As I took my notes on this game this evening which was not hard to do as it was very poor from a Liverpool point of view, I again found myself making the same points to be mentioned in this article as I have been in last few weeks.
Not enough good penetration high up the field,no proper pressing and some players look like they want to leave all the scoring and inventive play to just a few.
Jurgen Klopp changed his team from the abismal display against Plymouth at the weekend but the result was pretty much the same only this time we managed to concede a goal.
It should have been more to be fair had Southampton been a bit sharper and had Loris Karius not kept his team in this game like he did with some fine saves tonight.
Southampton scored the only goal of this game on 20 minutes when Ragnar Klavan made a hash of a simple clearance missing the ball totally which allowed Jay Rodriguez to simply poke the ball on for Nathan Redmond who was able to slide it past Karius who did his best to close the chance down to no avail.
Again an individual error that in truth did not look like coming up until that point as Liverpool dominated that first 20 mins with the home team lying very deep and not looking to get out at all.
The goal was against the run of play.Liverpool had most of the ball for the whole game but it was the home team who were far more clinical with the few opportunities they did make.
Loris Karius was by far the busier keeper tonight and to his credit was Liverpools best player keeping this tie alive.
Tadic and Cedric was a constant thorn in the side of James Milner tonight as they doubled up against him all night to cause havoc down that left side with numerous good crosses into our box that Milner was just unable to prevent on his own.
Indeed on 42 minutes Tadic combined with Ryan Bertrand on the opposite side to work a simple throw in past both Lucas and Lallana and was able to fire in a low cross along the six yard line to a free Redmond at the back post. He drove his shot low but was denied again by a fine save from Karius. It should have been 2-0 though.
Half time came along and the same team reappeared for the second half with no changes.
Liverpool were somewhat better in this half but to no avail as they were totally unable to penetrate a stubborn well organised defence and time and time again almost got caught themselves on the quick counter attack.
On 55 mins Lallana was able to slide a cute pass down the inside left for Daniel Sturridge to run onto to only to be brushed off the ball by Van Dijk. There were half hearted appeals for a penalty which the referee rightly waved away.
By the hour marked it did seem as though some more room was opening up around the edge of the Southampton penalty area with Lallana and Co finding some more movement and when Philipe Couthino made his long awaited comeback on 61 minutes to replace Georghino Winjaldum it did look like a more fluid formation as Lallana dropped back to midfield.
But on 65 minutes Liverpool again took a poor corner kick then lost the ball and immediately Southampton went on a blistering counter with Redmond on the ball.He managed to committed Clyne and skip past him and set the ball through for Cedric to run to the box.He went for the glory himself and shot wide as Adam Lallana was able to get back in the middle of the box to cut the simple square ball that woukd have meant a tap in for Rodriguez at the far post.
On 83 minutes against Redmond was denied a second goal when he seen his clever chip over the out rushing Karius only bounce off the crossbar bar and away to safety.
The game finished with a Southampton team very happy with a deserved win but maybe also wondering how they had not won it by more.
In the last few weeks we’ve lost our intensity off the ball. There was no real pressing to win the ball back tonight in the right places.
Emre Can was again very poor and is becoming accustomed to turning to play a ball back or sideways now more often than not slowing the game down.Indeed tonight when the ball past him by he rarely showed any effort to get back to defend towards his own goal.
He looked like he has been running at half pace the last few games and was very fortunate to stay on the pitch tonight when Winjaldum was taken off instead.
Our front line are not being supplied with the type of good quality ball they need to break those tight defences and although he tried all night any time Daniel Sturridge touched the ball he was immediately closed down by several players at once.
The pairing of Can and Lucas in midfield was somewhat of a gamble that didn’t pay off at all and left us with no creative player the push those balls through to the right areas ahead.
Jurgen Klopp has alot to think about before Sundays game away at Old Trafford.
Couthino coming back is a big plus but I fear a midfield without Jordan Henderson will not have the energy and speed required to go there and cause as much trouble as we should.
I expect Adam Lallana to drop back to his usual position but just who will partner him and Winjaldum if Henderson is not fit will have a huge bearing on that game.