English Premiership

BR relishing Suarez return

2013-09-22 11:00
Luis Suarez (Getty Images)

Liverpool - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits the return of Luis Suarez cannot come soon enough after his side surrendered their unbeaten Premier League record with a 1-0 defeat against Southampton.

WRAP: English Premiership

Dejan Lovren scored the only goal of the game for Southampton in the second half at Anfield on Saturday and, despite long spells of possession, Liverpool were unable to get back on level terms.

Deprived of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who is out with a shoulder injury, Liverpool struggled to break down a disciplined Southampton defence.

However, Rodgers isn't worried because he believes the imminent return of controversial Uruguay striker Suarez from suspension will do much to address the lack of spark in the final third of the pitch.

Suarez, who attempted to enginner a move to Arsenal in pre-season before being forced to stay, has now served the final game of his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last season and is in contention to feature in their League Cup third-round tie at Manchester United on Wednesday.

"I think that's a positive; the fact that he is back now, the ban has finished and he's available from next week," Rodgers said.

"Sometimes in these games it's players like Luis who can make the difference. It's going to be great to have him back.

"I think he's in a good condition and he's been playing games, both behind closed doors and ones that have been organised for him. He's been doing a lot of specific work with the conditioning teams.

"He's obviously not going to be 100 per cent, when you come into these sorts of cup games that are at a greater intensity.

"But he's a worker and he's a fighter and his condition is good. He's in a good place. He just needs to get games to bring him right up to full speed."

While Suarez will pep up Liverpool's attack, Rodgers was particularly disappointed with the manner of the goal his side conceded.

He included four centre-backs in his starting line-up only to see Liverpool lose a goal from a corner when Croatia international Lovren headed home.

"To have so many defensive-minded players, to lose a goal like that was criminal," Rodgers added.

"It hurts, because we haven't tasted defeat for such a long time.

"But I'm still very optimistic for the season. Obviously the defeat was hard to swallow, but our optimism is very much intact and we feel we can have a really good season.

"We never really got going from the off. It was a bit lethargic and technically we were short, so it was a very disappointing result and performance for us.

"We were flat and slow in our game. Which hasn't been like us.

"We'll just put it down as one of those days and now we need to go on another good run."

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino felt the result was richly deserved for his side after they restricted Liverpool to just a handful of chances.

Steven Gerrard twice went close from free-kicks while Victor Moses brought a smart save out of Southampton goalkeeper Artur Boruc.

But that was the best the home side could muster and the Saints might have increased the margin of victory further had Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet not produced a brilliant double save to deny Luke Shaw.

"We are very pleased and satisfied with the performance of the team," Pochettino said.

"We played very well in a very tough stadium so we are very pleased with how we played.

"I think especially in the second half we were much superior to them and we developed how we wanted to play.

"The secret also was not conceding any goals. It's also really good that one of our defenders got on the scoresheet.

"But we are just thinking ahead to the next game and nothing else. I've been in football too many years to be carried away."



What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
Friday, 22 December 2017
Arsenal v Liverpool, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.