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Five talking points as classy Danny Ings goal sinks Liverpool at Southampton

Southampton hadn’t scored for over five and a half hours so of course it only took 111 seconds for Danny Ings to score a phenomenal winner against Liverpool.

The Saints forward showing excellent spacial awareness to hook the ball over Alisson.

Ings moved to the south coast from Liverpool and took advantage of a makeshift defence that included Jordan Henderson alongside Fabinho.

The Reds had little Christmas cheer and their New Year hasn’t started much better.

Their attack failed to spark in the first-half with Southampton youngster Nathan Tella curling a shot just wide before the interval.

Liverpool came out with renewed vigour in the second-half and penned the hosts in for long periods.

As expected Southampton were forced to do plenty of defensive work but stuck to their task for a huge win as the Reds lost for just the second time in the Premier League.

Here are five talking points from St Mary’s.

Danny Ings bagged the winner against his old club

1. An unwelcome three

Not since May 2018 have Liverpool gone three league games without a win.

On that occasion they drew with West Brom and Stoke before losing at Chelsea as the 2017/18 season drew to a close.

Liverpool have now endured the same sequence of results, but the timing of it will be of the greatest concern as teams around them continue building momentum.

The Reds have seen their rivals close in over the festive period and now both Manchester clubs can leapfrog them should they win their games in hand.

Away form has been a major problem for the Reds and they have failed to win five their last six on the road. 

Jordan Henderson was asked to do a job as a centre-half

2. Hendo gamble

The result was always going to determine whether this decision proved to be the right one or not.

Klopp said: “The experience and we need speed, we need technique, we need a lot of things. It’s what Hendo has. We need everything of him.”

Ultimately the Reds skipper didn’t do much wrong, although Jamie Carragher did attribute the Southampton goal to his lack of experience at the back.

Klopp may be short at centre-half, a fact that will not be a shock to anyone.

But he did have two young players capable of playing that position, both of whom he has trusted this season, on the bench.

Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips were both spectators as their captain, a central midfielder, occupied a role they normally would.

Whether that points to a lack of trust will only be answered by Klopp’s selection going forward.

Alisson was helpless for the goal

3. Ings bound to happen

The Southampton man, a former Liverpool player, in the form of his life, you do the math.

Ings couldn’t help but grin as he attempted to mute his celebration after looping the ball over Alisson.

The striker never truly got a fair crack of the whip at Anfield and made just 14 league appearances.

Klopp never gave the striker much of an opportunity once he arrived, although admittedly the 28-year-old was never going to suit his style.

Something of a dilemma though, while Ings wasn’t his kind of player he remained a class act, which is why they demanded £20m for him.

There was surely no regret from Klopp as he watched Ings open the scoring, but one of football’s favourite story lines none the less.

Fraser Forster kept a clean sheet on his return

4. Liverpool fire blanks

The Reds failed to break the deadlock for a second straight game having drawn a blank at Newcastle.

Previous to that it seemed impossible to consider that Liverpool wouldn’t score at least once in a game.

Southampton though managed to stifle the defending champions as their recent woes continued.

Klopp didn’t see his side have a single shot on target in the first-half and it took until the 75th minute for Sadio Mane to register their first.

Defensively they may be short, but its not the same story in attack with their fab front three all present.

Clearly though something is not clicking.

5. Thiago on the comeback trail

The Spanish midfielder has not yet had much chance to showcase his quality for his new side.

Signed in the summer, but coronavirus and injuries have prevented him from influencing this Liverpool team.

His brief cameos, which started by coming on as a sub at Chelsea in September, have promised much.

Again at Newcastle he occupied a spot in the middle of the park and effortlessly seemed to dictate play.

But in the loss at Southampton the 29-year-old perhaps proved that he is still getting back to his best, which is understandably.

Liverpool were ineffective in the first-half and were most effective in the second-half from wide positions.

Thiago will continue to grow in stature, but its easy to forget how new he is to this league and his team-mates.




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