Thursday 8 December 2016

Southampton v Liverpool - story of the match

Published 19/11/2016 | 17:16

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw at Southampton
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw at Southampton

Liverpool were forced to settle for a goalless draw at Southampton on Saturday as they dominated the hosts without being able to find a breakthrough.

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Jurgen Klopp's side remain top of the Premier League, ahead of Manchester City by virtue of scoring more goals, but could be replaced at the summit by Chelsea if the Blues can win at Middlesbrough on Sunday.

The visitors dominated large periods of the contest at St Mary's, as former Saints trio Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne and Sadio Mane all started for Liverpool.

Tweet of the Match:

Former Southampton defender Francis Benali: "Great point for @SouthamptonFC #LFC have scored 40 goals this season, and failed to score in only 2 other games. #SaintsFC."

Star Man - Virgil van Dijk

The Southampton defender was key to this clean sheet for Claude Puel's side, once again making telling interceptions and bossing a defence which he has marshalled so well with Jose Fonte.

He was lucky that a tug on Roberto Firmino's shirt went unnoticed by referee Mark Clattenburg but his all-round performance kept the likes of the Brazilian, as well as team-mates Philippe Coutinho and former Saints man Sadio Mane at bay.

In With The Crowd

There is still no let-up in the Southampton supporters' distain for former defender Dejan Lovren, who left St Mary's for Liverpool under a cloud back in 2014.

He followed Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana in leaving the south-coast for Anfield but his move came after much animosity between Southampton and their then-defender.

Here, he was jeered throughout, with Liverpool's away following cheering to counteract the unwelcoming reception for the Croatia international.

Moan of the Match

This could and should have been one of the game's of the weekend but it failed to live up to the pre-match billing.

It may not have been as hyped as the Manchester United v Arsenal clash earlier in the day but expectations would have been higher than the match that was produced.

Recent clashes here between the pair have been memorable but this one will not fall into that category, even if Liverpool could look back on the point as crucial come the end of the campaign.

Ratings

Southampton -

Fraser Forster 7

Cedric Soares 7

Jose Fonte 7

Virgil van Dijk 8

Ryan Bertrand 7

Oriol Romeu 7

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 6

Steven Davies 6

Sofiane Boufal 5

Charlie Austin 6

Nathan Redmond 6

Substitutes -

Shane Long (for Boufal, 66) 6

Jay Rodriguez (for Austin, 75) 5

Harrison Reed (for Hojbjerg, 78) 6

Liverpool -

Loris Karius 6

Nathaniel Clyne 6

Joel Matip 7

Dejan Lovren 6

James Milner 7

Jordan Henderson 7

Emre Can 7

Georginio Wijnaldum 6

Sadio Mane 7

Philippe Coutinho 7

Roberto Firmino 6

Substitutes -

Daniel Sturridge (for Can, 78) 6

Divock Origi (for Mane, 90) 5

Who's up next?

Sparta Prague v Southampton (Europa League, November 24)

Liverpool v Sunderland (Premier League, November 26)

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