The Premier League is red hot after Liverpool started 2021 losing to Southampton (1-0). The ‘reds’ remain leaders after conceding their second defeat in the championship, the first since 7-2 against Aston Villa on October 4, but Manchester United, with a pending match, adds the same points and on the next day they will visit Anfield on January 17 in a classic of the English football classics at the summit.
Henderson and Fabinho, centrals
After drawing in the two previous games against West Brom (1-1) and Newcastle (0-0), Jürgen Klopp lined up Thiago Alcántara for the first time, who reappeared last Wednesday after recovering from the knee injury that he had two months off. The presence of the former Barça player allowed the German coach, faced with the losses of Virgil van Dijk and Joël Matip, to delay the well-rounded tandem that Fabinho and Jordan Henderson normally form in the middle.
Perfect Vaseline by Ings
The novel experiment worked although in minute 2 a defensive error allowed Southampton to open the scoring. But the failure is to be blamed on Trent Alexander-Arnold, who did not clear a James Ward-Prowse free-kick and Danny Ings, a former Liverpool player, took advantage of it to overtake Alisson with a perfect Vaseline on the half return. A great goal, his 50th in the Premier.
Liverpool had to navigate against the current from the beginning and, despite clearly dominating the game under Thiago, did not translate their game into shots between the three suits. The first did not come until the 75th minute through Sadio Mané, the most dangerous ‘red’ forward, whose shot was stopped by Fraser Forster, who started today after Alex McCarthy tested positive for Covid-19.
Only three shots high in the first part
In the first half Henderson, Mané and Mohamed Salah lavished three shots over the bar, while Southampton, without the Catalan Oriol Romeu due to annoyances, put everything on the counter through a brilliant Ings and Nathan Tella, who had just entered to the field by the injured Moussa Djenepo, he made it 2-0 before the break after a ball fell to him that he shot with a thread near the post.
In the second half, Liverpool came out overturned but still did not shoot on goal despite his continuous attacks, crosses and Mané’s interns against his former team. But time and again Southampton’s Numantine defense neutralized the danger thanks to its two centrals Jack Stephens and Jan Bednarek, both imperial to the cut.
Stephens hands not granting VAR
Liverpool protested two hands in Stephens’ area, but neither the referee nor the VAR understood that there was a penalty. Mané’s shot in the 75th minute was the only one of the ‘reds’, today in blue, among the three clubs and they ended up without scoring for the second consecutive game.
Southampton, who could barely get out of their area for many minutes, had the best chance in the 84th minute when Yan Valery in a counterattack shot from far away before Alisson’s wild exit and Henderson avoided under the sticks that it reached the net.
The excitement at the end of Hasenhüttl
The tears of the Austrian Ralph Hasenhüttl, rolled on the grass, at the end of the match reflect the emotion after much suffering to defeat the champion. His team, after four days without a win, is sixth, 4 points behind Liverpool in a more competitive Premier than ever.