Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Reds fume over VAR/ Alexander-Arnold’s form becomes a real concern

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Liverpool’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title took another hit this evening, as the Reds were put to the sword by a game Southampton.

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Reds fume over VAR/ Alexander-Arnold’s form becomes a real concern

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Match highlights

Watch the official highlights from Southampton’s 1-0 win against Liverpool.

Ings makes the difference

Jurgen Klopp’s men made the trip to St. Mary’s a short time ago, for their latest league outing.

The champions of course headed into proceedings in search of a bounce-back result, on the back of a pair of respective draws with West Brom and Newcastle over the last couple of weeks.

This had allowed Manchester United to join Liverpool at the summit of the English top-flight, making a 3-point haul of absolutely paramount importance this evening.

Southampton 1-0 Liverpool: Reds fume over VAR/ Alexander-Arnold’s form becomes a real concern

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 20: Victor Lindelof of Manchester United celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 4-0 during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford on December 20, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

As outlined above, however, when all was said and done in the southeast, the visitors’ woes only ramped up further.

Upon the final whistle sounding, a solitary Southampton goal proved the difference between the sides, sending Liverpool back to Merseyside with their tails between their legs.

The game’s deciding moment came inside three minutes, when a brilliantly worked set-piece saw James Ward-Prowse’s dinked delivery set Danny Ings free, allowing the English international to loft a wonderful finish into the far corner of his former side’s net:

The visitors pushed for an equaliser as the clash progressed, pinning Southampton in their own half during the early exchanges following the interval.

All told, though, Liverpool, once again, simply failed to produce when it mattered most.

Manchester United will now have the opportunity to secure sole ownership of the Premier League’s top spot in 8 days’ time, when the Red Devils make the trip to Turf Moor to take on Burnley.

VAR & TAA

On the back of proceedings coming to a close at St. Mary’s, meanwhile, despite the relative lack of action over the course of the 90 minutes, a number of noteworthy talking points have since come to the fore online.

Unsurprisingly, one has centered on VAR, with the Liverpool faithful of the widespread opinion that their side should have been awarded at least one penalty this evening.

The first claim came when Gini Wijnaldum’s goalbound strike struck the arm of Southampton stopper Jack Stephens, before Sadio Mane later went to ground under a clumsy challenge on the part of Kyle Walker-Peters:

Another noteworthy, albeit slightly less high-profile takeaway stemming from the action at St. Mary’s, though, surrounds Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The English stopper was at fault for the only goal of the clash, after losing track of Danny Ings, before misjudging the flight of James Ward-Prowse’s free-kick.

This, however, only marks the tip of the iceberg when it comes to TAA’s recent form.

The 22-year-old, who was widely hailed as the best right-back in the Premier League en route to Liverpool’s title success last season, has looked a shadow of his former self for weeks now.

Sloppy in possession, positionally inept, and lacking the sheer will of Andy Robertson on the opposite flank, Alexander-Arnold’s performances are developing into a genuine concern for Jurgen Klopp and co.

Perfectly summing up the struggles of the talented stopper this evening, meanwhile, is the statistic showcased below, revealing that TAA managed to surrender possession on no less than 38 occasions over the course of his 77 minutes on the pitch versus Southampton:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Liverpool FC 17 16 33
2 Manchester United FC 16 9 33
3 Leicester City FC 17 10 32
4 Tottenham Hotspur FC 16 14 29
5 Manchester City FC 15 11 29
6 Southampton FC 17 7 29
7 Everton FC 16 6 29
8 Aston Villa FC 15 13 26
9 Chelsea FC 17 11 26
10 West Ham United FC 17 3 26
11 Arsenal FC 17 1 23
12 Leeds United 17 -3 23
13 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 17 -6 22
14 Crystal Palace FC 17 -7 22
15 Newcastle United FC 16 -8 19
16 Burnley FC 15 -11 16
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 17 -7 14
18 Fulham FC 15 -10 11
19 West Bromwich Albion 17 -28 8
20 Sheffield United FC 17 -21 2
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 12
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 11
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 11
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 10
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 8
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 8
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 7
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 7
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 6
Abraham, Tammy Chelsea FC 6
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 5
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 5
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 5
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 5

Source: 101greatgoals.com