Opinion

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Player ratings as Danny Ings stunner sinks disappointing Reds

Robbie Copeland
Ings was the Southampton hero
Ings was the Southampton hero / Robin Jones/Getty Images
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Liverpool were shocked on the south coast as a beautiful early effort from Danny Ings condemned the champions to a 1-0 defeat against Southampton, their first in 12 league matches.

Ings returned to haunt his former employers with less than two minutes on the clock to get Southampton off to a flying start. A James Ward-Prowse free-kick, supplemented by a disguised run by Theo Walcott, caught Trent Alexander-Arnold in two minds, and the on-fire Ings lifted it over Alisson with his left foot when it seemed impossible to score.

Southampton might have expected to come in for an onslaught after scoring so early, but that didn't come from a Liverpool team who looked bereft of ideas. A disjointed side that featured Jordan Henderson at centre-back failed to meaningfully break down the Saints, who went home with a deserved three points.

Let's get into some player ratings...


Southampton


2.

Fraser Forster (GK) - 6/10 - The experienced keeper's first Premier League appearance since April last year but he looked confident in his abilities, even if he had a far quieter evening than he would have anticipated. Didn't face a shot on target until the 75th minute when he held from Sadio Mane.

Kyle Walker-Peters (RB) - 8/10 - His buzzing attacking presence kept Andy Robertson guessing at times and dealt with the threat of Mane admirably.

Jan Bednarek (CB) - 8/10 - Another steady, controlled performance from a player quietly becoming one of the best central defenders in the Premier League. Threw himself in front of everything as is the nature of his game - he leaves nothing to chance.

Jack Stephens (CB) - 7/10 - Another big defensive performance from a player becoming central to Ralph Hasenhuttl's side.

Ryan Bertrand (LB) - 7/10
- Quieter than his counterpart on the other side of the pitch but didn't put a foot wrong in any of his work.

2. Midfielders

Ward-Prowse vying with Roberto Firmino
Ward-Prowse vying with Roberto Firmino / Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Stuart Armstrong (RM) - 6/10 - Didn't get much of a chance to get on the ball but that was the consequence of Southampton scoring early more than anything. Tracked Robertson well and contributed to an exceptional defensive display.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 8/10 - His clever set-piece, as usual, created their first goal and he brought focus and leadership to their midfield as they defended the lead.

Ibrahima Diallo (CM) - 7/10 - Only his second start for the first team after a frustrating start to life in England, but he did his prospects no harm as he looked at home in Hasenhuttl's high-intensity midfield set-up.

Moussa Djenepo (LM) - 5/10 - Barely had a touch before an apparent hamstring injury forced him off.


3. Forwards

Ings chips an effort over Alisson
Ings chips an effort over Alisson / Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Danny Ings (CF) - 8/10 - Absolutely audacious finish for the first goal as he lobbed Alisson from an impossible angle. He kept Liverpool's makeshift centre-backs guessing with his ingenious movement and was a constant threat.

Theo Walcott (CF) - 7/10 - Disguised run sold Trent Alexander-Arnold down the river for the first goal and he continued to be a clever and effective foil for Ings.


4. Substitutes

Nathan Tella - 7/10

Daniel N'Lundulu - 6/10

Yann Valery - 6/10


Liverpool

5. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Alisson Becker GIF by Liverpool FC - Find & Share on GIPHY

Alisson (GK) - 6/10 - Had little to do beyond pick the ball out of his net, but there was nothing he could do about Ings' ridiculous finish.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - 4/10 - Desperately misjudged the flight of the ball for Southampton's opener and struggled to offer his usual threat in the final third. Gave the ball away 38 times, more than any player in a Premier League game this season, and his substitution for the final 15 said it all.

Jordan Henderson (CB) - 6/10 -
Forced to drop back with Klopp opting for experience in the face of a Southampton team he expected to ask serious questions of his back line. Did the job competently but his limited aerial presence was caught out on a few occasions.

Fabinho (CB) - 6/10 - Starting to look at home at centre-back now but will have more assured performances than this one.

Andy Robertson (LB) - 6/10 - Possibly Liverpool's most potent attacking threat but that really isn't saying much after a poor day at the office.


6. Midfielders

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Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - 6/10 - It's not often that Wijnaldum's understated nature is a real downside but Liverpool could have been doing with him providing something here.

Thiago (CM) - 5/10 - Typically sharp in his passing but was limited to far fewer touches than he is accustomed by a Southampton team who gave little in the engine room. Early booking knocked him out of his rhythm somewhat.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (CM) - 4/10 - Called in to give Klopp something different but looked tentative as he continues his return from injury. Still finding his feet and it showed as he was substituted before the hour mark.


7. Forwards

Shots Fired Goal GIF by BT Sport - Find & Share on GIPHY

Mohamed Salah (RW) - 5/10 - Tried, tried and tried again but could barely find half a yard of space as Southampton slammed the door shut.

Roberto Firmino (CF) - 4/10 - Absolutely anonymous for the most part. Really disappointing just as his form looked to be picking up.

Sadio Mane (LW) - 5/10 - The best of Liverpool's front three but that was a bit like picking a favourite kick in the nuts on a night to forget.


8. Substitutes

Xherdan Shaqiri - 5/10

James Milner - 6/10

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