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Southampton 0-3 Liverpool
16.59 – Hello, and welcome to our liveblog of Southampton v Liverpool.
We can’t guarantee any mad managers prone to headbutting players, but it should be fascinating nonetheless.
Kick-off is at 5.30pm and we’ll have the team news shortly…
17.22 – So here are the teams for today:
SOUTHAMPTON: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Rodriguez, Steven Davis, Lallana, Lambert. Subs: Clyne, Yoshida, Ramirez, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Gazzaniga, Gallagher.
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Flanagan, Allen, Gerrard, Henderson, Suarez, Sturridge, Coutinho. Subs: Brad Jones, Toure, Aspas, Moses, Cissokho, Sterling, Teixeira.
17.27 – Liverpool have lost their last three games at St Mary’s, so it looks set to be a big test for them today.
17.30 – Here’s how the Premier League top 5 looks currently looks (Liverpool can go second on goal difference with a win this evening).
1 Chelsea 28 63
2 Arsenal 28 59
3 Man City 26 57
4 Liverpool 27 56
5 Tottenham 27 50
17.30 – We’re underway…
17.33 – Joe Allen starts in place of Raheem Sterling, in a move that’s clearly designed to make Liverpool more solid from a defensive viewpoint.
It’ll be interesting to see if it works out.
17.37 – Great interception from Fonte to stop what would have been a certain goal.
Sturridge outpaces his marker, but his cross towards Suarez is narrowly cut out.
17.38 – Joey Barton is backing Liverpool…
17.43 – After a lively opening, it’s gone relatively quiet in the last few minutes.
A Liverpool match without relentless goalmouth action is a rare thing these days.
17.45 – Shouts for a penalty as Flanagan knocks over Lallana in the box.
The referee ignores claims and waves play on though.
17.46 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
17.49 – Liverpool 1-0 Southampton: The ball bounces fortuitously into Luis Suarez’s path.
There’s nothing fortuitous about the finish though, as he slots the ball past Boruc confidently from the edge of the box (16 mins).
17.50 – That’s just Suarez’s second goal in nine games, surprisingly.
It’s not as if Liverpool have missed his goals much, though.
17.52 – Suarez has just curled a free kick from the edge of the box well over
That’s disappointing, especially by his standards.
17.56 – Great ball into the box from Shaw, but Lambert blasts his ensuing strike well over.
Liverpool, once again, looking far from solid at the back.
18.00 – Southampton break quickly, but Schneiderlin’s cross is well cut out by Johnson.
The Saints are beginning to gain control of this game.
18.03 – Southampton very unfortunate! Lambert knocks down a deep cross expertly into the path of Lallana, who hits the post from close range.
That’s a big let-off for Liverpool.
18.07 – Here’s a look at Suarez’s goal.
18.10 – Excellent build-up play ends with Schneiderlin blasting the ball over from the edge of the box.
Southampton are still well in this game, whereas Liverpool, despite leading, need to pick up the pace a little.
18.15 – Luke Shaw crosses, Rickie Lambert lets it run and Jay Rodriguez hits the ball first time, forcing Mignolet into a fine save.
The hosts have responded very well to the Liverpool goal, despite not scoring.
18.17 – HALF-TIME: SOUTHAMPTON 0-1 LIVERPOOL
18.28 – So at half-time, it’s Liverpool 1-0 Southampton.
The visitors took the lead thanks to a typically clinical Luis Suarez finish.
However, the Saints have fought back well, and have missed a few half chances to get back in the game.
The introduction of Joe Allen in place of Sterling today appears to have had somewhat of an effect — while Liverpool haven’t been entirely assured defensively, they certainly look less vulnerable to the counter-attack than they have done in previous matches.
18.30 – An amused-looking Roy Hodgson is in attendance today.
Source: Chris Ison
18.32 – Gaston Ramirez is coming on for Steven Davis at half-time.
18.33 – The second half has begun…
18.37 – Do you agree?
18.38 – More good build-up play from Southampton, but Lallana’s shot is tame ultimately.
Meanwhile, it looks as if Sterling is about to come on for Liverpool.
18.40 – Ramirez is proving influential already.
He’s finding gaps between the Liverpool midfield and defence, and dictating the play nicely.
Source: Chris Ison
Southampton’s Rickie Lambert reacts after missing a shot on goal.
18.44 – A rare Liverpool attack ends as Lovren intercepts the onrushing Suarez.
Shortly thereafter, Coutinho comes off with Sterling taking his place.
18.46 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
18.49 – Liverpool 2-0 Southampton: Suarez gets away from Lovren and crosses for Sterling, who slots it into the net with his first touch since coming on for his sixth goal of the season, just over a minute after entering the action (58 mins).
Southampton will be very disappointed, particularly as it’s come against the run of play.
18.52 – Here’s the Sterling goal…
18.58 – That second goal appears to have really taken the wind out of Southampton’s sails.
They’re struggling to carve out chances now, and as I type, Sturridge rounds the goalkeeper but fails to hit the target from a tight angle.
Liverpool also have adopted a much more defensive-looking set-up in this second half.
19.02 – Sloppy play from Fonte, who allows Suarez to rob the ball off him in a dangerous area.
The Uruguayan, however, fails to find Sturridge with his shot.
Seconds later, Gerrard forces Boruc to tip away a shot for a corner with a stinging drive from distance.
19.05 – Another break sees Suarez played through, yet his subsequent shot goes narrowly wide.
Southampton look out of sorts now, as Sam Gallagher replaces Rickie Lambert, and Victor Wanyama comes on for Jack Cork.
19.10 – This game appears to be fading badly.
Southampton look as if they know they can’t get anything out of it, while Liverpool are being more pragmatic than usual, as reflected by the fact that they’ve yet to concede.
Source: Chris Ison
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling scores the game’s second goal.
19.19 – Fans are exiting St Mary’s in their droves as the game enters into the stoppage time.
The away supporters, however, remain in their seats and are singing loudly in celebration of their impending victory.
19.20 – Suarez has been named man-of-the-match by Sky.
Given that he’s got a goal and an assist, it’s hard to argue with that.
19.22 – PENALTY FOR LIVERPOOL!
19.22 – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!
19.24 – Liverpool 3-0 Southampton: Fonte pulls down Suarez in the box and Gerrard finds the top corner with the subsequent penalty (90 mins).
It was all over long ago though.
19.25 – FULL-TIME: LIVERPOOL 3-0 SOUTHAMPTON
19.32 – So Liverpool are now unbeaten in nine after that game.
It wasn’t always as straightforward as the scoreline suggests, with Southampton enjoying dominant spells both before and after half-time.
However, the difference between the sides was ultimately Luis Suarez, with the Uruguayan striker scoring one goal and creating two.
The Reds’ clinical finishing ensured they go into second position and remain very much in the title race, but perhaps more importantly from Brendan Rodgers’ perspective, they looked a lot more solid defensively today than has been the case of late.
19.33 – Right, that’s all from me.
Thanks for reading and commenting, and enjoy the rest of your weekends.