Resilient Southampton subdue Liverpool to blow title race wide open
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton beat last season’s champions, Liverpool, under the floodlights on Monday, in a keenly contested match to blow the title race wide open.
For the second consecutive game, current Premier League Champions Liverpool failed to find the back of the net.
Coming off the back of an uninspiring performance at Newcastle, Liverpool hoped to return to winning ways against Southampton.
However, the hosts sprung a surprise attack in the opening minutes of the game. Danny Ings, a former Liverpool player struck in the second minute to give Southampton the lead.
With the special services of their dangerous attacking trio – Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah – it seemed that Liverpool would find a way back. Yet, it proved to be a difficult game for The Reds at St Mary’s Stadium.
They managed to put only one shot on target despite attempting 11 and also controlling 67% of the possession.
75 – Liverpool’s first shot on target in this match came in the 75th minute, courtesy of Sadio Mané. It’s their longest wait for an attempt on target in a Premier League match since December 2015 (89th minute vs Newcastle). Stifled. #SOULIV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 4, 2021
This is Liverpool’s second loss of the season which sees the club tied with Manchester United at the top of the table with 33 points. With United having a game in hand, the top spot seems shaky for the defending champions.
Also, there is the possibility of Manchester City overtaking Liverpool as well as the Cityzens have two games in hand and are currently on 29 points.
The Reds poor form would undoubtedly be a cause for concern as their title defence may be in jeopardy if they don’t make a U-turn in the next games to come.
On the other hand, Ralph Hasenhuttl showed what the win meant to his side when he was moved to tears after a resilient performance from his players.
A night full of emotions ?? pic.twitter.com/JeaReMbOu3
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 4, 2021
The win means that they move into 6th, level on points with 7th placed Everton (who have a game in hand).