Klopp still in search of win as Liverpool held by Southampton
Matt Haynes | October 25, 2015
Liverpool 1-1 Southampton
- Late drama at Anfield
- Goals from Christian Benteke and Sadio Mane cancel each other out
- Jurgen Klopp makes it three consecutive draws in charge of Reds
- Mane sent-off late on for Saints for two bookable offences
Reds typically zippy in possession
Liverpool couldn’t hold on at Anfield as Southampton came from behind to earn a point in the Premier League in a hard fought game.
Despite Jurgen Klopp’s message for his players to relax more on the ball, there was still an element of panic in their decision making at the last, especially in front of goal, with the German electing to again start with Divock Origi in a lone striker role.
The result was a lack of real presence in attack during the first half, with chances falling to James Milner and Philippe Coutinho, who were stifled by goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
Build-up play doesn’t appear to be Liverpool’s problem, with Adam Lallana and Emre Can, willing runners off the ball and options on it; this duo along with the aforementioned two make for an intriguing Klopp quadrant.
Midfield battle made for interesting chess match
The hosts, though appeared evenly matched in the centre of the park, with Steven Davis and Victor Wanyama demonstrating a combination of protection, support and imposition, while Jordy Clasie’s endeavour and silkiness on the ball offered ample flair.
Playing mainly on the break, it was perhaps Sadio Mane boasting the biggest danger for Klopp’s side and former Saint Nathaniel Clyne was time and again forced into reverse to track him down.
Liverpool left back Alberto Moreno went close on a number of occasions and was a constant threat as a useful outlet in the channel, contributing much needed width, though also proved he can be potentially potent in front of goal.
Shortly before the break however, Virgil van Dijk had what turned out to be the chance of the half, though could only direct his header towards the near post from a free-kick with Simon Mignolet parrying.
Late flourish not enough for either side
Klopp introduced Christian Benteke for the second period and while his presence gave Southampton something to think about, chances were largely kept to a minimum until the final 10 minutes.
Milner, whose energy was a vital asset to the Reds throughout received wide on the right, looked up and caressed the ball providing a perfect delivery, which was met with a bullet header by the Belgian forward.
However, there was to be a twist in the plot. Forgotten man Gaston Ramirez was brought on for the Saints as Ronald Koeman rolled the dice and his decision paid off.
Nodding back across goal from a delivery he found Mane who bundled over the line to even things out, though two silly challenges earned him a dismissal in the last minute of the match to blot his day’s copybook.
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