Mane's 9/10 performance helps spare Adrian's blushes
SOUTHAMPTON, England -- Liverpool had to huff and puff to gain three Premier League points in a 2-1 win at Southampton, where Sadio Mane was the star performer against his former club while goalkeeper Adrian's error cost his team a clean sheet but not any points.
Another win despite not being at their optimum again and more evidence of the side writing wrongs in the second half, in which they created more chances.
Another first half of football where Liverpool allowed the opposition too many chances, with Southampton having six shots from inside the box. The European champions struggled to cope with the high press adopted by the hosts, who targeted their tiredness from Super Cup exertions. Goalkeeper Adrian's gaffe with less than 10 minutes to go left Liverpool hanging on at the end.
Manager rating out of 10
Jurgen Klopp, 6 -- Had to shuffle his pack given the distance of travel and the energy expended during the win over Chelsea in midweek which went to extra time and penalties. Once again made structural changes at half-time to see Liverpool improve after the break. Will be concerned by the opposition finding it easy to create chances against his charges.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Adrian, 5 -- Started despite taking a heavy knock to his ankle by a supporter during the Super Cup celebrations. Dithered on a goal kick that was charged down by James Ward-Prowse. Pulled off a superb save to deny Maya Yoshida's header, but had an absolute nightmare late on by kicking a pass straight at Danny Ings, who scored.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 -- Liverpool look more enterprising on the right when he is in the XI and the defender was involved in much of the team's attacking play, offering two key passes. As with the rest of the back four, second-guessed himself a few times under pressure from Saints press.
DF Joel Matip, 6 -- He didn't fare too well under the press from Saints and allowed Che Adams to get in behind him for their best chance of the first half, but won many of his battles and was continually there to clear danger.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 6 -- Cleverly put Adams off as Southampton worked an early chance and wasn't happy with some of the passing options available to him in the first half. Still was the calmest presence at the back in the chaos.
DF Andy Robertson, 6 -- A goal-saving sliding challenge to deny Nathan Redmond, drilled in a shot that Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn had to turn behind. Will expect more from himself with the ball given the high standards set last season as will Alexander-Arnold.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 -- Solid and the most consistent player in midfield. Brilliantly shrugged off pressure to turn, open up the pitch and set Mane off in one of the team's best moves of the second half.
MF James Milner, 6 -- Needed to get bandaged up after getting a cut in a clash of heads with Ward-Prowse. Just wide with a strike from distance on 55 minutes. Played the ball into Mane for the opener and watched the Senegal speedster work his wizardry.
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 6 -- An encouraging, bursting run early on led to Liverpool's first attack and he supplied a fine ball that Salah should have done better with just after the half-hour mark. Didn't see enough of the ball in the first half. Great cover defending for Alexander-Arnold to thwart Nathan Redmond and good in his duels.
FW Sadio Mane, 9 -- Cut inside to curl in another belting goal on the stroke of half-time to relieve the pressure on Liverpool. Wonderful scooped pass to release Mohamed Salah, whose effort was too tame. Played a stellar ball to Firmino, who should have done better than shooting wide before feeding the Brazil international again after regaining possession to put Liverpool 2-0 up. Five key passes, two tackles and a clearance too!
FW Roberto Firmino, 7 -- Dropped deep to aid Liverpool's work in midfield, but was starved of quality service in the first half along with Mane and Salah. A beautiful drilled finish for his side's second after skipping past a few markers.
FW Mohamed Salah, 6 -- Wasn't in the game enough with just 21 touches and didn't display his typical efficiency in front of goal. The Egyptian King is only human after all and already has so much football in his legs this season.
MF Fabinho, NR -- Replaced Milner in midfield on 75 minutes.
FW Divock Origi , NR -- Replaced Salah in the front three on 79 minutes.
MF Jordan Henderson, NR -- Replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain on 89 minutes.