It was a good day at the office for Liverpool as they swept aside Southampton with a convincing 3-0 victory ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League showdown with Sevilla which could decide first place in the group.
That will likely matter very little to Liverpool’s chances of progression, the Champions League could see the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid come second in their groups, whereas if Klopp’s side were to come second to Sevilla, they could draw the likes of Barcelona or Paris Saint-Germain. Whatever happens it’ll be fraught with danger.
But what victory this midweek could do is allow Liverpool to build some more momentum and keep morale high.
The performance of youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold at the weekend might also play a part in that. He suffered a rocky couple of weeks and was seemingly targeted somewhat by Manchester City in a defeat at the Etihad Stadium. But it’s not about the difficult spells as much as it’s about how you recover from them, and Alexander-Arnold’s character comes out of it pretty well.
Although it was a comfortable victory at home to a team who clearly have plenty of problems of their own, what stood out about Alexander-Arnold’s performance was his contribution: his 70 touches of the ball shows that he was quite instrumental to Liverpool’s build-up play, whilst his four tackles mean that he didn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities either.
Interestingly, though, he put in no crosses throughout the entire game, which speaks to the gameplan that Jurgen Klopp seemed to want to put across – the youngster was involved in the build-up from the right-back position, getting more touches than any of the players on the Southampton team, but was attempting to recycle play.
It was a similar story on the other side, where Alberto Moreno saw a similar amount of the ball, but he too played no crosses the entire game. Clearly both full-backs were under strict orders.
But comparing the two also throws up one difference – whereas Alexander-Arnold’s pass accuracy is a very low 64%, Moreno completed 94.1% of his passes.
Moreno himself has battled through a tough period and now looks to be playing a big role in this Liverpool team, and while it might have sounded strange to say six months ago, if the youngster wants to progress and make the right-back spot his own in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne, he’ll have to emulate Moreno.