Liverpool travelled to St. Mary’s to further enhance their claim for a Top 4 finish with 2 former Southampton players in their starting 11. Brendan Rodgers named both Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli on the bench and went with Raheem Sterling up front.
Liverpool managed to come away with a 2-0 win but not without some debatable decisions in the game. Southampton were denied 3 clear penalties shouts and a possible red card in the game much to the agony of home fans.
Liverpool are now at 6th place in the table with 45 points, just 2 points adrift from the 4th placed Manchester United. We take a look at the talking points form the game at St. Mary’s and points which will not go unnoticed for a while.
Crucial decisions went against Southampton
Southampton would feel hard done by the referee on the night, Kevin Friend who was clearly not a friend to Southampton. Saints had 3 strong claims for penalties and a red card against Dejan Lovren.
Joe Allen tripped Pelle in the Penalty area, Dejan Lovren stopped the ball with his hands in the box while Simon Mignolet looked to handle ball outside the permitted area which could have caused for another red card.
All of these could have swung the game in Southampton’s favour instead it was Liverpool who came away with the 3 points and crushed Saint’s hopes of finishing in Top 4
Coutinho can only get better from here
Philippe Coutinho is one of the most shining talents in the Premier League at the moment and he is only 22. Having signed the new deal at Anfield, Coutinho could be the man who leads Liverpool’s attack for seasons to come.
Nobody ever doubted his intelligence over the ball or his passing abilities, it was just consistency which was lacking. Brendan Rodgers starting him week-in-week-out has given the little Brazilian confidence to go out and play to his strengths and it is certainly playing to Coutinho’s and Liverpool’s hands.
Henderson deserves to be the next Liverpool captain
Jordan Henderson has been in talks this week for the way he was denied the chance to score a penalty by teammate Mario Balotelli. Many praised Jordan for the way he handled the situation and later praised the Italian for scoring the penalty.
Amid the row, Jordan Henderson took his side to St. Maries and yet again showed vital signs of mental toughness in dealing with the pressure by the opponents. Jordan Hendeson has been growing from strength to strength with every time he pulls on a Liverpool shirt and justifies the claims for him to be the next Liverpool captain.
Simon Mignolet continues to defy the odds
Liverpool have been unsure over Simon Mignolet being the solution to their Goal Keeping worries. Not many have been fully convinced over Mignolet’s abilities to be Liverpool’s #1 man in the goal. Stats however speak different story altogether.
Liverpool have now kept 5 clean sheets in a row away from home. Robin van Persie was the last man to score against Liverpool away from Anfield. Mignolet kept yet another clean sheet away from home against Southampton. If you go by the stats, he is one of the best in the league yet he has not fully convinced the Anfield faithfuls.
Liverpool are building a team for the future
Brendan Rodgers has built a strong team at Anfield since taking charge of Liverpool. One of the features of Rodgers’ Liverpool team is the energy and speed upfront.
Likes of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Ibe and Lazar Markovic pose vital threat to the opponents on the counter attack and all of them are in their early 20’s. Jordan Henderson and Emre Can provide the balance to Liverpool side.
Looking at the ages of these players, one thing is certain that all of these players will have a long and established careers at Liverpool. Liverpool have clearly got the foundation to build a strong team for the future and calculated signings over the upcoming transfer windows would make an even stronger Liverpool team in the future.
Image Credits: espn, dailymail