Liverpool’s worrying run of form continued on Monday as they were handed their second defeat of the Premier League season, falling 1-0 at Southampton. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side went ahead after less than two minutes courtesy of a smart Danny Ings finish, and from that point on, the visitors just couldn’t break down the hosts despite relentlessly knocking at Fraser Forster’s door.
The quick, overlapping play that Liverpool pride themselves on was in full effect for long spells throughout the game, even if the Saints did see it coming on more than one occasion. The higher pace and intensity was clear from the moment they stepped foot on the pitch in the second half, and that sort of resolve will bode well for them heading into the next few months of the campaign.
Pushing forward with a counterattacking style isn’t going to work when you’re put up against a side who are more than happy to give you plenty of time of possession. There was no midfield structure to be found, the final ball was consistently lacking and their usual attacking trio couldn’t conjure the chemistry that they’re renowned for.
Manager rating out of 10
5 — Jurgen Klopp has been forced into a situation whereby he can easily blame injuries for the problems Liverpool are experiencing on the pitch, but in reality, he does need to bear some of the responsibility. His side’s reliance on working the ball down the flanks was predictable and some may suggest he’s not urgent or inventive enough with his substitutions.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 6 — After seemingly being outmanoeuvred by Ings in the first few minutes, Alisson was solid enough with the limited attacks that came his way for the rest of the game.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 4 — In addition to his lapse in concentration handing Southampton the lead, Alexander-Arnold repeatedly gave away possession, completing just 61% of his 72 pass attempts.
DF Jordan Henderson, 5 — The captain was able to deal with the simple things well enough, including a slow clearance off the line, but he clearly wasn’t comfortable with the lack of freedom he had in his delivery.
DF Andy Robertson, 7 — Outside of a silly yellow card, Robertson was consistent in his determination to work the ball into the box.
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 5 — While he did position himself well, the returning Englishman couldn’t quite get anything creative going before being replaced early in the second half.
MF Thiago, 6 — Thiago’s midfield control is seamless when he gets into a good rhythm, although it shouldn’t be forgotten that he gave away the foul for Ings’ winner and was probably lucky not to be sent off after many tough challenges.
FW Mohamed Salah, 5 — From misjudging the flight of the ball to being too indecisive with his finishing, this was a day to forget for Liverpool’s talisman.
FW Roberto Firmino, 5 — Looked massively off the pace and his decision making was questionable.
FW Sadio Mane, 6 — The excellent instincts of Mane didn’t translate into a strong night in front of goal with some obvious hesitancy in pulling the trigger.
MF Xherdan Shaqiri, 6 — Showed nice urgency both on and off the ball, even if he couldn’t quite serve as the catalyst behind a comeback.
MF James Milner, N/R — Attempted to introduce some drive within the team but didn’t do much to get the ball moving.