Liverpool were well fancied to beat Southampton this weekend and maintain their good start to the Premier League season, but what they produced was not similar to the efficiency we have so far seen this season.
Liverpool dominated possession but the Saints played bravely, getting into good positions and ultimately producing more efforts on goal which is what made the difference.
Here are five things Brendan Rodgers needs to look at.
Gerrard will always be one of Liverpool’s most important players because of his experience and his quality as a central midfielder.
However, he looked tired at times during the match, which affected his decision making and Rodgers has to work out where to give Gerrard rests regularly throughout the season to keep him fresh.
Rodgers made several changes to the side for this match, which included four centre backs across the back four.
Liverpool need to stay consistent with their team selection and tactics because if things are changing on a constant basis, this sort of frustrating performance is going to pop up and cost the team points.
Liverpool’s midfield trio of Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Lucas could all be seen playing different positions and roles over the 90 minutes than the ones they started the match with.
Liverpool learned that they need a plan B when sides aggressively press them high up the pitch.
Some have called Southampton’s high pressing game a brave or naïve tactic but it works because it puts pressure on the opposition to smash the ball long, which is unsuited to their style of play.
Distribution of the ball under pressure has to be much better.
Aspas is not the creative midfielder or attacking player who can replace Philippe Coutinho.
He should be used as support to Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez this season but he is never going to be able to play the sort of role where he can come up with killer chances during a game because he’s simply not that sort of player.
To end on a positive note, Liverpool learned that Simon Mignolet has the ability to become a very good, consistent and long serving goalkeeper for the club.
His distribution nearly got Liverpool into trouble but that was only because Southampton pressed the ball so high up the pitch. However, his ability to make saves from different positions is as good as anyone else in the league.
What do you think Liverpool should take from the defeat?
image: © Sanjiva