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September 21, 2013
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: N. Swarbrick
• Attendance: 44755
D. Lovren 53'
Thanks for joining us this afternoon, I've been Simon Harrison, and I hope to see you all again next time.
That's all we've got time for, but that was an excellent game at Anfield, ending Liverpool 0-1 Southampton. Pochettino's away tactics press Liverpool into frustration, and Rodgers is left ruing his injury and suspension woes.
Southampton pick up their second win of the season, while Liverpool fail to keep a clean sheet at Anfield for the first time during this campaign. Sturridge saw little of the ball, and the Reds missed the creativity of Coutinho in between the lines.
A somewhat promising first half performance failed to grab a valuable goal for Brendan Rodgers' side, but on reflection of the entire game, the Saints certainly deserved those three points. Mignolet was forced into several great saves, and the hosts never really got going.
THAT'S IT! Southampton take this game 1-0, winning at Anfield and resigning Liverpool to their first defeat of the new season! Dejan Lovren's solitary goal has been enough to take Pochettino's men over the line, and it must be said, they looked good value for it.
90' + 3'
Pochettino is urging his side to continue to squeeze and press until the last minute. The former Espanyol boss was renowned for good results against the top sides in Spain, and it looks as though he can topple the current Premier League leaders here.
90' + 2'
Liverpool's fan are already heading for the exits in their droves, and you can't blame them. Their side have been sluggish and toothless today, and it seems that the Saints can ride out this late pressure.
90' + 1'
Three minutes of stoppage time have been awarded, and Liverpool are getting desperate. The passing is being thrown by the wayside on occasion, with long balls up to Sturridge being preferred.
STERLING! His touch lets him down terribly! The youngster races through on goal, outpacing Fonte with ease, but a horrendous first touch runs away from the substitute and Boruc smothers.
One final change for Pochettino, and it's Jack Cork who will do the honours for the final few minutes. When the Saints players leave the field of play, they look genuinely exhausted, the pressing game that has worked so well today has come at a physical price, that's for sure!
Well claimed by Boruc! A long ball was launched forward in search of Sturridge, but Boruc was alive to the danger. It doesn't seem as though it's going to be Liverpool's day!
ALBERTO! The Spanish U21 international is found on the edge of the area after a good break down the right from Sterling, but Lovren manages to make a block!
Despite having a lead to defend, the away side are continuing to commit men forward, even at this late stage of the game! Their fans are willing them over the line, this would be a huge three points for the travelling Saints.
DAVIS! A defensive header from Gerrard on the front post half-clears a Saints corner, but the substitute decides to try his luck audaciously. Davis thumps towards goal from 30 yards, but Mignolet gets well behind it.
A good move from the Saints gets them to the edge of the Liverpool area, but Rodriguez is robbed of the ball as he looked to turn! I think it was Toure again with the challenge, he's kept his side out of trouble in the last five minutes.
Yellow CardNathaniel Clyne
Ten minutes left on the clock, and Liverpool have a lot of work to do to save this game, Southampton have got their tails up.
Great defending from Toure again! Clyne delivers from the right, and Toure just gets in ahead of Osvaldo to head the ball clear of the front post danger zone! Two important contributions in as many minutes.
OSVALDO! Excellent block from Kolo Toure! The Italian looked to have turned his marker, but the Ivorian threw a valuable leg in front of the shot. The home fans applaud.
STURRIDGE! The in-form striker tries to bend an effort inside the top corner with his left foot, but gets it all wrong. Southampton will be concerned that the former City man had so much time to pick his spot.
Good header away from Fonte, as Enrique looks to deliver early from the left. Southampton continue to look comfortable, Liverpool continue to lack creativity. They're sorely missing Coutinho this afternoon.
With players tiring, Pochettino makes a double change, hoping that the fresh legs will allow his side to get over the line here. Their pressing and game plan has got them this far, there's no reason why they can't see this game out.
