Andrew Robertson was the only positive for Liverpool as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium on Monday.
Liverpool lose further ground in the title race following a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Tuesday. The loss extends their winless streak to three games as their rough patch in the Premier League continues.
The Reds endured the worst possible start to the game, conceding an early goal scored by former striker Danny Ings. They had a difficult first half in general as Southampton made full use of their high line of press, by unleashing a host of long balls out from the back. It was enough to catch the Liverpool defenders off guard, while the defending champions also looked quite wasteful in front of goal.
Liverpool had a firmer grip on the proceedings as time progressed. And it was reflected in their second-half display, as they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession. Southampton, on the other hand, toned down their high press and instead, opted for a deeper defensive block, thus frustrating the opposition.
The move worked as Liverpool struggled to breach the lines, ultimately managing only one shot on target throughout the entirety of ninety minutes. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Liverpool players following their disastrous performance against the Saints.
Alisson Becker: 5/10
Alisson did not have much to do for the most part of the game aside from the early chance that led to a goal from Ings. Southampton provided a lot of threat upfront, but were barely able to trouble the Liverpool goalkeeper. However, the Brazilian was lucky as Yan Valery’s effort between his legs was not powerful enough to find the back of the net during the late stages of the game.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 1/10
Made a mess judging the early cross that led to the opener from Ings. Proceeded to have a poor game on the right flank, where he simply failed to provide enough offensive support to his teammates.
Trent Alexander-Arnold gave the ball away 38 times tonight before being subbed off, the most by anyone this season. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/55RJ621jzG
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) January 4, 2021
The right-back also gave the ball away numerous times, struggling to cope with the Southampton high press. He was effectively taken off during the final phase of the game as Jurgen Klopp opted for more energy and incisiveness going forward.
Jordan Henderson: 5/10
Jordan Henderson failed to provide too much quality in the centre-back role. He was caught off guard by the Southampton long balls in behind the backline and one could argue that the Englishman should have been deployed in a more traditional defensive midfield role.
Fabinho looked off-colour right from the beginning. His marking was below par and the ex Monaco star allowed the Southampton attackers to make incisive runs in behind the backline way too many times. He also struggled to provide any real quality in the build-up, failing to navigate through the opposition press.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Andrew Robertson was an active figure for Liverpool on the left-hand channel. The Scot tried to create things for the Reds in the final third with a host of crosses into the box, though most of them proved to be ineffective or were dealt with by the Southampton defenders. He still deserves credit for his relentless support.
Thiago Alcantara: 5/10
Thiago Alcantara had a miserable start to the game, conceding two early fouls. One of which led to the goal while the other saw him earn a yellow card, thus restricting his freedom throughout the rest of the game. The midfielder did eventually grow into the match, but his quality was not enough to make a difference.
Thiago conceded as many fouls in the opening two minutes (2) as the entire Southampton side conceded in the first half against Liverpool.
One of them was very costly. 😬 pic.twitter.com/dm2ItwQTcb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 4, 2021
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5/10
It was a disappointing performance from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had a point to prove after being offered a rare starting opportunity. He tried providing the creativity by delivering a couple of crosses inside the box but simply was not involved enough to make any kind of impact in this game.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
Georginio Wijnaldum acted as the supporting midfielder, just behind the three Liverpool attackers. The Dutchman exhibited impressive determination, at times, winning the ball back for his team and urging them to pull forward. However, it made very little difference to the scoreline.
Mohamed Salah: 4/10
It was yet another disastrous performance from Mohamed Salah, whose rough patch continues. The winger looked threatening at times, but was nowhere near consistent or direct enough to unsettle the Southampton backline. His declining form is a worrying sign for Liverpool, who have already lost a lot of ground in the title race.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
Roberto Firmino produced an average display in the false nine role. The striker failed to craft a chance for himself, struggling to navigate through the Southampton backline. His link-up play with his attacking teammates was not penetrative enough either.
Sadio Mane: 6.5/10
Sadio Mane by far the best attacker for Liverpool in this game. The Senegalese international looked like a menace on the left flank right from the beginning, particularly with his excellent runs in behind the backline that caused a lot of problems for Kyle Walker-Peters.
However, the former Tottenham defender recovered well as things eventually got more difficult for Mane. In fact, the winger had a relatively quieter second half despite Liverpool’s sheer dominance.
Liverpool’s away games in the Premier League this season:
✅ 2-0 vs. Chelsea
❌ 7-2 vs. Aston Villa
🤝 2-2 vs. Everton
🤝 1-1 vs. Man City
🤝 1-1 vs. Brighton
✅ 7-0 vs. Crystal Palace
🤝 0-0 vs. Newcastle United
❌ 1-0 vs. Southampton
Miles off. 😬 pic.twitter.com/RifJMjVkF5
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 4, 2021
Xherdan Shaqiri: 5/10
Xherdan Shaqiri replaced the ineffective Oxlade-Chamberlain during the early stages of the second half. The Swiss international evidently lacked the quality to make a telling difference in the final third.
James Milner: 6/10
Replaced Alexander-Arnold during the late stages of the game. He added more energy on the right flank, but it wasn’t enough to make any sort of difference. However, the veteran did make a few useful runs on the right flank, causing some problems for the opposition backline.