May 7, 2017
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‘Sturridge deserves a chance’ – Three things learnt from Liverpool 0-0 Southampton

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Liverpool failed to take a commanding position in the race for Champions League football as they slipped up at home against Southampton. They have now failed to score in four meetings with Claude Puel’s men this season.

The Reds had a golden opportunity to take the three points after being awarded a penalty in the second-half, but James Milner’s kick was well saved by Fraser Forster.

Although they still have a great chance of finishing in the top-four, this result will be a huge disappointment.

Here are three things that we learnt at Anfield…

Liverpool stuttering in race for top four

The Reds have been exciting to watch throughout this season, especially in matches against the rest of the top six.

However, they have been regularly found out against the rest of the league.

They have now dropped points in three successive matches at Anfield and it is a growing concern going into the final two matches of the season.

The Reds’ attack was bereft of ideas on Sunday and they didn’t play with the vigour that they have throughout this season.

Their remaining fixtures are against West Ham and Middlesbrough, both of which look difficult on the basis of this performance.

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Manchester United have put their focus on their Europa League campaign, which should give the momentum to Liverpool in the race for the top four.

However, the Reds continue to drop points and it is set to go to the wire.

They have only scored three goals in their last four league matches and the attackers looked exhausted on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp’s style of play asks a lot of his players in terms of work rate and the consequences of that are starting to become visible.

They still have a great chance of finishing in the top four, but they will need to perform better in their final two matches.

Southampton are emerging as Liverpool’s bogey team

There is no love lost for Liverpool on the South Coast as the Reds have bought a lot of Southampton’s best players in recent years. The two clubs have met on four occasions this season and Saints haven’t lost a single one of them.

They knocked Liverpool out of the EFL Cup in January and managed to win both legs of the semi-final in the process.

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Claude Puel’s future has been talked about in the national media, including the Telegraph, but he has shown his impressive tactical brain by shutting down Liverpool on Sunday.

This was the fourth clean sheet that the Saints have kept against the Reds and their French manager deserves a lot of credit for that.

Although they were missing Virgil van Dijk, Southampton restricted the home side to few clear-cut chances.

Jack Stephens and Maya Yoshida both showed their ability in the centre of the back four, while Oriol Romeu delivered another accomplished display in midfield.

Fraser Forster has been criticised at times this season, but he made a great save to prevent James Milner from the penalty spot and a point was exactly what the visitors deserved.

Daniel Sturridge deserves a chance in the final two matches

It has been a season to forget for the England international as he has suffered from injury and found himself on the periphery of the squad.

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Jurgen Klopp doesn’t seem to think that the striker suits his style of play, but he did a lot more than Divock Origi on Sunday in a shorter period of time.

During his cameo appearance, the 27-year-old caused problems with his flair on the ball and completed two dribbles during the match. Meanwhile, he completed more key passes than anyone else on the pitch with three and got two shots in on goal.

He was the most threatening player at Anfield and should have started the game.

Origi has been good for the Reds this season, but he was anonymous on Sunday and didn’t do anything during his time on the pitch.

Although his future probably lies away from Anfield, Sturridge did enough against Southampton to earn a starting berth next weekend as his side travel to face West Ham.

He is the most natural goalscorer in the squad and is fresher than the rest of the attacking options. Klopp should start him in the next two games.

Featured image: All rights reserved by the Premier League

Article Categories:
Liverpool · Match Reaction · Southampton
Jake Jackman

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

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