Liverpool play a stalemate against Southampton

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It looks as if Jurgen Klopp will have another few weeks of sleepless nights after his team once again failed to confirm their Champions League spot. Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at Anfield by a resilient Southampton side.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp chose to start Origi upfront rather than Sturridge. And Origi was supported by Coutinho and Firmino. Coutinho was available for selection after suffering a dead-leag against West Brom. Lucas, Wijnaldum and Can made up the midfield. While Lovren and Matip were the central defending partnership.

Mark “them” and let the others go:

Southampton travelled to Anfield with one motive and one motive only. And that was to defend. And they pulled off their plan to perfection. Southampton manager Claude Puel’s tactics were clearly evident from the first whistle. He had clearly instructed his team to keep a keen eye on the likes of Firmino and Coutinho. While the other no-so-important players were mostly left alone. And this worked wonders for the Saints. Shutting down their two best players meant that Liverpool suddenly looked short of options. Liverpool repeatedly kept giving away the ball. And were forced into a series of unforced errors.

First miss since 2009:

Just as everything was going Southampton’s way Liverpool were offered a lifeline through a penalty. It was Stephens who had handled seemed to have elbowed the ball in the box in an effort to take back possession. And promptly James Milner picked up the ball to take charge of the penalty. But Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Foster had some antics up his sleeve. Foster walked down to Milner and whispered something into his ears. Some words of motivation maybe? We, seriously doubt it though. But whatever he said clearly put Milner off his tracks. Foster got down low and saved Milner shot.

But whatever he said clearly put Milner off his tracks. Foster got down low and saved Milner’s spot kick. This is the first time that Milner has missed from the penalty spot since November of 2009. After the miss, Liverpool did shift gears and upped their attacking spree. But nothing seemed to affect the Saints defence. Southampton did hold on till the final whistle to end the match goalless.

Next target: Champions League football

With the draw, Liverpool are now third on the table with 70 points. But the next three teams behind then have all played lesser games than them. So theoretically it both United and City manages to win all their remaining fixtures and Liverpool doesn’t win theirs then the Reds may very well finish the season in the fifth position.

Klopp will now look to win his remaining two matches of the season and hope that at least one of the Manchester teams slip up.