Player Ratings: Southampton vs Liverpool (Nightmare performance to start the new year)

Liverpool extended their winless run to three games after sharing the points at St Mary's. It is not exactly a crisis yet, but it is definitely worrying times for Jurgen Klopp and his team as an early Danny Ings strike secured all three points for Southampton.


Ings scoring against Liverpool
Image Source: The Telegraph

Another poor start to the game saw a lacklustre first-half performance by the Reds, who struggled to string a series of passes together despite the long-awaited start of Thiago Alcantara. The team came out of the break stronger but only managed to register their first shot on target in the 74th minute.


There were several contentious VAR calls once again, but it was an overall really poor team performance that will require serious addressing if the Reds were to successfully defend their title.


Alisson Becker: 5/10


There was little the Brazilian could do about the goal and had not much to do after. A rush of blood to the head in the second half almost saw Alisson embarrassed by Yan Valery, but he was eventually spared the blushes by his teammates.


Trent Alexander-Arnold: 4/10


Alexander arnold receiving instructions from klopp
Image Source: This is Anfield

The young right-back has yet to find his form this season and was at fault for the first goal as he failed to deal with the free-kick. Alexander-Arnold also gave the ball away 38 times; the most by anyone this season to cap another poor performance.


Offered little in attack and looked vulnerable at the back; it is concerning times for the 22-year-old who was hauled off for James Milner in the latter stages.


Fabinho: 6/10


Dealt with most of the attacks well enough, Fabinho hardly put a foot wrong throughout the game. It is always challenging to be playing with a different defensive partner every week, but the Brazilian has been one of the most consistent performers of the season so far.


Jordan Henderson: 6/10


Slotted into the heart of the defence in Joel Matip's absence, it was an assured performance by the skipper. Looked pretty comfortable the entire match as Southampton hardly threatened after their early goal, but his presence in midfield was clearly missed.


Andy Robertson: 6/10


Most of Liverpool's attacks came down the left side, with Robertson unsurprisingly involved. The Scotland captain linked up well with Sadio Mane and looked the most likely threat to snatch the equaliser throughout the game. A night where he showed plenty of his usual verve and determination, but lacked the quality which we all grew accustomed to.


Thiago Alcantara: 6/10


thiago and klopp
Image Source: This is Anfield

Fans were excited when the Spaniard was announced in the starting line-up, and rightly so. The Reds' recent performances have been lacking their usual quality and sharpness, and Thiago is the perfect player to bring that back.


He displayed some of his incredible passing range and killer balls, sitting deep throughout the game to try and link up the attack. But it was clear that he is not entirely up to speed, and a couple more matches under this belt should see him back to his very best.


Gini Wijnaldum: 6/10


There was plenty of running and energy from the Dutchman, who is clearly not letting any of the contract negotiations affect his performance on the pitch. Kept the ball well on numerous occasions — as he always does — but ultimately failed to produce any moment of real quality in the final third.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 5/10


Started his first game after a lengthy injury, the England international started in the midfield and failed to stamp his mark on the game. The Ox was a passenger in the first half; saw the game float past him without any notable contribution and was substituted early after the break. Like Thiago, he will require a couple more games but he will be disappointed by his performance.


Sadio Mane: 7/10


sadio mane falling down
Image Source: The Liverpool Offside

The best player out of a poor bunch, the Senegalese huffed and puffed but failed to find a breakthrough against a resilient Saints defence. Mane looked the most likely to come up with something as he found himself tangled in an intriguing battle with Kyle Walker-Peters. Tried all night to conjure up something, but was ultimately kept quiet by the young Saints full-back.


Roberto Firmino: 6/10


Linked the attack well on several occasions but denied any clear goal-scoring opportunities in the game. The Brazilian's movement in the final third looked lively as usual and had a couple of chances with his head, but was largely subdued by the Southampton defence.


Mo Salah: 5/10


mo salah on the floor
Image Source: Daily Express

The Egyptian's worrying run of form continues as — just like West Brom and Newcastle — he was again anonymous during the game. Salah failed to get into the game at all and was kept quiet by Ryan Bertrand all evening, who will be surprisingly pleased with the lack of threat the Egyptian posed. Klopp will be desperately hoping for Salah to return back to his best, who currently looks increasingly like a shadow of his former self.


Substitutes


Xherdan Shaqiri: 5/10


Brought in to provide the quality that was needed to unlock the stubborn Saints defence, the Swiss international saw plenty of the ball but was unable to produce anything.


James Milner: 5/10


The birthday boy was called upon to replace the poor Alexander-Arnold, and his most notable piece of action was a crunching challenge he received from Theo Walcott. Happy birthday, James Milner.