Liverpool 3-0 Southampton: MATCH RECAP

Well, we have had a very entertaining international break, but I for one am thrilled to have club football back! I will recap all the major events of this weekend in club football once it is all wrapped up, but let me dive into my first matchday analysis of my beloved Reds, as they took on Southampton at Anfield today.

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I must admit, when I first saw the teamsheet, I was scared to death. Yesterday, when I heard that Joel Matip had gone out with an injury, I thought “Ok that is bad, but we will be fine. Joe Gomez has been brilliant at center back for England, it is time for Jurgen Klopp to play him in his natural role” However, when I saw the teamsheet I did not see Gomez next to Ragnar Klavan, but Dejan Lovren instead. It was at that very moment that I thought, Southampton are gonna win this aren’t they? Lovren is so mistake prone I doubt he can even get out of bed without falling on his arse.  I was also dissapointed to see the in form Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left on the bench, in exchange for our “Captain”, the backwards passing extraordinaire Jordan Henderson, who at this point I think we can all agree, the only time his name should ever be in the same sentence as Steven Gerrard’s is “Jordan Henderson is not in the same stratosphere as Steven Gerrard as a player and captain for Liverpool”. I was happy to see Philippe Coutinho back from injury, but overall, at kickoff time, I was very nervous, and expecting to be filled with rage.

The first half hour of the game went about as I expected, Liverpool had a lot of the ball and did nothing but piss about with it, Southampton stayed back and defended and largely stopped us from creating anything, with Virgil Van Dijk winning lots of balls in the air and snuffing out attacks (cue “Welcome to Heartbreak” by Kanye West). Then, in the 31st minute, Dusan Tadic was robbed in his own half by Roberto Firmino, who then found Klavan, who passed to Gini Wijnaldum, who squared it to MOOOOOOOO SAAAAALLLLLLAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! Salah curled it into the net from outside the box. Ten minutes later, Salah ran onto an absolutely amazing through ball from Coutinho and finished, to give the Reds a comfortable 2-0 lead at halftime. Liverpool did not let up, and absolutely dominated the second half. They got their well deserved third goal in the 68th minute, when Firmino’s shot was parried right into the path of Coutinho by goalkeeper Fraser Forster (yes, sometimes when I curse the very existence of Simon Mignolet I realize things could be much worse), and Coutinho tapped it into the open net for an easy goal for himself. The rest of the game was largely just a formality, two teams going through the motions waiting for the final whistle, and I was thrilled at what turned out to be a dominating win. Lovren didn’t even make a single mistake for once, besides almost injuring our future defender Van Dijk. I did not have any criticisms for once, except for the second coming of Christ Daniel Sturridge getting no playing time. Well in REDS!

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Three things I learned from the match today

  1. Liverpool are starting to find their form

Since our nightmare 4-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham, in which I decided I would take 4 more years of Donald Trump if it meant never having to endure the waste of a human being that is Dejan Lovren trying to defend again, Liverpool have played very well. They have now won their last 4 games 3-0, 3-0, 4-1, and 3-0. That is 13 goals scored to only one conceded, and we are now only a point off the top 4. We are finally starting to finish all the chances we missed at the beginning of the year, our defense has looked improved (KNOCK ON WOOD), and we are quietly going about a very good period of momentum. Granted, Huddersfield, Maribor, West Ham, and Southampton are not the most daunting opponents, but it is good to get back to winning ways. There is still work to be done, our defense still needs work (YOU DONT HAVE TO GET ON THE BUS BACK TO SOUTHAMPTON VIRGIL), and the games against Sevilla and Chelsea next week are a real test of how much we have learned, but I am quietly optimistic. We are winning games in a dominant fashion, and Klopp can now finally unleash his big 5 of Salah, Coutinho, Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Adam Lallana for the first time this year. Things are looking up Reds!

2. Southampton are awful

I like Mauricio Pellegrino a lot. He is a former LFC player and coach, and I truly believe he is a good manager, but he is in the wrong job. Appointing a very defensive minded coach to a club which already has a good defense, but needs work on the attack is a bad idea. His ideas can work well at clubs suited to his style, but someone so keen on defending is not the man to fix such a stuttering attack. Southampton didn’t even get a single shot on target today against OUR DEFENSE, and it says something when their starting striker today hasn’t scored a goal since February. Their attack just looked completely out of ideas, and things need to change fast. I think now might be the moment when the Saints realize their model of selling anyone at the right price, because there are always cheaper alternatives, is just not sustainable in the Premier League. Sad!

3. Mohamed Salah is the King of Egypt

What more can be said about this guy. He has now scored more goals to start his Liverpool career than anyone in LFC history, beating the record of Robbie Fowler, a man so good the Kop literally nicknamed him “God”. He has scored more goals than any LFC player since Luis Suarez left us, and it is only mid November! He is the top scorer in the whole Premier League!!! This man is just out of this world. To think we only needed to spend 32 million pounds on him! The gods Isis and Osiris built a pyramid in his honor. King Tut has a framed picture of Mohamed Salah in his tomb. Cats bow down at the feet of Salah. He is the best signing this club has made since Suarez, and I can only hope his insane goalscoring continues. Long Live our Pharoah, MOHAMED SALAH!

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Liverpool Lineup

GK: #22 Simon Mignolet

RB: #66 Trent Alexander-Arnold

CB: #6 Dejan Lovren

CB: #17 Ragnar Klavan

LB: #18 Alberto Moreno

CM: (captain) #14 Jordan Henderson

CM: #5 Georginio Wijnaldum

CM: #10 Phillipe Coutinho

LW: #19 Sadio Mane

RW: #11 Mohamed Salah

ST: #9 Roberto Firmino

Substitutes:

#1 Loris Karius (GK)

#7 James Milner

#12 Joe Gomez

#15 Daniel Sturridge

#21 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

#23 Emre Can

#29 Dominic Solanke

Manager: Jurgen Klopp

 

Southampton Lineup

GK: #44 Fraser Forster

RB: #2 Cedric Soares

CB: #17 Virgil Van Dijk

CB: #6 Wesley Hoedt

LB: #21 Ryan Bertrand

CDM: #14 Oriol Romeu

CDM: (captain) #8 Steven Davis

LAM: #11 Dusan Tadic

CAM: #19 Sofiane Boufal

RAM: #22 Nathan Redmond

ST: #7 Shane Long

Substitues

#13 Alex Mccarthy (GK)

#3 Maya Yoshida

#10 Charlie Austin

#16 James Ward-Prowse

#20 Manolo Gabbiadini

#23 Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg

#33 Matt Targett

Manager: Mauricio Pellegrino

Man of the Match Award: MOHAMED SALAH!

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