Terrible ball from Wanyama, I think that the Kenyan has an inflating sense of what he's capable of with the ball at his feet. A looping ball looking for Rodriguez gives possession needlessly back to the opposition.
Great tackle from Lovren! The goalscorer covered well after the former Chelsea striker sidestepped Shaw with ease, and managed to deflect the ball off Sturridge and behind for a goal kick.
With less than twenty minutes left, it seems that Brendan Rodgers is prepared to gamble, throwing on young Alberto for Skrtel. Unsure how the formation will be altered to cater for this change, but Liverpool know they need a goal and quickly.
Osvaldo wins a corner off Skrtel, as the Italian looked a little isolated, it'll take the pressure off his side. A first time ball is attempted by Schneiderlin, in search of a willing runner into the Liverpool area, but noone is forthcoming and the ball harmlessly rolls out of play.
This game is really getting interesting now, with both sets of fans increasing the atmosphere! Two golden chances in as many minutes, and this final twenty minutes is looking very finely poised. Schneiderlin clears after pinball in the Saints box.
Now Liverpool have a golden chance! Clyne is turned inside out by Sterling, who delivers across goal brilliantly, but Fonte is on hand to clear the ball off the line and prevent it from getting to Henderson!
GREAT SAVE MIGNOLET! The substitute Davis wriggles through a couple of challenges, forcing Mignolet to make a save! The ball is deflected onto Sakho, and almost loops over Mignolet and in, but the Belgian manages to scramble to his feet and punch it clear!
After a few long-range deliveries failing to stick to the duo of Lambert and Osvaldo who are looking rather isolated in the away side's attack, Pochettino makes a reactionary change, bringing on another midfielder to help shore things up.
Good footwork from Sterling releases Sturridge on the right hand side. The Liverpool hitman looks to cut inside to shoot, but finds himself forced further and further inside, before the chance peters out. Saints continue to look comfortable.
Sterling picks up a free-kick by the byline on the right hand side, under minimal contact from Lovren. The goalscorer looks down at Sterling disapprovingly, insinuating that the youngster made a meal of that challenge. Henderson takes the free-kick, and it fails to clear the first man.
The home side are just lacking ideas a little. Sterling hasn't quite had the impact that Rodgers will have hoped for, as Shaw is continuing to have a very solid game, while Sturridge has seen even less of the ball in the second half than he did in the first.
Again Liverpool look flustered in possession in their own half, and it's a wonder that they haven't conceded from such uncertainty. It has to be said, if Pepe Reina was still at Anfield, the distribution would be excellent for the men in red.
A strong challenge from Sakho has left Osvaldo in some discomfort, but the Anfield crowd are in no mood to be sympathetic. It was a powerful block challenge, and Osvaldo might still be feeling that one for a few minutes.
BORUC! The Polish international has had to beat away another good, powerful free-kick effort, this time pushing it away from low down to his left. Liverpool just can't find the back of the net this afternoon.
Clyne again shows his worth by denying Jose Enrique, but now the hosts have been awarded a free-kick. Moses looked to go down due to a poor challenge from Lallana, and Gerrard can try his luck again.
The work rate from Southampton is really frustrating Liverpool this afternoon. The home crowd are getting restless, and there's a sense that it could just be Southampton's day. Let it be know, this is the longest that Saints have led all season.
Southampton are in a very commanding position here. Boruc has had little to do in comparison to his opposition 'keeper, and Liverpool continue to look slow in possession deep in their own half. Rodgers will need to shuffle his pack here, before things get embarrassing.
OSVALDO! The Italian moves the ball out of his feet nicely, before looking to curl the ball inside Mignolet's bottom left corner! Good, strong hand from Mignolet to deny him.
Good, strong header from Lovren, let it be known that he was being dragged down as he directed it towards goal! Good honesty to stay on his feet, and he's the first player to score at Anfield this season!
