Southampton V Liverpool 5 Key Talking Points

Virgil van Dijk has been very impressive for Southampton this season, which included the brilliant performance against Inter in the Europa League. The Dutch international put in another solid performance against Liverpool, and he was instrumental in keeping the trio of Coutinho, Firmino and Mane quiet.

While van Dijk was lucky to escape being penalised for pulling Firmino’s shirt, his performance in the defence caught the attention of the Reds’ fans, who wondered if Jurgen Klopp also took note.

Not much happening at St. Mary's. Only a matter of time before Liverpool bid for Virgil van Dijk, though.

— Paddy Power (@paddypower) November 19, 2016

Could it be a matter of time before there is yet another contact from Liverpool to Southampton over a possible purchase of a first-team player?

#4 Importance of Adam Lallana to the Liverpool system

SWANSEA, WALES - OCTOBER 01: Adam Lallana of Liverpool (L) is chased by Jack Cork of Swansea City (L) during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

When Jurgen Klopp joined Liverpool last season, many tipped Adam Lallana to struggle to find an important role for himself in the side. However, the player has proven his critics wrong as the England international is enjoying a brilliant season where he’s established himself as a key member for the English national team and Liverpool, with many crediting the turn-around in his fortunes to the German coach.

His injury early in the international friendly versus Spain meant that Lallana had to be left out of the squad for the game against Southampton, and the impact of his absence in midfield was evident for Liverpool as the side missed his pressing game to unsettle the opposition defence. The player’s influence was clear in the game against Manchester United earlier this season, when he started on the bench and the team’s performance was raised significantly after his introduction.

It has been reported that Lallana could miss two or three more games for Liverpool because of the injury. The English international is a vital cog in Klopp’s system for Liverpool and the manager will hope that Lallana makes a quick recovery and returns to the first-team soon to help continue their quest for the elusive Premier League title.

#5 A rare clean sheet for Liverpool

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Dejan Lovren of Liverpool (R) clears the ball while under pressure from Steven Davis of Southampton (L) during the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Twelve games into the season, Liverpool find themselves provisionally top of the table. And yet the team managed to keep a clean sheet for just the second time in the season – coincidentally the other clean sheet also came in a 0-0 draw (against Manchester United).

The Liverpool defence wasn’t stretched too much because the team dominated possession, but there were certainly some nervous moments which were well handled by the defenders. Despite being booed by the home crowd, former Saints player Dejan Lovren put in a cool and composed performance.

Joel Matip continued to enhance his reputation at Liverpool with another assured display, and the clean sheet will add to his confidence, just like it would for keeper Loris Karius – who didn’t have much to do in the game. The German keeper would have come away feeling very positive of not conceding a goal after failing to do so in most of his games for the club. 

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