LIVERPOOL 3-1 SOUTHAMPTON: MATCH REVIEW
Liverpool signed off for the World Cup with a fourth consecutive victory in all competitions. Southampton were beaten at Anfield yesterday as a Darwin Nunez first half brace did the damage. Here’s the match review.
You can check out player ratings from the match here.
° Rapid start. Having lost to 20th placed Nottingham Forest and 19th placed Leeds United, the Reds were keen to avoid another upset here against the Saints who kicked off 18th in the league table. A swift start was key here to avoid handing the visitors any encouragement.
Roberto Firmino provided just that when he intelligently flicked Robertson’s sixth minute free kick delivery past the despairing dive of Bazunu in the Saints goal. The Reds had lift off. This was the Brazilian’s first goal in 9 matches, a perfect riposte to being left out of Tite’s squad.
° Quick fire response. Barely three minutes after going behind, Nathan Jones’ side struck back with a set piece goal of their own. Ward-Prowse’s trademark wicked delivery was nodded home by Che Adams who had broken the offside trap, leaving Alisson in no man’s land.
° Early action continues. Both sides were having a go at each other, with the Reds next to threaten when Darwin’s pinpoint centre for Salah was smothered by Bazunu. The Uruguayan wouldn’t have to wait long to inflict damage.
° Darwin delivers. Liverpool’s mounting pressure told when the 23 year old side-footed Harvey Elliott’s brilliant pick-out into the bottom corner. It was a deft volley to edge the Reds back infront. Elliott’s maiden Premier League assist was a thing of beauty.
° Darwin at the double. Three minutes before the break, Darwin had scored again. Firmino slipped Robertson through on the left, with the Scot looking up before laying it on an a plate for the big man to slide home. It was a trademark Liverpool goal and marked the first time Darwin had netted twice in a game for the Reds.
Darwin Nunez since the beginning of 2021/22:
🎮| Club games : 59
⚽| Goals : 43
🎯| Assists : 6
49 G+A in 59 🔥
° Oh Andy Andy. Andy Robertson was at his creative best yesterday, laying on a game high six chances for his teammates. His two assists saw him make history as well, drawing level with Leighton Baines’ all time Premier League assist tally for a defender.
Andy Robertson has equalled Leighton Baines’ record for the most Premier League assists provided by a defender in the competition’s history (53).
He’s played 190 fewer games 🤯
° Southampton grow into it second half. A triple substitution right before the hour mark saw the Saints change shape. This change in formation and extra bodies forward seemed to catch the Reds out. The Saints created a number of big chances but couldn’t get past Alisson.
Klopp’s side just don’t seem to press like they used to. Whether by design or a sign of deeper lying issues, teams are now able to string numerous passing sequences together where previously they’d have been hoofing clear in the face of non-stop closing down.
° World class goalkeeping. Elyounoussi was first to sneak through before seeing his shot stopped by the big hand of the Brazilian goalie. Substitute Edozie was next as he went clean through after exchanging passes on the edge of the Liverpool box.
Again Alisson was quick off his line to block the shot, with his defence guilty of switching off. The most impressive save on the day was from Che Adams’ thumping header after he had gotten ahead of Gomez. Alisson stopped it with a strong right hand before Alexander-Arnold completed the clearance.
° Millie milestone. The veteran came on for the 600th Premier League appearance of what has been a fantastic career. He showed there would be a good number of appearances to come as well with an impressive shift to help see out the victory.
° Now for the break. The Reds sit sixth at the time of writing, 8 points off Spurs in 4th albeit with a game in hand. They lie 15 points behind top of the table Arsenal, 10 off Manchester City and 8 adrift of Newcastle in third.
They have left themselves with a lot to do but they will be confident of showing more consistency after the break and possibly stringing a long winning streak together to reel in the teams above them. For now it’s a top four race, but who knows, we could reassess that come March.