GOOOOAL! LOVREN! The Croatian has scored, sending the away fans into raptures, and his entire team come over to celebrate minus Boruc! It wriggles over the line, and Southampton lead! 0-1!
Lovren makes a good challenge to stop a Liverpool break in its tracks! On the counter is when the hosts appear to be most dangerous, but Sterling is being physically dominated so far. Not looking too positive for Rodgers' side as it stands.
Moses is found offside following a cute dinked ball over the Southampton defensive line from Gerrard. Liverpool's captain has been excellent today, but his side are just lacking that link between midfield and Daniel Sturridge.
WANYAMA! That's a top interception! The Kenyan hooks away a dangerous cross deep in his own box, and Southampton survive again! Moses then crosses from the left, but Boruc claims simply.
Patient build up play from the hosts allows for Sterling to get his first touches of the ball. Stout defending from Clyne once again forces Moses out of play for a throw in, however. Excellent work from the right-back.
LALLANA! Mignolet makes a good save one on one with the Saints captain, with the Belgian coming out on top. He etones for a previous error, as he was caught in possession on the edge of his own area!
RODRIGUEZ! The former Burnley striker tries to tuck the ball inside Mignolet's near post with the outside of his boot, but Mignolet makes a comfortable save.
Referee Neil Swarbrick gets things started again for the second half, and Liverpool will hope to build upon a reasonable first half performance, while Pochettino's Saints will be looking to hold onto at least a share of the spoils.
The players are returning to the field, we are almost back underway! A possible pipeline change is Sterling for Aspas at half time, as the Spaniard hasn't quite had enough of an effect on the game.
The inclusion of Toure and Sakho at full-back hasn't been as problematic as first predicted. The main issues for Liverpool is that Iago Aspas has been a little bit quiet, you can see that Rodgers' men are missing Coutinho's creativity this afternoon.
A free-kick effort from Gerrard has forced Gerrard into the only full-stretch save of the half, with Moses also calling the Polish international into action to deflect a ball wide for a corner. Liverpool have had the better of the opportunities, but Southampton have seen plenty of the ball in good areas.
And there we have it! Halftime! A very interesting first half, with plenty of half chances for both sides. Moses and Sturridge look lively for the hosts, with Gerrard pulling the strings, while Southampton full-backs have been excellent. Goalless at the break.
45' + 1'
STURRIDGE! A good ball from deep by Gerrard to flicked on at the near post by his teammate, and Boruc is happy to see the ball loop onto the roof of his net.
STURRIDGE! The England striker gets to the byline, looks to play a ball to the back post for Gerrard, but the cross is blocked behind for a corner. The resulting set piece is wasted.
Southampton aren't to be underestimated here, they've shown more than enough to suggest they can get some points here today. Shaw and Clyne have been impressed, with Osvaldo seeing a lot of the ball.
Good clearance from Agger! The Denmark international manages to pounce upon a knock-down from Lambert, as Osvaldo looked to meet the second ball.
TOURE! A great marauding run from the right-back! He blunders his way into the box, ignores to feed Henderson the ball wide, and is eventually dispossessed on the edge of the penalty area after a one-two with Sturridge!
Excellent play by Lallana! The captain robs Gerrard of the ball, before bursting in between Gerrard and Lucas brilliantly. A stray leg from the former brings Lallana down, and Southampton win a free-kick. The visitors haven't done badly.
Good defending from Clyne. A good diagonal ball from Gerrard looks to get Sturridge in behind, but Clyne battles well to shepherd the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Unlucky for Lallana! A neat backheel feeds Shaw down the line for Southampton, and the young full-back lifts the ball to Lallana. With his back to goal, the captain looks to weave his way to the byline to deliver a cross, but his touch lets him down. Goal kick.
AGGER! The Denmark international got up well to meet a Gerrard corner delivery, but doesn't get the contact he would have wanted. The ball loops into Boruc's hands.
MOSES! The loanee dances inbetween two defenders on the edge of the Southampton penalty area, beating Fonte excellently, before forcing Boruc into a good save!
