How Liverpool lose all 3points to Southampton in a 1-0 defeat at St Marry Stadium

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How Liverpool lose all 3points to Southampton in a 1-0 defeat at St Marry

Southampton v Liverpool - Premier League : News Photo

: Ings’ early lob gives Saints super start to 2021

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool

Premier League

Monday 4th January 2021, 8pm GMT

St. Mary’s

 

We like reactions. They tell us things. Sometimes lots of things.

We’ll likely all have a go at deciding what Hasenhüttl’s full-time one meant.

Upon the final whistle, the Austrian dropped to the ground – seemingly drained but, quite rightly, also delighted.

Of course, only one man will know what the genuine meaning was.

The number of factors that seemingly could have been behind it told us something, in itself.

Most likely, this was a reflection of the 90-plus minutes of graft, discipline and – when it mattered – considerable quality that had earned the hosts’ win over the champions.

These were also the first points Hasenhüttl had ever taken from Klopp.

For a man who has often been warmly nicknamed ‘The Alpine Klopp’, you could see why this could have been a moment of immense personal – as well as collective – significance.

This response felt more about the collective. This manager – indeed, like Klopp – always feels like he’s very much about the collective.

It is at the centre of the pressing philosophies that both have made their names from.

In a sport often spoken about in absolutes once the result is known, it feels important to recognise that both teams provided plenty of good examples of this energetic approach here.

And, where there are similarities in style and in efficiency, innovation can so often be the difference.

As it was on this occasion.

James Ward-Prowse – in the midst of what many feel has been his best season to date – dinked his early free kick in behind the high Liverpool line but towards the near post, rather than the normal route towards the far.

After being read well enough but disappointingly missed by Trent Alexander-Arnold, it dropped perfectly into the path of Ings.

There was still plenty to do, but his finishing was as sharp as his dart.

The ball was a good couple of feet off the ground when he met it with his weaker left foot. Even so, he guided it perfectly back across goal, up over Alisson Becker and back down into the top-right corner.

 

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool

Premier League

Monday 4th January 2021, 8pm GMT

St. Mary’s

 

We like reactions. They tell us things. Sometimes lots of things.

We’ll likely all have a go at deciding what Hasenhüttl’s full-time one meant.

Upon the final whistle, the Austrian dropped to the ground – seemingly drained but, quite rightly, also delighted.

Of course, only one man will know what the genuine meaning was.

The number of factors that seemingly could have been behind it told us something, in itself.

Most likely, this was a reflection of the 90-plus minutes of graft, discipline and – when it mattered – considerable quality that had earned the hosts’ win over the champions.

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These were also the first points Hasenhüttl had ever taken from Klopp.

For a man who has often been warmly nicknamed ‘The Alpine Klopp’, you could see why this could have been a moment of immense personal – as well as collective – significance.

This response felt more about the collective. This manager – indeed, like Klopp – always feels like he’s very much about the collective.

It is at the centre of the pressing philosophies that both have made their names from.

In a sport often spoken about in absolutes once the result is known, it feels important to recognise that both teams provided plenty of good examples of this energetic approach here.

And, where there are similarities in style and in efficiency, innovation can so often be the difference.

As it was on this occasion.

James Ward-Prowse – in the midst of what many feel has been his best season to date – dinked his early free kick in behind the high Liverpool line but towards the near post, rather than the normal route towards the far.

After being read well enough but disappointingly missed by Trent Alexander-Arnold, it dropped perfectly into the path of Ings.

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/1294496804

There was still plenty to do, but his finishing was as sharp as his dart.

The ball was a good couple of feet off the ground when he met it with his weaker left foot. Even so, he guided it perfectly back across goal, up over Alisson Becker and back down into the top-right corner.

It’s the kind of utterly ruthless finish that has become a trademark of the 28-year-old over his years in the Premier League.

The fitness and form he has found at St. Mary’s will have likely brought wide smiles to many a face at former clubs Bournemouth, Dorchester Town, Burnley and – perhaps aside from this particular evening – Liverpool, such is his popularity within the game.

Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side rose to sixth in the table on Monday night as former Liverpool man Danny Ings’ superb second-minute finish proved enough to see off Jürgen Klopp’s unusually misfiring Reds – who could now be overtaken at the top of the table by Manchester United.

He is a consistent difference-maker now. His form remains good news for England as we begin a year whose summer will hopefully contain the delayed Euro 2020.

Fraser Forster hasn’t been on the international scene for a while, but this was a triumphant first competitive Southampton outing since May 2019 for the 32-year-old goalkeeper.

Current first-choice, Alex McCarthy – who is himself being tipped by some for an England call-up soon – tested positive for COVID-19 in the buildup and Forster stepped in assuredly.

