Southampton were back in Premier League action earlier this evening as we welcomed Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League title challengers Liverpool to St Mary’s Stadium for Friday night’s top flight action.
With hopes high of surviving the drop back to the Championship given the relative turn in form and results since Austrian manager Ralph Hasenhuttl came through the doors, Saints got off to the perfect start as often maligned striker Shane Long scored his first goal since mid January (second of the season) nine minutes into the tie.
Liverpool did level the scores 36 minutes in to send us into the halftime break tied at 1-1 but although they were edging the game on a statistics front, we were making a fight of it.
The performance was broadly similar in the second period, and again although Liverpool edged it, we created a number of chances. However, Long’s effort remained the only one between their sticks and with their chances they scored twice in the final ten minutes to take the points.
I would guess for the more optimistic fan, the way Liverpool celebrated at the fulltime whistle shows how hard we made it, even if the scoreline is all that mattered.
3-1 and we move on.
Speaking to the BBC following the fulltime whistle, Hasenhuttl said of the game.
“You always want to be aware of their quality, their good crosses and they deserved to win against us in the end, they have the better team but we can be proud of our team. If you take the lead after five minutes, you are going in the right direction. We tried to press higher and it was not easy for them to create chances. We lost the ball two, three times before for their first goal, we tried to minimise that in midfield and for a long time it worked well but not the whole time. There is still a way to go but if you are a sportsman you are always frustrated if you are not winning. Not many have won against them this season, we had chances.”