STURRIDGE! The Englishman does well to turn Schneiderlin, but blazes his eventual effort over the bar by some distance. Not what he was looking for, but when you're in form like his, you have to try your luck from anywhere.
Luke Shaw stands up well against Moses, who looks to go down easily under the presence of the 18-year-old. He has a maturity much above his years, it must be said. A solid performance thus far from Shaw.
Another claim for a foul from Sturridge, and again, but Neil Swarbrick denies the home side once again. The Liverpool hitman is furious, and Gerrard is telling the referee exactly what he thinks of his decisions.
Penalty appeal for Liverpool! The Anfield crowd are enraged! Sturridge danced around Fonte on the edge of the area, and there looks to be some contact, but the referee waves play on!
Gerrard whips a ball into the Southampton box from deep, but nobody in a red shirt can meet the delivery, and it bounces through to Boruc, who collects well.
Agger does just enough to beat Fonte to the ball, and Liverpool break! Luke Shaw covers from left-back, and dispossesses Moses on the edge of the penalty area as the Nigerian was bearing down on goal! Good challenge.
Good defending from Skrtel! Clyne is found wide on the right after a good crossfield ball from Osvaldo, the former Palace man hooks the ball into the centre of the box, but Skrtel is able to knock the delivery out of play for a corner!
Well, Liverpool fans won't be too discouraged with how their makeshift full-backs have grown into this game. Sakho has spent large portions of the game in Southampton's half.
OSVALDO! The Italian tries his luck from a tight angle, looking to tuck the ball inside Mignolet's near post, but he blazes wide. Southampton showing a few dangerous signs over the last five minutes.
LAMBERT! That was a golden chance! Great work down the left hand side unlocked the Liverpool defence, the cross was good but the finish wasn't! Lambert catches it all wrong, and the ball loops into Mignolet's grateful grasp!
MOSES! Sakho and Moses combine well on the left once again, Moses cuts inside and looks to find Sturridge with a ball that could pass as either a cross or a shot! He's been the hosts' spark thus far.
TOURE! The Ivorian rises well at the back post, but he can't get the ball on target whatsoever. Great opportunity, but poor execution. The home crowd are still a little flat!
GERRARD! The Liverpool captain forces a good stretching save from Mignolet to turn the ball around the post for a corner!
Jose Fonte blocks off Aspas, as the former Celta man looked to knock the ball around the Portuguese defender and continue into the Saints penalty area. It's 25 yards from goal, certainly within shooting range!
Liverpool's passing philosophy is certainly being hampered by a combination of Southampton's pressing and the team selection that Rodgers has been forced into. Their fans are voicing their displeasure already.
Still no cutting edge for Saints, as this time Osvaldo places a long pass clear of it's intended target and out for a goal-kick. Great challenge from Skrtel! Rodriguez dispossessed as he looked to shoot from the edge of the box!
A feeling of anti-climax inside Anfield at the moment, the atmosphere has certainly gone flat since the signature chorus of You'll Never Walk Alone. Rodgers' side just haven't quite got into their side, and it's probably down to Pochettino's gameplan.
LAMBERT! The England international exchanges a one-two with Wanyama, before unleashing an ambitious drive from distance. It hurtles well wide of Mignolet's right post. No danger.
Easy for Mignolet! Lallana's cross from the right looks for the imposing figures of Osvaldo and Lambert, but the ball loops over the angle of Mignolet's crossbar and goes behind.
Good defending from Clyne! The right-back is once again on hand to frustrate Moses, as the Chelsea loanee sidesteps Fonte, but is frustrated once again by his recovering marker.
LALLANA! A back post cross looks for the Southampton captain, but Sakho merely has to ease the Englishman out of the way, and the ball bounces out for a goal kick to Liverpool.
Moses is looking a little subdued after being on the receiving end of two strong challenges from Clyne. The former Palace man is probably lucky to not have been penalised yet.