That he wasn’t needed with all that much regularity reflected both his team’s defensive effectiveness and their opponents’ relative bluntness in the final third.

The Merseysiders retained possession and shifted the ball well enough but the chances they created were rarely clear and the decision-making was at times off-point.

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It was arguably the hosts who had the best opening of the remainder of the opening half when substitute Nathan Tella shot just wide of the right-hand post from 20 yards in the 41st minute.

The man he replaced – Moussa Djenepo – had himself shot narrowly over from similar range in the 26th.

Sadio Mané was consistently the greatest Liverpool threat but he shot over a little wastefully in the 34th minute, when finding Andy Robertson’s overlapping run could have been the better option.

The Senegalese, though, produced one of his best pieces of work in stoppage time before the break when he managed to dig out a cross from the left that Mohamed Salah nodded just over the top-right corner.

There were two penalty appeals for the leaders in the opening 15 minutes of the second period.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s 50th-minute shot in the box was well blocked by centre-back Jack Stephens – who kept a third consecutive clean sheet since he has come in for the injured Jannik Vestergaard – but the ball did strike his arm.

It wasn’t exactly tucked into his body, yet his proximity to the shot appeared to work in his favour as VAR assessed the replays and decided against awarding a spot kick.

Mané then went down under the challenge of the largely excellent Kyle Walker-Peters nine minutes later but, again, there wasn’t deemed to be quite enough in it.

Just moments earlier, Stephens had made an undeniably excellent block when a loose ball fell to Mané in the box and it appeared the ex-Saint would have only Forster to beat.

That it would take the Reds until the 75th minute to have their first shot on-target was, again, highly uncharacteristic. That it was Mané who provided it was less surprising, though.

He looked the most likely throughout but, even then, this 10-yard effort was scuffed and gave Forster a relatively simple first save to make as he dropped down to his left to gather.

Salah diverted a powerful Alexander-Arnold drive narrowly wide a couple of minutes later as the visitors’ pressure continued but, still, the storm was being weathered well enough.

Substitute Yan Valery could have even doubled the advantage in the 84th minute when Stephens sent him in behind.

Alisson rushed out of his area to meet him and the 21-year-old Frenchman shot through his legs but not with enough power to find the net before Jordan Henderson – filling in at centre-back – could race back and clear from inside the six yard box.

Mané twice asked questions in stoppage time. Once when he rolled Walker-Peters but saw his low cross cleared and then when he met Robertson’s outswinging corner but could only head over.

It wasn’t quite enough, though. As was the case throughout for Liverpool.

They are, so often, so good at finding a way to score and to win.

These last three matches – 1-1 at home against West Brom, 0-0 at Newcastle, and now 1-0 at St. Mary’s – they haven’t been so successfully forceful.

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It’s understandable – given the at times crazy standards they have set and the unusual context of this campaign. Even if it won’t be seen as acceptable – chiefly by themselves.

Such consistency in recent seasons makes any drop-off, any set-back, additionally noticeable.

As with most things. As, indeed, is the case with that key component of theirs and Southampton’s – pressing.

It is, once more, all about the reaction.

Southampton (4-2-2-2):

44. Fraser Forster; 2. Kyle Walker-Peters, 35. Jan Bednarek, 5. Jack Stephens, 3. Ryan Bertrand (YC); 8. James Ward-Prowse (C), 22. Mohammed Salisu; 17. Stuart Armstrong, 12. Moussa Djenepo (Tella, 32’); 32. Theo Walcott (Valery, 82’), 9. Danny Ings (N’Lundulu, 77’)

Substitutes:

7. Shane Long, 18. Yan Valery, 20. William Smallbone, 23. Nathan Tella, 29. Jake Vokins, 31. Kayne Ramsay, 40. Daniel N’Lundulu, 41. Harry Lewis (GK), 72. Kgagelo Chauke

Manager: Ralph Hasenhüttl

Liverpool (4-3-3):

1. Alisson Becker; 66. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Milner, 77’), 14. Jordan Henderson (C), 3. Fabinho, 26. Andrew Robertson (YC); 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Shaqiri, 57’), 6. Thiago Alcântara (YC), 5. Georginio Wijnaldum; 11. Mohamed Salah, 9. Roberto Firmino, 10. Sadio Mane

Substitutes:

7. James Milner, 17. Curtis Jones, 18. Takumi Minamino, 23. Xherdan Shaqiri (YC), 27. Divock Origi, 46. Rhys Williams, 47. Nathaniel Phillips, 62. Caoimhín Kelleher (GK), 76. Neco Williams

Manager: Jürgen Klopp

Referee: Andre Marriner

 

 


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