all cylinders and it would be a sight to see the talented roster live up to their potential.