Plenty of black shirts in the Liverpool half, as the Southampton attack of Osvaldo, Lambert and Rodriguez looks to catch this unbalanced Liverpool defence offguard. Plenty for the Saints advancing full-backs to aim for.
No threat shown by the visitors so far, with Saints being played at their own game by intense Liverpool pressing. Henderson flights in a ball from the right hand side, but it evades Sturridge and Aspas, before bouncing clear of danger.
Victor Moses has been very lively in the opening stages, breaking with pace and power on two occasions. Nathaniel Clyne is forced to make a poor challenge to halt the Nigerian, and Liverpool should perhaps have had a free-kick!
LUCAS! Strong running from Moses to feed Henderson allowing for a cross from the Englishman. Southampton half clear, to Lucas 30 yard from goal, the Brazilian tries his luck but again it's comfortable for Boruc.
Liverpool already struggling to retain possession in their own half, as the visitors are harassing and harrying deep inside the opposition's territory. If they can keep this up, they'll surely force Liverpool to play more direct.
An audacious early effort from Lallana! The Saints captain tries his luck with a volley from 30 yards, but he doesn't catch it right! The goal kick is taken, before Liverpool break, allowing Sturridge to lay off to Henderson, who strikes straight at Boruc!
A slow start for the hosts, who are content to stroke the ball around slowly. No notion that Rodgers' side are frightened to retain the ball with a makeshift back four. The Saints are already pressing very high up the field.
And we are underway! Liverpool are of course in their famous red jerseys, while Southampton are in black shirts with white shorts. You can feel the expectation for the home side!
We are a few minutes from kick-off now, with the afternoon sun beating down upon a packed Anfield stadium. Plenty has been said about Liverpool starting with an unorthodox back four consisting of four centre-backs, but Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho have had experience playing on their respective flanks in the past.
In terms of the embryonic league table, Liverpool are to be considering strong favourites after flying out of the starting blocks with three wins and a draw out of their opening four. One win in four for the away side, with an average of a goal every two games, Pochettino will be hoping for the goals to start flowing soon.
Daniel Sturridge is of course the man to watch for Liverpool, as his prolific start to the season certainly hasn't gone unnoticed. Rickie Lambert will be the Saints' dangerman, after two goals for England during international duty, while £15m man Osvaldo looks to find his feet in the Premier League.
Southampton will be looking to turn good performances into goals, while Brendan Rodgers will hope that his side can continue to play with intensity rather than petering out. The Saints high pressing worked well against Liverpool last season, but there's no evidence that today will be a similar story, as the hosts look far slicker than before.
Southampton substitutes: Davis, Sean Davis, Ramirez, Ward-Prowse, Cork, Chambers, Hooiveld.
Southampton starting line-up: Boruc, Fonte, Lovren, Clyne, Shaw, Lallana, Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Rodriguez, Osvaldo, Lambert.
Liverpool substitutes: Jones, Enrique, Luis Alberto, Sterling, Ibe, Kelly, Wisdom.
Liverpool starting line-up: Mignolet, Toure, Agger, Skrtel, Sakho, Gerrard, Lucas, Moses, Henderson, Sturridge, Aspas.
TEAM NEWS: Luis Suarez is, of course, still suspended. Philippe Coutinho, Aly Cissokho, and Glen Johnson miss out through injury. Daniel Agger returns to the side following a spell on the sidelines. No injury problems for the visitors, as Danny Fox returns to full fitness.
I'm Simon Harrison, and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action from Anfield, as a few injury problems leaving Brendan Rodgers with a shuffled side for this afternoon's match. Southampton arrive with the hosts in good form, this will be a tough ask for the Saints.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Liverpool vs Southampton, as Mauricio Pochettino's men look to build upon two winless games versus West Brom and Norwich. Brendan Rodgers has named an interesting side, but will be keen to continue their unbeaten Premier League start.
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