Racing to a first half lead through Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge before being pegged back by three goals in a dismal second half, Liverpool failed to follow up on their Europa League success earlier in the week with a ultimately disappointing showing on the South Coast.
“In the second half, Southampton for sure deserved it,” was Reds boss Jurgen Klopp’s blunt assessment, speaking to the press following the final whistle. “But of course we were responsible for the first half and the second half, so we could have done better, but that’s how it is in football. You have to use your chances,” conceded the German. “In the moment when they scored their first goal, it was clear that something would happen in the game. If we could have played better then 3-1 was possible, I don’t think we had the chances for this, so it is like it is,” he said, before reiterating, “In the second half, Southampton deserved the three points.”
Video courtesy of The Reds
With a pair of matches in hand, the Reds still have a faint shot of securing European football next season, but things aren’t about to get any easier with the competition for a top six finish as fierce as ever.
“There are still 27 points for us to get from nine games? If we can get all of them, there’s a chance, if not it’s difficult,” mused Klopp. “It is difficult and we don’t have to dream of things like this – we have to play football and win games. If we play like we did in the first half, we can win games,” he said, staying optimistic, but Klopp was sure to follow up with a stern warning. “If we play like we did in the second half, it’s a little bit more difficult.”