HOW annoying. At half-time we are all laughing and joking and picturing Flanno lifting the Premier League trophy in 2017. At full time we’ve thrown it away, a limp second-half performance that only looked like finishing one way after The Saints equalised.
For all Jürgen Klopp’s influence, and a run of comebacks from going behind, you still suspect this team is a bit soft. That even with tactical mistakes and individual errors there should be enough about them to see it through. That it all shouldn’t look so inevitable.
By the end the shape had gone, the confidence gone, the desire to play disappeared. Just 11 lads wandering around, waiting to be beat.
Managers often say you learn more about your squad in defeat than victory. That could be managers looking for a silver lining, or something to say that makes them sound like they are about to get it right. Or it could be true. In which case it might be a bit clearer to Klopp who he can trust, and what he needs to bring in come the summer.
I guess it was always going to be about next year. But fans don’t think like that. We want to win games now. And now we’ve got two bastard weeks to wait to try again.
Hopefully, The Reds will put it right and put it strong. Twenty seven more points in the league. One shiny trophy in Europe. Don’t let the season drift away. Waiting for next year is last.
Simon Mignolet: 7
What a funny game for him. Terrific save on the penalty and a top stop from Oriol Romeu, too. But you sense he is part of the collective lack of mental strength that is bringing Liverpool down. Anyone can slice a clearance. But it’s so typical of his Liverpool career to lob one up into the air when he did.
Jon Flanagan: 5
Not one you want on your captain’s CV. He gets caught with it for the first goal, but aside from that was solid enough.
Nathaniel Clyne: 6
Linked well going forward. This all seems really pointless though doesn’t it? Given what was going on at centre half I feel like I’m rating the brass band on The Titanic. “In the Mood was a bit sloppy, but fair play for carrying on until we all died.”
Dejan Lovren: 4
You generally don’t take centre halves off until you really have to, a point demonstrated by the outcome of the second half. Before all that though it does need a reminder that Lovren was rubbish first half. He can’t cope with playing at Southampton at all. Which considering we play there at least once a year is a rather big problem. Maybe some of his team-mates can give him tips in mental strengt…. ah, balls.
Mamadou Sakho: 6
It all happened quite quickly for their first but, given his position, I’m surprised he lets Sadio Mane have the full sight of the goal. He did seem like the only one doing anything remotely close to centre-half defending though.
Emre Can: 7
Passed the ball well and was breaking forward, too. Shouldn’t be relied on for leadership.
Feel a bit sorry for him because, although he should bury it first half, it’s a better save than it looks. He then does bury one and it’s harshly ruled out. Faded badly though, and really could have done with some more help in the middle. Some very tired challenges by the end, including for their third.
In contrast to Lovren, he had his best game back at St Mary’s. Really important to us at the moment. Like a poor man’s Iniesta the way he moves and carries the ball. Tried to help out in the centre when we were struggling, too.
Phil Coutinho: 7
Terrific strike to laud it over the “don’t shoot, Phil, bores”. Proven match-winner when others manage to do their bit, too. Which frustrated me that he ends the match so deep.
Daniel Sturridge: 6
Lovely finish the way he creates the space with a shimmy to find the corner. Was pretty much a passenger second half though, which didn’t help everything else.
Divock Origi: 6
Obviously coming on, but also has a long way to go. Needs to look more like a striker who might put it in at some stage. But you can see why managers and team-mates like him.
Martin Skrtel: 2
Here we go. He didn’t look ready at all, which doesn’t reflect well on the manager. I actually think he’s a bit unlucky with the penalty as they are both pulling and they don’t normally get given. But then his head falls off completely. What on earth he is doing for the third I don’t know. Looks like the end. What a way to go.
Christian Benteke: 4
Don’t think the manager shouting at him on the pitch helps anyone. Aside from the public nature of the whole thing, how much can you imagine he actually took in? But then I spent a lot of time shouting at him, too, and we do say we want our managers to be like us. The gentle lay off backwards 40 yards a real highlight.
Sheyi Ojo: n/a
Not rating him.