Best Liverpool Player - Simon Mignolet
While I can understand arguments for Dejan Lovren who was impressive in his debut, or Jordan Henderson purely because of that beautiful, beautiful pass (more on that later), Mignolet was our best man yesterday. He made several very good saves to bail out a defense that looked very disorganized and overrun late in the game, and the three points Liverpool won are thanks in large part to Simon's efforts. He made 2 very good stops in the first half on a James Ward-Prowse free kick and a cracking long shot from Morgan Schneiderlin. However, the best and most important of his saves came in the 88th minute, when it was everything Liverpool could do to hold onto their one goal lead. Schneiderlin received a ball over the top in the box, and unleashed an absolute rocket from point blank range. Mignolet reacted as well as you could possibly hope for in that situation, and just managed to get fingertips on the ball as it went over his head. He didn't get much, but it was enough as his touch sent the shot into the bar. With as disorganized and outmatched as the defense looked with the game on the line, Mignolet had to stand on his head to preserve the lead, and he did just that.
Worst Liverpool Player - Glen Johnson
The days of Glen Johnson being a threat going forward are gone, and that's a problem for a player that was never really good at defense. He did virtually nothing of value going forward, and actually broke up several attacks by taking ludicrous long shots that never came anywhere near being on goal. With Flanagan being close to returning, and Moreno being eligible for the next game, I really hope we don't have to see Glen Johnson start any more league games. He just isn't the player that he used to be, and his presence in the side is a detriment.
Best Opponent - Victor Wanyama
All preseason, we talked about how great Coutinho looked, and how he was going to have a dominant year. While he still might, he got off to a very slow start, and that was very much because of Wanyama. Coutinho was virtually invisible for most of the match, and it was because Wanyama had him in his pocket. Wanyama blanketed Coutinho and effectively rendered him useless.
Best Goal - Nathaniel Clyne (54')
While I'd love to give this to Sturridge or Sterling, I wouldn't feel right about it. This whole sequence between Clyne and Dusan Tadic was magnificent. The give and go, the backheel flick, and good lord that finish. Not to mention after this goal, Southampton began to really dominate the game, and looked like they could snag a winner pretty much up until Sturridge did it instead.
Worst Miss - Steven Davis (63')
Davis had a glorious opportunity to put Southampton on top after a great setup by Ward-Prowse who played a perfect ball to Davis who was all alone in the middle of the box. All Davis had to do was put the ball to the left of Mignolet who was moving to Davis' right. Fortunately for Liverpool, Davis failed to place the ball, and Mignolet was able to make what ended up being a pretty easy save.
Best Pass - Jordan Henderson (23')
I'm still salivating at the thought of the pass Henderson gave to Sterling for his goal. Never will you see a ball weighted more perfectly. I could watch Henderson make that pass 100 times and not get tired of it.
Best Managerial Decision - Rickie Lambert replaces Philippe Coutinho (76')
This seemed to be the perfect solution to Wanyama sticking to Coutinho like stink on crap. It helped take Wanyama out of the game a bit, and it gave Liverpool another man forward. The Reds instantly took more control, even if it was short lived, and within 2 minutes they took the lead for good. Add this to Rodgers' long list of genius in-game adjustments.
Best Tweet About the Match:
With Liverpool buying so many Southampton players this summer, this was a perfect reaction to Nathaniel Clyne's goal:
BREAKING - Liverpool have submitted a bid for Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne!!— The Football Jester (@FootballJester) August 17, 2014
Best Gif Representation of My Reaction to Henderson's Assist:
Vote for your MOTM below, and if there's any best/worst you'd like to see in the future, please let me know in the comments.