Southampton 3-1 Liverpool
1-0 Schneiderlin (6), 2-0 Lambert (33), 2-1 Coutinho (45), 3-1 Rodriguez (80)
I don’t know if the team caught a glimpse of Southampton Docks as they made their way to St Mary’s stadium this weekend. If they did perhaps they thought of journey’s abroad specifically Europe next season. However after this game the odds are that the squad will be focusing their attentions on destinations of a more parochial nature!
Ah well, we should we have expected it. Going into this weekend’s programme we had a good chance to tip the balance and move on to the next step in the league. Everton and Arsenal were facing tricky games and we might have been expected to win this one. However, as has been the case many times this season, it was a damp squib, a let down. It was foolish to expect anything, our so called “rivals”, for this week anyway, won and we blew it with a performance that was lifeless and inept.
After the game BR was suitably vague. The suggestion was that this game, like his excuse after home defeat to Aston Villa, was another ”bad day at the office”
“It certainly wasn’t how we have been playing in the past few weeks. We didn’t get going until it was 2-0 down. We conceded poor goals which has been unlike us and we are disappointed at that. We never really got started. It certainly wasn’t the level we have been at and it was one of those days for us.”
It was feeble response that was wholly in keeping with performance and it didn’t really seem to specify or address the key issues, namely our abject defending which was paper thin in it’s robustness and almost child like in it’s naivety.
This has been on the cards for some time. We were poor against Spurs in this area and even though we thrashed Wigan Jose Reina had to save the necks of the back four on at least three or four occasions with some excellent saves. Perhaps things weren’t helped by BR’s decision to replace Carragher with Skrtel and Allen for Lucas? Both were mistakes Skrtel in particular was in calamitous mode having “a hand” in all of Southampton’s goals.
The first came after just six minutes, Ramirez’s cross was knocked down by Rodriguez to give Schneiderlin an easy take. Glen Johnson (again) simply not watching or anticipating the presence of Rodriguez and Skrtel simply off the pace, unaware and therefore slow to track Schneiderkin’s run.
It could have been worse Lambert found himself with a one on one against Jones however the keeper prevailed. Next Lallana and Rodriguez combined which saw the ball fly over the cross bar. However, the home sides persistence paid off when Skrtel fouled Lambert. The same player took the kick which, thanks to a deflection off a shirking Sturridge in the wall, wrong footed Jones giving him no chance.
Rodriguez nearly ended matters before the break when his shot just went wide. As it was we managed to savage something from the mess as Coutinho finally made his presence felt. After a seeing an earlier shot blocked he made no mistake with his second opportunity just before the break Suarez’s cross was knocked down by Gerrard to Sturridge whose shot was blocked falling into the Brazilians path to give us some undeserved hope going into the break.
Quite what BR said to the team over the half time oranges I don’t know. The response was to replace the once more ineffectual Allen with Lucas however, the impact was minimal. Indeed it was Lucas who was one of the many statuesque players Rodriguez waltzed past to close things off after Jones had parried his initial shot. The only surprise that it had taken Southampton eighty minutes to finish us off and that they had only managed to get three goals.
Yuk, and it p*ssed it down!
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld (Fonte – 31′ ), Shaw, Schneiderlin, Ramirez (S Davis – 55′ ), Cork, Lallana (Guly – 84′ ), Lambert, Rodriguez Substitutes: K Davis, Fonte, Forren, S Davis, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Puncheon
Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Phillippe Coutinho, Downing, Allen, (Lucas – 46′ ), Suarez Booked, Sturridge (Henderson – 83′ ) Substitutes; Gulacsi, Wisdom, Henderson, Lucas, Shelvey, Ibe, Suso