Liverpool Away Lost 3 – 0
Ings is still owned by Liverpool so was ineligible for the trip to Anfield, but it was always likely that Mr. Hughes would change his preferred team anyway by including Romeu to block out the Reds’ midfield – in fact it was double glazing as Targett also started. Keeping the ball out of the net was clearly the main requirement, but on ten minutes Hoedt spoiled it all by putting through his own goal in a situation better described as clumsy rather than unlucky. There’s not a lot a coach can do about that, and he would have been tearing out his greying locks not too long after when Matip scored from a corner; this was a bad goal, with the scorer unmarked until the late arrival of Vestergaard and then able to watch his header more sail than power past McCarthy: well at least it wasn’t Van Dijk who scored… or Lovren… or Lallana… well, you know the list. Whatever the game plan was, it did little to stop Shaqiri causing all sorts of problems for Soares and every time the ball came near Saleh he looking likely to score – as he did on the stroke of half time, being the first to the rebound when Shaqiri struck a free kick against the bar. TV highlights managed to find a Southampton chance in the opening period, fluffed by Højbjerg in a play that went almost unnoticed from the visitors’ enclosure. There was to be no more of that nonsense in the second half as Saints concentrated on damage limitation with the occasional change in personnel: Bednarek, Armstrong and Austin all lending a hand at some point. Charlie even managed our only shot on goal, but heaven knows where the six off target shots shown in the official stats came from. Such an unadventurous display, though, is fine by me – no point in getting truly hammered after turning round three goals in arrears. It could have been worse but Saleh had a goal disallowed for offside following a goal-line clearance by Lemina as Liverpool, without substituted Shaqiri, ran up against a shield that may have reminded their manager of the famous yellow wall at Dortmund.
LSSC Man of the Match: Shane Long for 79 minutes of hard work before he made way for Austin.
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