We named it the “clash between two equally matched sides ” because the two clubs were equally matched and were having 44 points on the League table, and to our expectations, Sunday’s Premier League clash between Southampton and Liverpool was indeed spectacu8lar and every football fan can attest to that.
Southampton came from behind to down Liverpool, 3-2, a result that keeps Liverpool in ninth place and seven points off Manchester City in fourth.
Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge gave Klopp’s men a comfortable advantage after just over 20 minutes. But the Saints fired back with three second-half goals, including a brace from Sadio Mane and a 64th minute goal from Graziano Pelle, to take the 3 points.
Here’s what we learnt.
Jon Flanagan offers the best and Klopp understands.
Jon Flanagan has emerged to be one of Liverpool’s players who Klopp is determined to include in his plans throughout the season. Flanagan’s success at Liverpool has been around for a few months having started his Premier League games recently after coming a major injury concern.
And since he came back, he has featured in several games showing spectacular performance, earning a three-year contract at Anfield.
Klopp decided on including him in his squad to face Southampton on Sunday and the yuong Dicaptian proved he is worth playing for the Reds.
Divock Origi is the man to watch.
Klopp turned to the promising young attacker Divick Origi to bolster his attacking line after Roberto Firmino was left out with an injury.
And with a great combination of power, pace and dynamism, Origi managed to terrorize the Southampton defense successfully in the first half.
Origi managed to have one assist after setting up Sturridge’s goal.
Liverpool’s top-four race wrecked.
The Reds headed to the match with enough confidence and hope to secure a win that would put them in a better position to earn a spot in next season Champions League qualification.
The Reds moved ahead by way of a stellar first half that saw Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge find the back of the net, but they were unable to finish off the contest by half-time.
Substitute Sadio Mane gave the hosts some hope with a 64th-minute goal before Graziano Pelle evened the score in the 83rd minute.
With the momentum fully in their favor, Southampton pulled ahead for good in the 86th minute, thanks to Mane’s second goal.
Liverpool missed the “Firmino magic”.
Klopp used the 4-4-2 formation that seemed to recapture their clash at St. Mary’s in December, but things never worked out.
Liverpool missed a pacy and truly prolific center-forward who could take over the game how Southampton’s Saido Mane and Graziano Pelle did.
More than anything else, the absence of Firmino is likely to cost Liverpool fourth place and a return to Europe’s premier club competition via the Premier League.
Speaking about Liverpool’s top-four hopes, Klopp said: “I don’t know about top four. I would say all of you should start more fantasy with your questions because it’s always ‘yes top four, or no top four.’ We are not closer. That is clear. It’s not the best position.”
“Nine games. Twenty-seven [points]. If possible…then yes,” he added.