Away at Southampton on two days rest. Serious travel / jet lag. This will be a legit challenge for Liverpool today.
Here’s the starting line-up and player ratings.
An expectedly sluggish start from Liverpool. Still dominated first half possession (62%), though shots on goal were even (5 to 5). Save for a Sadio Mane stunner in the 46th minute, not an inspiring opening display.
Liverpool looked much better in the second half, going up 2-0 from a brilliant Firmino finish. But when ex-Red Danny Ings came in, the game shifted to Southampton’s favor. Adrian gave up a howler. The Reds started white-knuckling it and hung on to a 2-1 win. xG says we were lucky to come away with 3 points.
We should buy Danny Ings.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Jurgen Klopp (6) – Tough task for the boss. With Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup win pushing to 1am Turkey time, and players like Fabinho struggling with cramps during the game, today was always going to be a makeshift and sluggish line-up. Surprisingly didn’t rest some of the regulars, including Salah and / or Mane. Can just see this as a game where someone pulls a hammy.
Not sure why Shaqiri doesn’t start this. Why doesn’t he ever play? Did he sleep with Klopp’s wife or something? Jeez.
An expected slow start for the lads. Klopp usually adjusts well at the half. While he didn’t make any subs, Liverpool was a much more organized / less leaky in the second half. Until Danny Ings came in. Klopp usually makes all the right subs, but needs to give Xherdan Shaqiri or Rhian Brewster some of those Origi minutes.
With the win, eclipses Kenny Dalglish’s record for reaching 300 points in the fewest games. 👏👏👏👏
Adrian (5) – Amazing how vital Adrian already feels to the Liverpool faithful. Word got out 90 minutes before game time that he’d be fit. Collective sigh of relief ensued.
However, VERY sloppy with the ball in the 8th, moving too slow and almost turning it over in the box. Immediately made up for it with a left hand block in the 9th.
Holy shit what a stop in the 21st on the corner. Alisson-esque. Then poor distribution a minute later putting himself in danger. This Adrian experience is like watching a baby walk on a tight rope.
Did well forcefully punching out a corner in the 54th. But gave up a howler to ex-Red Danny Ings in the 83rd. Karius-esque but without the concussion.
Guess we’re just going to have to get used to the Adrian experience. Brilliant saves and poor decision making and foot skills.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6.5) – Didn’t start in Turkey so among the more fit and active regulars. Looks lively early, servicing a number of crosses. Delivery today is on point. Too bad nobody could finish the chances he created.
Virgil van Dijk (6) – Back at his old stomping grounds. Although we could say that for half the Liverpool squad. Solid and steady early. In second half so casually and brilliantly bicycled a clearance out. Defense rounding into form but not there yet.
Joel Matip (4) – Serviced a gorgeous through ball to Salah in the 13th. Defensively struggling though. Poor execution clearing a header in the 20th. Feels like the Saints are targeting him as the weak spot today. Almost OG’d in the 80th. Ooof of a game.
Andy Robertson (6.5) – Effort was there even if results weren’t. Did have an awesome sequence with Mane in the 77th, bringing a header to Mane’s feet, continuing his run, receiving a backheel and almost finding the net with a confident shot. Poor defending in 86th almost cost us another goal.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6) – Back to his old stomping grounds as well. Only played a half on Wednesday so should be among the fresher legs on the pitch. Early in first half looks more active and involved than in Turkey. However, also looked rusty af with a weak and wide shot in the 13th minute. Awesome job defending in the 17th to stymie a Redmond drive.
Played with more energy in the second half. Subbed off in the 89th. Signs of progress.
Gini Wijnaldum (6.5) – Tasked with big shoes to fill in the Fabinho role. Not doing well with it early though. Midfield non-existent in first half and he’s a culprit in that.
Much better in the second half offensively and defensively. Delivered a beautiful through ball to Mane that would’ve been a hockey assist if Bobby had converted. Dropped and supported better in second half.
James Milner (7) – Got a nasty gash. Came out. Came back in stitched up and bandaged. Badass.
Great blast in the 56th that just missed. Went for it again in the 64th. Appreciate the ambition. Subbed off after 73 minutes for Fabinho. Gets an extra rating point for grit playing with stitches.
Roberto Firmino (7) – Not as sharp as he has been (understandable). Mane serviced a ball he should’ve buried in the 65th.
Made up for it in the 71st with a brilliant goal.
Sadio Mane (9) – Back to his old stomping grounds! Was utterly invisible for the first 45 minutes and then scores and absolutely stunner in stoppage time to give Liverpool the lead.
Delivered what should’ve been an assist to Firmino in the 65th. Got his assist to Firmino in the 71st. Almost backheeled an assist to Robbo. Best player on the pitch from 45 minutes on.
Let’s start appreciating him more.
Sadio Mané has scored more Premier League goals in 2019 than any other player (15).— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 17, 2019
And not a single penalty has been taken. pic.twitter.com/ztEr1PXcFg
Mohamed Salah (4) – Someone who looks like he needs rest. Just…off…early. Missed a big opportunity in the 56th that, if sharper, he would’ve finished 9 times out of 10. Really should’ve been rested this game. Subbed out in the 79th minute.
Fabinho (N/R) – On for Milner in the 74th. Right place / right time to clear a dangerous ball in stoppage time.
Divock Origi (N/R) – In for Salah, should’ve started for him. Some poor decision making. Let’s give Shaqiri or Brewster these minutes.
Jordan Henderson (N/R) – Came in for Ox at the end to kill time. Delivered a great ball to Firmino in stoppage. Looks like he should’ve started.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Sadio Mane. Nobody else particularly close.