A performance lacking any real dynamic or end product left Liverpool with no route to Wembley on Wednesday night as Southampton once again proved they deserved their place in the final.
|Image via The Telegraph|
A late winner from substitute Shane Long didn't tell the complete story of the match but Southampton undoubtably should get full credit for pushing Jurgen Klopp's team to one side.
The Saints did not defend for the whole 90 minutes, that would be unfair to say but when they did need to defend they did it well and they did it in numbers. Liverpool just have no clue how to break sides down and it's getting pretty bloody annoying.
Pit us against a free flowing Manchester City and I'll show you a confident three points, pit us against a supposedly lower calibre of opposition and I'll show you a side that has no idea.
For me, Emre Can created some of the issues as with both himself and Henderson in the midfield it throws things out of balance. His second half shot almost helped him redeem himself but Fraser Forster had other ideas.
Then you have the Sturridge issue. I personally don't feel he should be carrying all the blame, he definitely had chances he should have converted but had to wait until the second 45 to even get any service. What frustrates me is that people are quick to lambast the forward but where the hell was Adam Lallana? He was utterly absent last night, one of the only times I saw the camera focus on him was when he had the cheek to shout at Alexander-Arnold for a slightly dodgy pass. Trent was arguably the most inventive player on the pitch for us on Wednesday night so god knows why Lallana thought that was acceptable or more importantly would help the situation.
There were occasional sparks from Coutinho and Firmino but we all know this set up works better when the latter isn't pushed out wide. It's just a combination of issues that ultimately result in Liverpool having no clue how to break sides down and it's worrying.
With Wolverhampton Wanderers up next (my home town) I can't deal with watching us lose that one. I actually hope Klopp does play a team of youngsters because at this rate they will probably have more theories on how to break down a championship side...
Stay tuned to The Liver Bird over the coming days for a Wolves match preview with the opposition view from my fella.