1. Coutinho’s lean spell is over
The Brazilian, as inventive and creative as he is, is often criticised for not scoring enough – but he silenced his critics in emphatic fashion scoring a goal of the highest quality. An absolute screamer from 25 yards, his first goal in the Premier League since December set Liverpool on the road to a vital victory.
2. Dejan Lovren reminded Southampton why they sold him
Lovren left Southampton in somewhat acrimonious circumstances as he forced through a move to Liverpool. That didn’t go down too well at St Mary’s and the home fans took a great deal of pleasure in watching their former centre back have another shaky afternoon. Lovren ended the game on the winning side, but his personal performances are nowhere near the levels he achieved as a Saint.
3. Southampton’s Champions League hopes have taken a serious knock
While the very thought of Southampton in the top four seemed too good to be true, even for many Saints fans, they have remained in the mix for much longer than many thought was possible. But with Arsenal’s upturn in form and Liverpool’s impressive run, the wheels finally seem to be coming off Southampton’s most romantic of seasons.
4. Southampton need Schneiderlin and Mane every week
There are a few reasons for Southampton’s recent dip in form. You can look to the lack of goals from Graziano Pelle in recent weeks and the intermittent form for Dusan Tadic, but Ronald Koeman paid the price for leaving key men Morgan Schneiderlin and Sadio Mane on the bench. Both were introduced in the second half, but it was too late to turn the tide.
5. It was a good weekend for Arsenal (and a bad weekend for refs)
While Liverpool closed to within two points of fourth place, Arsenal are the real winners of the weekend’s Premier League action, consolidating their third place with a controversial 2-1 win over Crystal Palace. With Southampton, Manchester United and Tottenham all dropping points, Arsenal have seized the advantage in the race for Champions League qualification. But the real talking point this weekend has bee over the standard of refereeing, with referees getting several big calls wrong. Surely it won't be long before we see video replays trialled in football.