Southampton gave the Premier League a timely reminder that Liverpool are not infallible by holding the Reds to a 0-0 draw at St Mary’s.
The result will have no doubt come as a disappointment to Jurgen Klopp, but it seems it was far from a shock.
In fact, the German has admitted he thought his side would perform much worse.
It seems Klopp may have been alluding to the impact of the international break, telling reporters:
“Two things are really important when you play football: the result and the performance.
“The result is not perfect, but the performance was much better than we could have expected, when we think about our preparation for the game.
“It was not bad first half, much better second half. It was a really good performance against a side that are difficult to play against. Southampton are one of the best organised teams in the league.
“Very often in my life I have lost games like this, when you are so much better and have many more chances. But we didn’t because we stayed concentrated, and that’s very important, maybe the most important thing for us.
“I’m not happy, but I’m fine.”
It’s almost impossible to call how Liverpool will fare overall this season. They’re 100/30 to win the title, but they’re at the same odds to finish outside the top four, so it’s clear no-one is feeling properly confident about their chances.
The Anfield side are no longer top of the league, Chelsea having overtaken them with a narrow victory at Middlesbrough. Southampton are a force to be reckoned with, though, so it’s no surprise Klopp is happy to have headed north with a draw.
Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho, and Roberto Firmino have all been on fire this season, but they looked off the boil on the South Coast. It seemed fitting that Mane would play a big role against his old club whom he left in the summer, but it was not to be as Liverpool were made to settle.