Following Liverpool’s first defeat of the Premier League season against Southampton on Saturday, manager Brendan Rodgers was left shell-shocked by his sides display.
The Saints left Anfield with a deserved 1-0 win, inflicting Liverpool’s first defeat in 13 games in the process. And the home side never really looked like winning.
“We never got going, in terms of our tempo. We were nowhere near it,” Rodgers said. “Having not lost for a long-time in the league, we’ve been on a real tremendous run. But we never really got going from the first whistle”
Liverpool looked solid in the first half, but despite Steven Gerrard’s 20th minute free kick that was superbly saved by Southampton’s Artur Boruc, the Reds hardly threatened Saints’ goalkeeper for the rest of the game.
And then the pivotal goal came in the 54th minute as Southampton defend Dejan Lovren scored a header from a corner. That was something that upset Rodgers.
“We are disappointed with that,” Rodgers said. “To lose a goal from a corner is a real blow. We will recover from it… we are disappointed.”
So, as it stands, Liverpool are still top of the table. But wins for Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City or Manchester United on Sunday will see the Anfield club relinquish their stranglehold on top spot.
Following their 2-2 draw with Swansea on Monday, cracks are beginning to show in Liverpool’s play. With a real lack of creativity and spark missing against Southampton. You could put that down to them missing the injured Philippe Coutinho… but you could also say that Rodgers’ side remained stubborn and tried to play out from the back. Even though the Saints pushed high up the pitch and gave Liverpool’s defense plenty of scary moments throughout the win.
But Rodgers has an ace up his sleeve.
Towards the end of the defeat to Southampton on Saturday, the TV cameras panned to the players lounge to see a smiling Luis Suárez sat watching on.
He can return to action next week as Liverpool play Sunderland away in the league, or, as fate would have it, in the League Cup clash with fierce rivals Manchester United on Wednesday.
Suárez is back, and after losing to Southampton, Liverpool need him to return to the team sooner than they expected.