Following Liverpool’s shambolic second half collapse against Southampton on Sunday afternoon, we assess the Reds performances at St Mary’s.
Southampton 3–2 Liverpool
Premier League – St Mary’s – Sunday 20th March
Goals: Coutinho 17′, Sturridge 22′; Mane 64′, Pelle 83′, Mane, 86′
Simon Mignolet (Out of 10) – 7
After a first half of having absolutely nothing to do, the Belgian was called into action in a hectic second 45 minutes.
Made a superb save to deny Sadio Mane from the spot early after the break, and could do little about any of the goals, but did play a part in the shambolic third with a poor clearance that invited pressure.
Jon Flanagan – 5.5
A momentous day for the Scouser, captaining the Reds at St Mary two days after committing his future to the club, turned into a disappointing one overall for the local lad.
Offered some good forward support first half and did a steady job defensively too, but it all changed with Martin Skrtel’s introduction.
Looked unsettled next to the Slovakian and didn’t cover himself in glory, struggling one-against-one and surrendering possession in a dangerous area for Mane’s first of the afternoon.
Nathaniel Clyne – 6
The England defender switched across to left-back to accommodate Flanagan’s return and turned in a mixed performance.
He was his usual reliable self defensively for the most part – though did struggle when up against Mane in the second half at times – but was unambitious and didn’t provide much offensive support.
Another afternoon where you’re left wanting more from the 24-year-old.
Dejan Lovren – 5
A poor afternoon for the Croatian on return to his former club, where he received plenty of stick from the home fans.
He can consider himself fortunate not to have given a penalty away early on after bumping into Shane Long, and he looked unsettled against the Irishman’s pace thereafter – resulting in him diving in and picking up a booking.
Was hooked by Klopp at half time for his sloppy display. [td_ad_box spot_id=”custom_ad_1″]
Mamadou Sakho – 7.5
The Frenchman has been in fine form recently, and was again at St Mary’s despite the liability of his two central defensive partners on the day.
Sakho defended his box like a warrior again for most of the afternoon, winning almost everything that came his way while also making some vital blocks and one brilliant intervention when Saints broke in the second half.
Perhaps could have done better to attempt to stop Mane’s winner, but another good display overall.
Emre Can – 7
The German powerhouse has been in great form recently for the Reds, and it was another good all-round performance at St Mary’s.
Patrolled the middle of the park brilliantly first half, reading the game perfectly to make some crucial interventions, as well as acting a driving force for the Reds.
Less influential in the second as Saints swamped midfield as he tired, but still a key figure with his destructive play and use of the ball tidy. Still hard to believe he is only 22-years-old.
Joe Allen – 6.5
Replacing the unwell Jordan Henderson who dropped to the bench, the Welshman produced a controlled display.
Typically tidy in possession and tenacious without the ball, he provided a claming influence in midfield battle showing some nice offensive bursts, but his miss when one-on-one with Fraser Forester where he should have made it 3-0 and killed the game now looks incredibly costly.
The Brazilian has been in positive form in recent weeks, and he turned in another decent display at St Mary’s.
Started the day off so well with another rasping drive to hand the Reds the lead and played a crucial part in the second with an inch-perfect ball up the line to Origi.
Influence on the game dwindled as the match unfolded though. [td_ad_box spot_id=”custom_ad_2″]
Adam Lallana – 7.5
The England international has been in the best form of his Liverpool career in recent weeks, and continued his positive run on return to his former club.
He did an invaluable job linking midfield and attack, playing with purpose and interchanging well, and he also worked tireleslly out of possession picking up second balls and pressing aggressively – including creating what should have been the match sealing moment from Benteke.
Another good afternoon from Lallana.
Daniel Sturridge – 6.5
A quiet overall afternoon for Liverpool’s goal-machine, who is clearly still searching for full fitness as he returns from injury.
Scored with a superb finish to double the lead and showed some promising signs of developing a partnership with Origi, but was on the periphery of the action for large spells of his 70 minute display.
Divock Origi – 7
Another afternoon where Origi showed some of the huge potential he boasts lining up alongside Sturridge in the Reds attack.
Strong, quick, direct, he worked the channels well providing a mobile outlet on which to build and spring attacks, and registered an excellent assist for Sturridge’s goal with a driving run and perfectly weighted pass.
Not the blistering hat-trick display of his December St Mary’s outing, but another good performance. [td_ad_box spot_id=”custom_ad_3″]
Martin Skrtel (on for Lovren at half time) – 3
A truly horrendous 45 minute display from the Slovakian who came on for Lovren at half time and literally singlehandedly derailed a commanding Liverpool lead.
Made a whole host of mistakes, including conceded a silly penalty in a trademark grab of Pelle’s shirt and was an absolute disaster for the last goal, showing no authority and failing to defend adequately.
Possibly the performance that finally pushes him out of the exit door this summer.
Christian Benteke (on for Sturridge 70th) – 5
Only on for the final 20 minutes but should have wrapped the game up, missing a huge chance after being released by Lallana with a woeful finish when the Reds were 2-1 up.
Offered little when he came on up top and didn’t work as hard as he should have considering he had fresh legs to offer.
Sheyi Ojo (on for Allen 87’) – N/A
No time to make an impact but good to see him make a deserved Premier League debut, though a shame it came in such circumstances.
Jurgen Klopp – 6
The Liverpool boss picked the best XI he could as he was forced into three changes with Henderson unwell and Firmino and Milner ruled out injured and through suspension.
Set his team up well to remain defensively tight and break with devastating effect, but played a part in undoing all the good work done in the first 45 minutes with some questionable substitutions.
Kolo Toure should have been the go-to man to replace Lovren, not the shambolic Skrtel who hasn’t featured since December, and with his side under the cosh, Klopp could have done more to bottle up the game, with Henderson the man who should have replaced Sturridge instead of Benteke.
Klopp was ultimately restricted in what he could do, but could have done better with what he had at his disposal.
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[statsfc-player-rater key=2dCG2IPndnJBm4GL141AFJQnx7Wsl6gT3JGGW02u team=Liverpool date=2016-03-20 default_css=false]
SOUTHAMPTON 3-2 LIVERPOOL
- REPORT: Shambolic Reds let first-half dominance slip
- REACTIONS: “Skrtel has no place here anymore”
- RATINGS: Lots of 6s and 7s
- TALKING POINTS: Skrtel shambles, subs change game, top four gone
- KLOPP: Insists “there is a chance” for top four finish despite Southampton defeat
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