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Football News: Southampton v Liverpool 11 Feb 2018 Review

Tonight's Southampton v Liverpoool match was not a surprising result and looking at our fixture list, this was a free shot to try and pick up some points and nothing more. However, the performance in the second half was very disappointing.

Liverpool scored in the first 7 minutes as a result of an individual error, not because of what Mauricio Pellegrino (MP) had told the players to go out and do or because the players don't care or feel inferior. Hojberg once again was buzzing and competitive, celebrating for winning a corner off of Robertson when they tussled in the corner. But after the early goal, the game plan was probably out the window.

Playing Liverpool is difficult because their defensive frailty encourages you to attack them, but that plays into their hands as their counter attacking is the best in the Premier League. However, we got the balance right and we did then dominate the first half. We battled and worked hard to recycle the ball and created several very good chances. We were unfortunate not to convert one of them but that has sadly been the tale of our season. Liverpool were more clinical.

Liverpool's second again came from some poor defensive work as Hoedt first let Salah drop to collect the ball, but then closed him down when he received the ball. If Hoedt is going to step out of the position he must win the ball or stop Salah running but he did neither. It was not because Liverpool were dominating or pinning us back.

That's why the second half was disappointing for me. MP had the time at half time to try and implement a new game plan and inspire the players, but they came out and the anxiety was evident. Passes were misplaced and they were clearly more worried about conceding more goals than scoring.

Now this has happened time and again this season and so I think its unfair to lay all the blame with MP. The players have to accept some responsibility because if they fully commit to the manager's instructions and play their best and still lose, the finger of blame lies with him. But if they go out there and don't give everything, they must shoulder some of it.

We needed to get Carillo support as he linked up play fairly well in the first half, but needed someone closer to him. Carillo needs at least one player nearby to feed off his flicks and to feed him. It was great to see our best three midfielders playing together but I think Lemina should be the more advanced player rather than Hojberg.

It felt unbalanced today and Carillo also lacked support through the middle. It didn't really work. Ideally, you would have a second striker feeding off Carillo's flicks. Until we see this, we won't see the best of him. If he plays alone with the most advanced players being Tadic and JWP, both wide and neither blessed with pace, then he gets isolated.

Anyway, as I've said before, whilst I do not believe MP should carry on in his role I think it likely that he will. We have a run of 5 games coming up where we should be able to get some points on the table. Beating Liverpool was always unlikely, so rather then everybody getting all uppity again after today, let's wait and see whether we can get any points in the next few games shall we.

Article written by figodasilva

Written by figodasilva February 11 2018 22:30:39