clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Liverpool 0, Southampton 1: First Thoughts

A toothless and uninspiring performance at Anfield saw Liverpool lose their first match in disappointing fashion 0-1 to a goal conceded off a corner kick.

Mike Hewitt

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 0
Southampton 1 Dejan Lovren 53'

  • The defensive alignment that Rodgers chose was an interesting experiment, featuring Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho at left and right back, respectively, flanking Martin Skrtel and a freshly-returned Daniel Agger. Sakho looked a little uncomfortable out wide early on, seeming a bit shaky in possession and defensive positioning, but he got forward relatively well when asked to, even showing off some surprising pace on a couple runs to get up and involve himself in the attack.

  • The first half was frustrating to watch. Liverpool looked good in possession... until the final third, where the ball was often coughed up far too easily. The biggest threat of the first half hour was a Gerrard free kick that Artur Boruc put in a great save on, but other than that, things just weren't clicking. At the back, the four-center-back experiment lead to some nervy moments, with men in red shirts frequently caught out of position and/or ball watching. Not exactly endearing to watch.

  • Refereeing will be a point of contention again today, as Neil Swarbrick looked to have missed a clear penalty shout in the 33rd minute, with Daniel Sturridge getting brought down in the box by Dejan Lovren. There was definitely contact while Sturridge was in the outer area of the box, and the only somewhat reasonable explanation to no adjudge it as a penalty is that Sturridge was moving away from the goal and Lovren's challenge, but even that's a pretty big stretch. He also made a number of other curious and inconsistent decisions throughout the first half that left many scratching their heads.

  • Southampton's opener early in the second half featured a comedy of set-piece defending errors. Steven Gerrard, who had once defensive lapse after another in the first half, did little to force Lovren out of his desired spot in the box (or even really do much defending), and Lovren slotted it home past a helpless Simon Mignolet (who made a tremendous save against Pablo Osvaldo just a minute later). Even if the ball hadn't found Lovren, there was enough ball-watching going on that it wouldn't have been shocking to see Southampton score anyways.

  • Thank god Suarez is back after today. There's so little creativity in the side without Philippe Coutinho, and I'm not even sure he would have been enough to unlock Southampton's defense on his own. The efforts late in the match to chase an equalizer were disappointing at best. They were getting the ball in to the final third, but seemed to have no idea what to do with it once they did.

  • Seriously guys, practice set pieces. Attacking and defending. It's been a glaring weakness in the side for far too long now.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside