Liverpool started the game with four centre halves. Agger and Skrtel in the middle and Sakho and Toure as left back and right back. Enrique was declared injured but still remained on the substitute bench. The 4 centre halves made us look a bit week on the flanks, with Sakho certainly having a shaky start. We won a free kick early on, in a good position, with Gerrard really pushing Southampton keeper, Boruc, into a good save. Victor Moses looked sharp, though maybe a little bit lightweight. Iago Aspas filled in in Coutinho’s usual position. Perhaps the biggest talking point of the first half was when Sturridge was clearly fouled as he moved into the right side of the box, Anfield Road end. He was brought down and appealed to the referee but no decision was given. Liverpool had 6 shots compared witH Southampton’s 4.. Liverpool dominated possession, having 56.4% of the ball, making it a first half in their favour. Half time 0-0 and Liverpool should maybe feel aggrieved that they haven’t broken the deadline.
The second half started with Southampton putting Liverpool under a lot more pressure. Defender Dejan Lovren connected to a cross in the box and despite Gerrard’s best goal-line efforts, a goal was conceded. Enrique was brought off the bench as Agger made way, perhaps an attempt to cure our weak looking defence situation. Gerrard was unlucky again from a decently positioned free kick on the edge of the Saints’ box. Southampton continued to look like they had five more players on the pitch than the Reds. Luke Shaw moved persuasively into the box and force Mignolet into a spectacular triple save, the Saints denied a two goal lead.
It was hoped that Luis Alberto would help out as we chased the game and he came on for Skrtel, with Rodgers tinkering with the defence even more. Henderson seemed to move back to right back. Gerrard wasn’t really leading by example today, making several costly mistakes in possession by trying over-complicated balls that were misplaced. When Gerrard doesn’t play well, it affects the team as a whole. The match dragged on to full time as a 1-0 defeat. We never really looked like threatening and our passes were everywhere. All in all a poor performance.
I think that tactically we got today’s game all wrong, maybe the international break has disrupted our pattern or the players have got complacent after their awesome start to the campaign. The lack of full backs in the starting lineup today proved costly. If Enrique was fit enough to come on as sub he should have really started. Our early season injuries have affected us. We’ve had a great start to the league but it’s come undone today. Southampton have cemented themselves now as a premiership team after their promotion a few years ago. They can be seen as a force to be reckoned with and must be thrilled with their result at Anfield. It’s only the second defeat at home for us in the calendar year. We thought Anfield was once again a fortress but it fell apart at the foundations today. On the plus side. Suarez’s ban is now served and he’ll be back next game to revitalise us.
Man Of The Match: Simon Mignolet – Although not perfect, his spectacular triple save made the score less embarrassing and was the highlight of a weak Liverpool perfomance.