Carrying a commanding two goal lead into the break after Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge ran riot in the opening exchanges, Liverpool looked on course to bag an easy three-points against Southampton on Sunday before crumbling to bits in the second half and giving up three unanswered goals as the Saints ground out an unlikely result.
“I don’t quite know,” said Reds midfielder Joe Allen when asked how to explain their second half performance. “I don’t know what to say really, but we are all very disappointed,” conceded the Welshman, who saw a spectacular effort saved by Saints ‘keeper Fraser Forster and had a goal ruled out for offside. “To be ahead like that and then throw it away is hugely disappointing.”
Liverpool shot-stopper Simon Mignolet saved Sadio Mane’s well struck penalty not long after the break, but the Senegalese attacker would go on to bag a brace with a curling strike from Graziano Pelle sandwiched between his goals. After finally getting up a head of steam and putting themselves in the frame to compete for a spot in Europe next season, missing out on the South Coast has seriously damaged the Reds ambitions — though Allen isn’t about to rule out a late season charge.
“Our focus has been on the run, gaining that momentum and I thought for large spells it looked like we would keep that going, but to come away with nothing… we can’t look beyond that at the moment,” explained the Liverpool midfielder, obviously disappointed. “We’ll make sure lessons are learned and for the rest of the season we’ll have to get that ball rolling and get some wins again.”