Liverpool 0-0 Southampton
Premier League, Anfield
May 7, 2017
Having failed to defeat the Saints on the three separate occasions already in 2016/17, drawing 0-0 in the league and twice losing 1-0 in the League Cup semi-finals, Sunday’s clash was precariously poised.
Fortunately, as the Reds push for a top-four finish, Jurgen Klopp is buoyed by an increasingly strong squad, though the German named an unchanged side for the fourth game in a row.
- Klopp makes no changes with Coutinho fit to start
- Southampton frustrate Reds with first-half defensive showing
- Milner sees season’s eighth penalty saved on 65 minutes
- Lallana and Sturridge sent on in attempt to change game
- Reds unable to break through Southampton wall
Resplendent in the Merseyside sun, Anfield kicked off amid a lively atmosphere, with the Kop responding to recent suggestions that the home factor has seen Liverpool suffer.
Coutinho had the home side’s first shot on target with a long-range effort on 23 minutes, but Fraser Forster was not troubled, scooping up the Brazilian’s strike with ease.
As Coutinho was forced to drop deep, there was little movement from Liverpool in the forward line, with Anfield waiting for a moment of magic as Southampton‘s defensive approach continued to prevail.
But the first half came to an end with Klopp’s side having managed just three shots on target, none of which came from inside the Southampton penalty area.
It took another long ball from Lucas Leiva, creator at Vicarage Road, to give the Reds an opportunity, with Jack Stephens’ handball gifting Liverpool a penalty, but Fraser Forster made a strong save to deny James Milner.
That stop prompted Klopp into action, sending on Lallana and Sturridge, to replace Lucas and the ineffectual Divock Origi, but they were unable to make the difference.
TIA Man of the Match: Lucas Leiva
Referee: Bobby Madley
Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Lucas (Lallana 69′), Can, Wijnaldum (Grujic 87′); Firmino, Coutinho, Origi (Sturridge 69′)
Subs not used: Karius, Klavan, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold
Southampton: Forster; Cedric, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand; Romeu, Davis, Ward-Prowse; Boufal (Redmond 60′), Tadic, Gabbiadini (Long 69′)
Subs not used: Hassen, Caceres, Hojbjerg, Pied, Rodriguez