Barclays Premier League – Southampton 0-2 Liverpool: 5 things we learned

English Premier League Match Review

In the last fixture of the game-week 26 in the Premier League, it is Liverpool who came out with a win as the Reds will go back to Merseyside with a big smile on their faces. Courtesy to a Philippe Coutinho goal that came in the opening minutes, Liverpool took the lead, however, there was no sign of lethargy as the Saints competed with Liverpool toe to toe. But when Raheem Sterling parried the ball into the net in the dying stages, there was no way back for the hosts.
Here are 5 things we learned from this top of the table fixture: –

End to end stuff
Coming into this match, Southampton had the best defensive record in 2015 with only 2 goals conceded in the opening 1 and a half month, As far as Liverpool were concerned, the Reds were in a League of their own as they hadn’t conceded an away goal in the last 4 matches.

But looking at the way the match progressed at the Saint Mary, there was no sign of sitting back from either of the teams.

Credit goes to Liverpool that they took their chances well, but it was the home side that had a lion’s share in almost everything. From the shots on goal to the possession as well as the passes completed by the entire 11, it is the Saints that looked better on paper.

But as far as the most important stat is concerned, goals only came for the high flying Reds.

Gamble worked for Brendan Rodgers
Going into the match which can define your future as a manager, it takes the balls of steel for any manager to let your golden boy out. Leaving out the man who scored 21 goals last season in a match which can be classified as “6-pointer”, Brendan Rodgers showed extreme braveness to leave out his front man.

As Europa League has taken its toll from the Premier League teams off late, it looked like that the decision of leaving out Sturridge has something to do with the competition. However, with the post-match press conference of Brendan Rodgers now in-front of us, the decision of leaving out Daniel Sturridge now seems a genius act by the Northern Irishman.

Simon Mignolet was impeccable
While you may refer to dictionary for defining the word ‘’evolution’’, a mere glance at the look of the Belgian’s career can be a more practical example. Earning scathing criticism from left, right and center after which Brendan Rodgers decided to leave him out, Simon Mignolet has come back with such a statement that now he is turning out to be a match winner for the Reds.

Although the score-line might deceive you, Simon Mignolet was the primary difference that bailed out the Liverpool defense on certain occasions. However, what should be a headline stealing moment for the Belgian was him coming out of his box to deny Southampton a goal-scoring chance 12feet above from the ground.
Thus, give credit to the Belgian that he has improved tremendously over the last 3 months.

All is not lost for Southampton
In a stadium where the home side limited Arsenal with a 2-0 victory, Southampton would be feeling bemused with the final score-line. However, with 12 games of the season still ahead them, most of them are against low profile sides, Ronaldo Koeman should pick his side up as they still have a reasonable chance to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Battle for the last 2 Champions League places is rightly poised
Although Premier League has a history of title races going down right to the wire, this season’s race for the last 2 Champions League spots has been a spectacle to watch. On a weekend where the trio of Manchester United, Southampton and Tottenham failed to win, both Liverpool and Arsenal capitalized much to the amusement of their fans.

And with 4 points separating the sides ranked from 3rd to 7th in the Premier League table, final 12 games of the season would be nerve wrecking.

Full time: Southampton 0-2 Liverpool

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