It was a case of deja vu for Liverpool at Anfield as they failed to beat a side lower than them in the league table once again.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have picked up just three points from a possible 15 in home fixtures against West Ham, Swansea, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Southampton this season.
And their latest slip-up at home to Southampton left the Reds nervously looking over their shoulder in their quest to finish in the top four, with Arsenal potentially only one point behind them if they win their two games in hand.
Liverpool knew that victory at home to Southampton would almost secure Champions League qualification ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Manchester United.
However, they were held to a 0-0 draw as James Milner saw his penalty saved by Fraser Forster in the second-half.
In what was such an important match, Liverpool were surprisingly lacklustre.
Was it complacency? Was it a lack of confidence after their poor results at Anfield recently?
Well, according to Klopp it was a different problem altogether – a dry pitch.
WATCH: KLOPP’S EXCUSE
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“Today, I know nobody wants to hear it but I’m brave enough to say it, the pitch was really dry,” he said after the game.
“We gave it all the water we had but after 15 minutes it was really dry, the (drying) wind, it was difficult.
“You could see it, a lot of passes where you’re thinking ‘why are they playing this? But it was difficult. In a possession game you need to have the best you can get if possible. It’s nobody’s fault, it just a description.”
Blaming a dry pitch for failing to win a match? That’s a new one.
While Liverpool’s statement initially handed the initiative to Manchester United to finish in the top four, their 2-0 loss to Arsenal means Champions League qualification is once again in Liverpool’s hands.
Simply put, if Liverpool beat West Ham away next weekend and Middlesborough at home on the final day of the season, they will finish in the top four.
Let’s hope Anfield has plenty of hoses at the ready when Boro come to visit.