Southampton 0-2 Liverpool: Player Ratings
Liverpool warmed up for the Champions League tie against FC Porto with a comfortable 2-0 win over Southampton at the St. Mary's Stadium as Virgil van Dijk returned to his old stomping ground since the mega-move in January.
It didn’t take long for the Reds to open the scoring as Roberto Firmino latched on to Mohamed Salah’s crisp pass inside the opening 10 minutes, before returning the favour just three minutes from half-time with a cheeky backheel which the Egyptian dispatched.
Having raced to a two-goal lead, the visitors eased off post the interval as the effervescence of the opening 45 minutes had evidently fizzled out. Some lacklustre finishing is sure to garner criticism whereas the hosts lacked the spark and hardly ever troubled Liverpool.
Here are the player ratings...
Alex McCarthy – 6.5/10
The 28-year-old was helpless on both the goal-scoring occasions but did pull off some vital saves that prevented Southampton from being consigned to a heavier defeat. He was also helped by some sloppy finishing from Mane and the likes in the second-half.
Cedric Soares – 7.5/10
Cedric’s all-round performance made him one of the few bright players for an otherwise resigned Saints outfit. A danger down the left, the Portuguese conjured the only real moment of quality from the hosts by calling Karius to make a punch with a venomous shot, less than 10 minutes from time.
Jack Stephens – 6/10
The English youngster was caught off-guard each time Liverpool went on to score and was easily overpowered at the back as Liverpool effortlessly forayed into the final third.
Wesley Hoedt – 6/10
Hoedt was error-prone in the first half with shoddy defending and was responsible for the opening goal. He tried to redeem himself after a stuttering start by pushing himself into challenges and also made an effort when he connected to Ward-Prowse’s free-kick but could only drag it wide.
Ryan Bertrand – 8/10
Majority of Southampton’s initiatives at goal came through him, as Bertrand was a livewire down the right. He could’ve notched up an assist or two had his team-mates been more clinical with his pin-point passes and clever crosses.
Oriol Romeu – 7/10
The first Southampton player on the evening to go into the books, Romeu was heavily involved in the attack and produced a moment of real ingenuity when the Spaniard laid a terrific pass for Hojbjerg to convert. If only the latter could find the back of a net with more precision.
Mario Lemina – 6/10
He caused a tizzy when he went down in agony after a challenge from Oxlade-Chamberlain in the third minute and then again with an issue that the medical staff had to intervene in. Lemina seemed very off-coloured and later was substituted due to sickness.
James Ward-Prowse – 7/10
There were flashes of promise from the 23-year-old who has been on a fine run of form of late, although it’s a different story he couldn’t conjure anything great out of his hat here. But he was undeniably involved in the attack and mustered two shots at goal – half of what the whole of Southampton squad managed throughout the game.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – 6/10
Wasted a brilliant chance to pull one back for the hosts when he meekly squandered Romeu’s beautiful pass in the first half. The former Bayern midfielder was nothing to write home about.
Dusan Tadic – 7/10
The Serb was in the thick of the things for the Saints as Tadic tried to create chances for his teammates and also tried his luck at goal on a few occasions.
Guido Carrillo – 6/10
Carillo made his first full home debut since joining from AS Monaco in January and capped off a whimper. The striker was in no man’s land as the home side struggled to make an impact in the box and the only effort he could muster was easily denied by Karius.
Soufiane Boufal – 6/10
Boufal unsuccessfully replaced a struggling Lemina just before the hour mark as the Saints’ tempo remained leisurely.
Shane Long – 6/10
Another failed substitution by Mauricio Pellegrino, Long replaced Ward-Prowse to bring flair into an otherwise toothless attack but he failed to do the same.
Steven Davis – 6/10
The final substitution by the hosts was also the final nail in the coffin as Davis too disappointed and did nothing to salvage anything from the match, although the excuse of a short game time may work in his favour this time.