LIVERPOOL 4-0 SOUTHAMPTON: MATCH REVIEW
Liverpool romped to a 4-0 victory over Southampton at Anfield yesterday. The Reds raced into a 3-0 halftime lead with a brace from Jota and a deflected Thiago strike. Virgil Van Dijk scored his first goal of the season in the second half to add further gloss to the scoreline. Read on for a review of the game.
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° The Southampton game plan. Ralph Hassenhutl set his side up in a 3-4-3 system with three forwards in Che Adams, Broja and Armstrong. It was a bold move and the the Saints attacked right from kick off. The plan was obviously to get the early goal and then retrieve into their defensive shell in a 5-3-2 counter attacking setup.
° It backfired spectacularly. Liverpool constantly tore through their backline at will as Jota’s movement pulled Lyanco out of position. Robertson found space down the left flank, with Livramento outnumbered and the Reds were in ruthless mood, racing into a 3-0 lead at the break. Hassenhutl had to make a double change at the break to stem the bleeding.
° Unbeatable Alisson. Alisson was in beast mode again yesterday as he denied the visitors time and again. Firstly, he was quick off his line to smother at Ward-Prowse’s feet after a slack Thiago pass. Then he made himself huge to block Broja’s shot after he had stolen in from a poor throw. Further saves from Armstrong (twice) earned another clean sheet.
° Saucy attacking play. Some of the attacking patterns on display yesterday were just dripping with jaw dropping quality. One touch passing, give and go’s, combination play, little triangles, it was all a joy to behold. This team is expertly coached, and when they play like they did yesterday, they are impossible to live with.
° Robbo returns. The left back debate has raged online amongst the fanbase with every Tsimikas outing. For Jürgen Klopp however, there’s no debate. The manager has backed Robertson whenever the question has come up in his press conference. It was therefore no surprise to see the Scotsman return to the side.
He rewarded his manager’s faith with a stellar performance, creating more chances (4) and more big chances (2) than anyone in the match, as well as providing the assist for the opening goal with a delightful cutback for Jota. It was Robbo back to his best and that is exactly what competition for places ensures.
° Jota the Slotter. Jota was in irrepressible form yesterday as he constantly tormented the Saints backline. He attempted the most shots (7), completed the most dribbles (3) and scored the most goals (2). He can count himself unlucky not to net a hat trick. That’s now 7 goals he’s scored in the league this season, what a signing he’s been!
° Still too open. As amazing as Liverpool were, you can’t help but feel the side is still too open. It was an open game with Southampton having three big chances to score. That Alisson saved on all three occasions shouldn’t mask what is fast becoming a theme of the season. The manager mentioned it post match, and you assume it will be worked on.
° Two in two for Thiago. What a week it’s been for the Spanish international. A daisy cutter of a strike on Wednesday was followed up with a deflected effort this time round. His partnership with Fabinho has now moved on to 12 wins and a draw in 13 starts together, with the side scoring 35 and conceding just 5 goals in that time.
° Free scoring Reds. Liverpool are enjoying themselves infront of goal this season, creating chances aplenty. They are the league’s topscorers, having already netted 39 goals after 13 games. Three of the top four leading scorers in the league are Reds, with Salah leading the way on 11 and Jota & Mané both on 7, behind Vardy who’s on 9.
° Injuries have eased. Last week’s bench against Arsenal featured four teenagers as nine first team members missed out through injury. The likes of Andy Robertson, James Milner, Neco Williams and Divock Origi have since returned and given the side a more senior look. It made for a stronger looking bench this time.
° On to the derby. Three wins in a week is just what the doctor ordered after defeat to West Ham before the break. Now it’s on to the small matter of a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Everton are struggling under Rafa Benitez and will definitely want to turn up on Wednesday night. The festive period beckons.
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