Liverpool dealt themselves another damaging blow in their chase for Champions League football. Against Southampton, who can only be considered another bogey side, Liverpool could not find a way to win at Anfield, drawing 0-0.

In a cagey first half that stuttered and failed to find any real rhythm, the match unfolded in intervals. Why Liverpool seem incapable of launching out of the blocks and starting matches with urgency remains a curiosity, one that contributes more to Liverpool making everything more difficult for themselves.

First 15 minutes, Liverpool lacked pace and precision. It was another slow start that required growing into the game. Then there was a spell that showed the Reds gain a grip and find their passing range, while Southampton dropped and allowed Liverpool the ball but denied space. The ball began to move with a bit more tempo and the decision making looked like it might improve Yet, the half ended much as it began slow and safe in possession.

As an indication of how prepared Southampton was to drop and defend, Saints had no shots on Liverpool’s goal and only one touch in the penalty area. Even as they started the second half with slightly more intent, it was clear they had little interest in more than a draw. There was another spell of Liverpool summoning some intent to break the deadlock when they benefitted from a penalty call. Yet they ended the match much as they started, struggling to impose themselves and unable to break down the Saints.

Here are four findings from the match.

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