With Stekelenburg recovered from injury, there was a predictability about Southampton’s line up at Anfield. That’s a sign that they are progressing in the direction the manager was hoping, but it was significant that Clasie made his first Premier League start. Liverpool are under new leadership, with Jurgen Klopp still looking for a first win, and equally still to experience defeat. Saints are unbeaten away, domestically anyway, so a cat and mouse encounter was not unexpected, with little to choose between the two sides. There was a shortage of direct efforts on goal, though, with a Van Dijk header pushed away by Mignolet the nearest anyone came in the first period. The home side began the second half with gusto, but Saints weathered the early storm and the game soon settled back to its familiar pattern. A goal was needed to keep the TV audience interested, and Klopp’s intervention provided it when sub Benteke produced a powerful header from Milner’s cross. Southampton didn’t deserve to be behind but it looked a tough ask for them to come back, until Ronnie produced a trick of his own off the bench when he introduced the unlikely figure of Ramirez for Davis – Ramirez was instrumental in our late equaliser when he headed back across goal for Mane to scramble the ball home at the opposite post. Saints still had survive four minutes of added time to secure a point and that was enough for Mane to receive not just one but two cautions, and the accompanying red card, in a misguided attempt to help out his colleagues.
LSSC Man of the Match: Cedric Soarez, who this time, at least, looked a proper defender. Unfortunately the dreadful view from Liverpool’s £47 seats didn’t give much of an opportunity to judge Clasie, who may also have a good claim for MotM.
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