The controlled Liverpool had the measure of Southampton in the final game before the break for the World Cup, with a number of contenders for the title of the best player of the match in a 3-1 victory.
Liverpool 3-1 Southampton
Premier League (14), Anfield
November 12 , 2022
Goals: Firmino 6′, Nunez 21′, 42′; Adams 9′
Alisson – 10 (out of 10) (The best player of the match)
Our No. 1, with the exception of his trademark beard, was mostly a spectator for most of the game, but this is only a testament to his quality: when required of him, he is more than ready for this task.
A strong left arm and a body save in quick succession ensured that there would be no hesitation in the middle of the second half, which he then followed with a save to his right. World level.
Will he be able to win the World Cup the next time we see him in a Liverpool shirt?
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
A solid but not impressive exit for Trent, but for the right-back it shouldn’t have been anything more – he did his job and did it well.
We’ve seen flashes of his quality on the ball threatening to split the game.
Now he’s in the hands of Gareth Southgate, let’s hope England realise the generational talent they have.
Joe Gomez – 7
Since Ibrahima Konate got knocked out, Gomez was the only player left after midweek, and the extra responsibility from that match shifted to this one.
He also gathered on the front foot, which allowed his side to maintain dominance over the guests.
Virgil van Dijk — 7
One of the players, who lost to Che Adams with a free kick, reacted too late to influence the course of the match, but otherwise confidently kept himself in the center of defense.
He could have scored a goal himself and, although he reacted slowly to Adams, made seven interceptions.
Andy Robertson – 8
The Scot took another important step in his competition with Trent, adding two to his tally thanks to both a dead ball and his trademark pass down the left flank.
Energetic and synchronized with Nunes, Robertson was a clear benefactor of Kostas Tsimikas acting as his deputy, an example to be followed not only as a left-back.
It is also worth noting that he now ranks first in assists among defenders in the Premier League with 53 assists.
Fabinho – 8
A player who had willingly been under the microscope, but there were no signs of the thick mud on which he had recently trampled.
Having won just two goal selections in his last nine matches, Fabinho made two in the first half alone and was recruited from the start — Liverpool will want more of that on his return.
In the late 90s, he had four successful ball selections to his credit.
Harvey Elliott – 8
In his 14th start of the season, he made his first assist of the campaign, which was an outstanding performance by the 19-year-old.
Smart, forward-thinking and quick to cover the right flank, Elliott continues to play with maturity beyond his age and was more than worthy of his applause after he was taken off.
Thiago – 8
A key distributor and interceptor, giving the Reds control that they haven’t always had the pleasure of experiencing throughout the season.
It was a neat working day for Thiago with a 92.7 gear accuracy, as he helped make the victory as routine as possible, which contributed to a good change of pace for both fans and players.
Spain’s loss is really Liverpool’s gain.
Mohamed Salah — 7
It wasn’t exactly Salah’s day, he had his moments, but that missing one percent was enough to be the difference between him putting his name on the record or making an assist.
He’s still actively involved, but after five goals in the last four games, it was just a case of him sharing love, wasn’t it?
Darwin Nunez – 9
We continue to see the growing chemistry and rapport that Nunes has found with his fellow strikers, which certainly bodes well for a post-World Cup restart.
On the left flank, as at Spurs, his range of passes — long, short and heel to boot —was on display, as was his first completion of both goals.
A threat to the opponent, Nunez constantly caught the ball, it was a real pleasure to watch him – and he will only improve.
Roberto Firmino – 9
After the disappointment of being snubbed by Brazil, Bobby took a little time to show what they might be missing, with a timely header at the back post and his ninth goal of the season.
He is only two less than last season (11).
It may have been a mistake when Southampton scored a penalty, but it’s just a small mistake in an outstanding game. He turned on with alacrity, constantly offered a pass option and was also clean.
James Milner (out for Elliott, 68′) – 6 – 600- This is the first match in the Premier League for a 36-year-old football player, but at some point he slalomed like a man half his age…
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left in place of Firmino, 75′) – 6 – Stable return and valuable minutes before an important training block for him.
Fabio Carvalho (coming out in place of Nunez, 86′) – not applicable – bonus minutes, because he also has a valuable few weeks ahead of him.
Kostas Tsimikas (coming on as a substitute for Robertson, 86′) – no data – a little late defense, but not enough time to have any lasting impact.
Nat Phillips (out instead of Alexander-Arnold, 86′) – inapplicable – barely saw the ball, but was accurate in each of his three passes.
Unused substitutes: Kelleher, Adrian, Bajcetic, Doak
Jurgen Klopp – 8
The manager may have had to swap the dugout for a seat in the director’s box and the sideline for an earpiece after the late news that his FA charge was upgraded to a sideline ban, but he will enjoy the bird’s-eye view.
This match was a must-win for Liverpool, as we have a six-week break ahead of us due to a poorly timed World Cup, and this means that after four consecutive wins they have the momentum to return.
This is the longest streak the Reds have managed this season, and they will need to extend it upon their return in all four competitions.
With only seven players heading to Qatar, Klopp will see most of his senior players enjoying a break before taking them to Dubai for a mini pre-season, which will put them in an enviable position.
Liverpool have stabilized the ship and now we are waiting five and a half weeks to see them again, hopefully it will fly by unnoticed.
Player Ratings definitions: 10 = Unmistakable | 9 = Excellent | 8 = Very Good | 7 = Good | 6 = Average | 5 = Below Par | 4 = Bad | 3 = Very Bad | 2 Terrible | 1 = Of course not