|Well, it was not the clusterfeck I was expecting, in fact, I actually enjoyed that game of football even though we didn't win. Were there problems, yes there were, but, we looked more coherent and cohesive even though it was, essentially, the team we had last year plus Adams.
The ground was reasonably full, to be expected I suppose when you are hosting the European champions. There was an unreasonable amount of booing of van Dijk (consider the end, when out of respect for us he did not go over to the Liverpool fans and make a big fuss, even though Klopp tried to make him… In contrast to Sadio Mané who insisted on celebrating his goal against us (c**t).
IBO Reporter - channonite
|After the débâcle at Burnley, Hasenhüttl is rumoured to have brought the players in on the Sunday, which is usually a day off and gave each of the players an individual interview and went over what each of them had done both right and what they could do better. Very much deserved in my humble opinion.
Paying the price were Stephens, replaced by Yoshida and Ings who gave way to the returning Højbjerg. The latter change was more for tactical reasons than Ings performance the week before.
So, the goalkeeper, left and right wing backs were the same and adding much needed experience was Yoshida who was joined in the centre of the trio of central defenders by Vestergaard on the left and Bednarek on the right. In midfield were the well again Højbjerg, Romeu and Ward-Prowse, with Adams and Redmond as the strike force.
Andre Marriner had a very poor game, booking Oriol Romeu early on
IBO Reporter - THE BEAST
|Liverpool were not themselves in the first half, I suppose one ought not to be surprised at that after the 120 minutes they played only 2 days ago, Southampton were very good in the first half and only lost a little bit of concentration and gave Sadie the break he needed to rub our face in it. To be fair, it was a good goal but our defence and midfield really should have done better.
2nd half was all Liverpool really except for the last 10 minutes or so when our substitutions clearly made a difference and, I'm the first 1 to admit it, Armstrong looked like a significant and newly influential member of the team.
Their 2nd goal was a gimme, our only goal was also a gimme and you could see that coming all game, James WardProwse almost getting one in the first half as well as a couple of other scares for them, goalkeeper for them just being a little overly confident after winning the European super cup for them.
Anyway, there is hope, after the dismal showing that was the Burnley game, we looked like a team, a reasonably good one, there is hope for the future yet…
Brief notes on individuals:
Gunn: made a few very good stops, for once I didn't think to myself "you know what, he should have stopped one of those goals at least", is growing into his role as our first choice goalkeeper and I hope he continues to improve.
Bednarek: showed some of the things that made him a fans favourite last year including making a very good tackle in the box and a couple of good blocks, however, was arguably partially responsible for the first one (although Valery should probably also take some credit as he should have been on Sadie as well), was definitely culpable for the 2nd goal. Needs to do better and continue with the things he does well.
Yoshida: well, we looked a hell of a lot better with him in, had a cracking header that was well saved by the Liverpool goalkeeper in the first half and generally provided the leadership we have been sorely missing in our back line. Welcome back Maya, a true 1% ;)
Vestergaard: much improved over last week and, again, showing if he doesn't have to be the dominant centre half he can provide a valuable part of our defence. He is one paced but, as he should, provides valuable aerial presence at the back. People should leave him alone and see how he does. I know I slagged him off last week but I'll try to do the same.
Valery: I thought he had a poor game, when he first broke onto the scene last year it looked like we had a real talent on our hands, now it looks like somebody who needs to concentrate on what he's doing and to build on his basics of last year. MUST do better.
Bertrand: had a quiet game, wasn't too influential but, to try to balance that, I also noted that Mo Salah also didn't feature much in this game, I think that maybe to do with Bertie as well as tiredness. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Hojberg: we needed him back, he played a good game, arguably also culpable with Bedders for the first Liverpool goal but I think that would be overly harsh to put the blame on him, he played well and we looked much better with him captaining the team. Nice to have you back Pierre but please show a bit more going forward in future.
JWP: had a good game, chased, harried, looked fit as a flea and was unlucky to not score a goal like Danny Ings did by closing down the keeper in the first half. Good game, well done.
Romeu: was unlucky to get yellow carded when making a very nicely timed challenge in the first half, this limited his effectiveness a little because he had to obviously make sure he did get another card but all the same, made our midfield (in contribution with the other 2) look very solid. Reminded me of him in his breakthrough season after he'd been with us a couple of years, hopefully, will do equally well this year. Nice one.
Redmond: came into this game rather more in the latter stages, was a little absent early on but grew into it, I would like to see him shoot a little more often as occasionally he can pull off a cracker but I can't say he had a bad game, I think he did well.
Adams: I can't say I didn't think he should have scored in the first half, because actually I did think he should have. However, he did give the world's best defender a few worrying moments which made me think he is going to grow into this stage. Looks like a good acquisition even if he should have got something from this game for us.
Djenepo: came on and looked lively and then nearly got himself red carded with a semi-horrific looking tackle (which actually wasn't, just him getting overexcited, it was just unfortunate he let his feet leave the floor in doing it). Looks like he could very well be a massive livewire, looking forward to seeing him progress and play more minutes for us. Definitely one for the future.
Ings: came on and got his goal against his former club, had the class that Sadie didn't to not celebrate and definitely made our offensive threat greater when our original lineup looked jaded. Well done Danny.
Armstrong: as said previously in this article, I have not been all that impressed with him up to now but he looks much stronger and his close control and his ball control (which have both been terrible up to now) looked really strong in this game. Made a big difference and will hopefully show himself to be an important part of our squad from now on.
I missed Yates being with me but it was a good game and I enjoy going to football for the first time in a long time so that bodes well. As for points, we need some. I think we can get something from Manchester United so let's hope that even though it's a stupid 12:30pm kick-off, we can continue in this new form and make them sorry that they came down South in our next game.