Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool met Southampton at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, with a crucial three points at stake in Liverpool’s quest to secure Champions League qualification.
Southampton under Claude Puel have secured their top flight status for another year, though they were still out to prove a point at a club who have regularly cherry-picked their best talents over the last three seasons. Players such as Lovren, Lallana and Clyne have all made the transition from St Mary’s to Anfield, whilst Rickie Lambert and Saido Mane have also ventured North to Liverpool.
Sunday’s meeting between the two clubs was billed as a must-win for Jurgen Klopp’s side, though they started tentatively with nerves seeping through their starting XI.
Coutinho and Firmino offered promise of a creative nature in the middle of Liverpool’s attacking line, though neither could find a break-through despite a close effort from Coutinho in the 33rd minute.
Southampton were firm in defence, and a tepid first fourty-five minutes ensued, with the teams entering half-time locked at 0-0.
The second half commenced, and in the 66th minute Bobby Madley corrected awarded Liverpool a penalty for handball. Jack Stephens deemed to have moved his arm upwards to direct the flight of the ball.
Fraser Forster made an outstanding save, meaning the scores remained at 0-0 and both teams played out the remaining 30 minutes for a share of the spoils. Puel will be understandably the happier of the two managers, with Klopp all to aware how much pressure his site were under following Man City’s demolition of Crystal Palace; 5-0, earlier in the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp has never beaten Southampton in the Premier League (D3 L1) – indeed, he has now faced them more than any other opponent without winning.
The draw sees the Reds move up to third, above Manchester City, on 70 points. However, Pep Guardiola’s side have a game in hand.
This yet again draws criticisms of a Liverpool side who have stumbled once more in their UCL pursuits. Klopp has two fixtures remaining against West Ham and Middlesborough: maximum points from both games is essential from Liverpool should they wish to retain any chance of Champions League qualification.
Written by Tom Newman.
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