LIVERPOOL 0-0 Southampton
Liverpool continue their unbeaten run and run of clean sheets but could only claim one point against Southampton, even after being awarded a penalty.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has kept to a regular team with no changes to lineups in the last 5 games. Coutinho had been a “maybe/maybe not” regarding his availability after recently receiving an injury during the 1st half of the game against Watford but had time enough to recover from a dead leg, which wasn’t serious enough to for force Klopp to start making a change to his regular starting 11.
Liverpool did a lot of pressing right from the first whistle and kept possession for a majority of the game. In fact, Southampton wouldn’t get to make a shot on target. Either they were dispossessed by Liverpool during their way towards our goal (and Simon Mignolet) or they were having the ball kept away from them as Liverpool made their attacks.
Unfortunately for the fans at Anfield, Liverpool couldn’t make any of their chances on goal count. A goalless draw wasn’t what they would have expected with very few fixtures left and most teams desperate to claim as many points as they can before the season’s all over and the 38th league game has been played.
Fraser Forster also played his part in claiming a point for his team and making sure Liverpool couldn’t defeat them.
Liverpool best chance for a goal would come when in the 64th minute, a penalty was awarded. Jack Stephens had been in the way of Lucas’ cross and his hand was what had stopped the ball from making into a dangerous part of the penalty area where Liverpool may well have scored from. Regardless of whether we’d really have gotten a goal without play being stopped, the referee had made his decision to let Liverpool try from 12 yards. James Milner of course, would be taking it. As Milner approached the penalty spot with the ball, however Southampton goalkeeper Forster did something unexpected.
He approached Milner and started “eyeballing” him – staring at him at close distance, trying to make him uncomfortable and unsure of himself as he was about to take his penalty. A clever tactic. Doesn’t happen much. Most goalkeepers just rely on their skills to save the ball but playing mind games can shake a player up too. In fact, James Milner actually missed his first penalty since November 2009 so perhaps it worked a little too well. Liverpool’s best chance to get all the points would be stopped as Forster made his save.
Liverpool still had another plenty more time after penalty was missed, but nothing was going to get past Forster before the final whistle was blown for full time unfortunately. The draw sees the Reds move up to 3rd place above Manchester City, on 70 points. However, Guardiola’s side have a game in hand. There’s still a chance they could lose though. Nothing is definite and we know anything can happen in Premier League football. There have been Leicester fans who were determined their side was going to win the league again earlier this season. Unexpectedly, they haven’t come close to challenging for the title again. Unexpected events do and will happen. That’s football, folks.
Man Of the Match
Lucas Leiva was there in the midfield, making defensive challenges and providing assistance for the more offensive players. The middle-man of the match, really. It was his cross that was going into the penalty area which was made when we got awarded the penalty. Without his assist there, we wouldn’t even have had that chance given to us. I’m very happy with him and he’s been loyal to Liverpool for over a decade now. It was Rafa Benitez who brought Lucas to us in 2007 and since then, he’s stayed loyal to the club even as some of his managers moved on. Loyalty is more valuable than the multi-million pound contracts players can get from transfers nowadays. I look forward to seeing him in the Liverpool squad as often as he gets to be included in the future.
West Ham away next Sunday (14:15 BST) for Liverpool, more Premier League action is on the way as we continue through May.
Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.