Liverpool

Unsung Hero: Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produces dynamic display

Unsung Hero: Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain produces dynamic display

Liverpool went top of the Premier League on Saturday after a 2-1 victory away to Southampton, which was their 11th league win in a row.

Southampton spurned chances to take a first-half lead at St Mary’s and were made to rue their profligacy when, just before the interval, Sadio Mane curled an exquisite shot beyond Angus Gunn to give Liverpool the lead. [via Sky Sports]

Roberto Firmino doubled the advantage on 71 minutes and the Reds seemed to be cruising to victory until a late error from Adrian gifted Danny Ings a goal back for the Saints.

The ex-Liverpool striker should have doubled his tally a few moments later, only to sidefoot wide with the goal at his mercy, and Jurgen Klopp’s side fell over the line to maintain their perfect Premier League record this season.

It was another game where a successful result belied a shaky Liverpool performance, with the Reds conceding 12 shots in the opening day win over Norwich and needing to come from behind in the UEFA Super Cup penalty shoot-out triumph against Chelsea.

Liverpool’s cause has not been helped by a spate of injuries, with Alisson out with a calf problem, Nathaniel Clyne sidelined for several months with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and Adrian just about being fit for the Southampton game after recovering from an ankle injury.

One player who is not long back in the Reds’ team after a year out with a serious knee injury is midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who on Saturday made his first Premier League start for Liverpool since a 3-0 win over Bournemouth in April 2018.

The former Southampton man produced a dynamic performance at St Mary’s characterised by four dribbles during the match, more than anyone else on the pitch. [via WhoScored.com]

The 26-year-old completed 34 of his 38 passes for a success rate of 89.5%, the highest of anyone in a Liverpool shirt and higher than any of the other 21 players who started the match. [via WhoScored.com]

Joanna Durkan of This Is Anfield gave him an eight rating and was impressed by his work off the ball, citing a covering run to stop Nathan Redmond in his tracks.

In the Daily Express, Charlie Malam alluded to “a few teasing deliveries” from Oxlade-Chamberlain in a “much improved” performance from the one against Chelsea in Istanbul last week.

An industrious and energetic display on his long-awaited return to Liverpool’s starting line-up should help the midfielder’s case to be included from the start against another one of his former clubs when the Reds welcome Arsenal to Anfield next Saturday.

Liverpool fans, what did you make of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performance at St Mary’s on Saturday? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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