Jurgen Klopp felt it was as if his Liverpool players were “surprised” at how good Southampton played at St Mary’s.
Southampton made the perfect start as they were ahead after just two minutes. James Ward-Prowse chipped the ball into the penalty area from a free-kick.
Trent Alexander-Arnold missed the ball which allowed Ings in on goal. The forward lofted it brilliantly over Alisson and into the net to put his side in front.
The Saints enjoyed a great first half as Liverpool struggled to get going. Jurgen Klopp’s side did better in the second half, but they struggled to find that all-important breakthrough.
The Premier League champions only managed one shot on target across the entire 90 minutes. That effort came in the 75th-minute from Sadio Mane.
Southampton were well worth all three points. This result moves Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side up to sixth and they are now just four points adrift of Liverpool.
Klopp’s men remain top of the league, but Man United can move three points clear if they win their game in hand.
Man City also have two games in hand on the Reds. Should Pep Guardiola’s men win both, they will go two points above Liverpool.
Speaking to BBC Sport post-match, Klopp insisted that Southampton deserved the victory on Monday night:
“What was disappointing? How long have we got – the start obviously. Not only the goal but the start in general. Congratulations to Southampton they deserved it.
“You know exactly what you are going to get from them, you cannot be surprised but we looked surprised. At the beginning how we played, where we lost the balls, it’s not rocket science. We should have done much better. We played into their hands with the start.
“They put a lot of work in. Our decision making was just not good. That is how it is when you don’t have momentum. We should have had much more chances.
“These are outstanding players but they were not ready from the start. Sadio Mane should have had a penalty tonight, and there was the handball – I’ve no idea.
“It’s not an excuse for the performance but you can get a point if they are given. Now we have to show a reaction.”