Liverpool remain top of the Premier League, but missed a chance to extend their advantage after being held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.
With Arsenal drawing against Manchester United and Manchester City overcoming Crystal Palace 2-1 in south London, Liverpool failed to extend a lead at the summit that stood at one point prior to this weekend’s games, though they stay ahead of Pep Guardiola’s side by virtue of scoring more goals.
Expectations were high with Liverpool scoring 12 goals in their past three games, but they were unable to continue that form against the resilient Saints.
Sadio Mane, returning to St Mary’s for the first time since joining a long list of players to swap the south coast for Anfield in June, was bright in an otherwise uneventful first half, forcing an impressive save from Fraser Forster in the 28th minute.
Liverpool upped their efforts to break the deadlock, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne coming close to the opener in the second half.
Jurgen Klopp sent Daniel Sturridge on with 12 minutes remaining to try and swing the match in their favour, but they failed to get the goal, leaving the door open for Chelsea to displace them with a win away at Middlesbrough on Sunday.
There was more interest in the stands than on the pitch during the early exchanges, with former Southampton defender Dejan Lovren roundly booed by the home faithful with every touch.
Clyne and Mane received much gentler treatment, but the Liverpool fans backed their Croatian centre-back with chants of: “Dejan Lovren, he’s top of the league.”