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West Ham United
March 16, 2013
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: P. Dowd
• Attendance: 32070
M. Schneiderlin 6'
R. Lambert 33'
J. Rodriguez 80'
Philippe Coutinho 45'+
I've been Tom J Doyle, you've been excellent, and that match was an absolute corker. Stick with Goal.com for all the latest match reaction from here and around the grounds today. Bye for now.
That's full-time, and Southampton get the points today! They fully deserved the victory and now have some clear daylight between themselves and the drop zone. Liverpool threatened a comeback with Coutinho's strike in first-half injury time, but in truth they were abject throughout - Brendan Rodgers will not be pleased at all.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Luis Suárez
90' + 2'
Luis Suarez gets one of the biggest cheers of the game as he receives a yellow card for trying to chase down Boruc taking a goal kick from his hands. It's a stupid booking for the striker who is clearly frustrated by the events today.
Great chance for Enrique! Johnson does really well on the right wing and dinks a high ball to the back post, but the left-back can't quite do enough to get there and blasts his close-range effort into the side netting - that should be that.
The Saints want a penalty as the ball richchets near Skrtel's hand in the area but the referee waves away the claims - it's been a truly torrid display from the centre-back today.
Southampton are defending with their lives here - it's been a great defensive display from the hosts, but in truth Liverpool have failed to get going after threatening a comeback with Coutinho's late first-half strike.
With QPR currently 3-2 down at Aston Villa, the Saints would move seven points clear of Wigan in the drop zone. They've played two more games than the Latics, but it's points on the board that mean everything at this stage of the season.
If the result stays the same then Liverpool will be seven points off of fourth-placed Chelsea having played two games more - there's no hope of Champions League football with that kind of gap.
Goal Jay Rodriguez
RODRIGUEZ MAKES IT 3-1!!! What a massive goal this could be in Southampton's hopes of Premier League survival. The forward picks up the ball a good 45 yards from goal and drives at the heart of the Liverpool defence. He goes past Skrtel all too easily and draws a decent stop from Jones, but confidently nets the rebound to restore the Saints' two-goal advantage.
Lallana misses a great chance! Skrtel inexplicably steps up and the midfielder is onside on the left of the area, but Jones makes a great low save to keep Liverpool in the game.
It's getting a bit farcical out there as Sturridge makes a mess of a great chance by mis-kicking on the edge of the area. Coutinho then slips, and the ball falls to Gerrard 22 yards out, but he slips as he shoots as well.
Schneiderlin gets deep into the Liverpool area but his cross is blocked away near the line by a body or two - the rain is crashing down and it's turning into a real battle out there.
Enrique flights a ball in to the area for Suarez but Shaw puts in a great header to clear it for a corner - the away fans really feel like they can get something from this one.
Suarez drives a shot at goal after being fed down the channel but the ball is blocked away for a corner - the away fans behind the goal are urging their side on as this game begins to open up a little more.
Johnson does really well to clear the ball away from a low, teasing cross by the impressive Lallana, but I'm not too sure he really knew where his clearance was going as he scoops it up and over his own bar from six yards.
Boruc does really well to hold onto the bouncing free kick in slippery conditions - still no equaliser for Rodgers' side.
Suarez wins a free kick off of Nathaniel Clyne around 30 yards from goal - cue the Uruguayan to shape up for a shot...
The pace has slowed a little in the second half as Wayne rightly suggests, but Liverpool have so much quality in the final third that this game is far from over.
More from our man at the ground Wayne Veysey: "Liverpool have been the better side since the break as Southampton begin to shows the first signs of tiring. It would have been impossible for the home side to have maintained the energy of the opening 45 minutes, when they operated at breakneck speed. Luis Suarez is beginning to find a little bit of space, which could be ominous for the Saints."
Close for Suarez! The Uruguay striker is so close to connecting with a delightful lobbed pass from Lucas, but he just can't reach the ball on the stretch with Boruc coming to collect well.
Chance for Sturridge! Gerrard floats in a cross that isn't cleared properly by the striker can't get a clean connection on the ball and hits the shot wide. And there's bad news for the hosts as Ramirez is substituted.
Liverpool have has a little more of the ball in the second half but Southampton are still looking dangerous with Rodriguez almost wriggling away in the box to get a shot in on goal. Then Lambert crosses but can't find a team-mate - the visitors are living dangerously here.
The rain is coming down fast on the south coast as our man Wayne Veysey can attest to: "We're into the second-half at St Mary's, where it is now absolutely lashing down with rain. Talking of damp squibs, Joe Allen has been replaced for the second half by Lucas Leiva. Allen was the worst of a pretty bad Liverpool bunch before the break."
Sturridge looks to go around Shaw on the wing but the young left-back has the pace and strength to hold off the striker. The 17-year-old really is an exciting prospect for both club and country.
We're underway again at St Mary's - can Southampton hold on for a vital victory or will they led their lead slip away like so often this season?
That's the break - how will that injury-time goal affect the hosts? They've been fantastic so far, but Liverpool have a lot of attacking quality out on the pitch today. Coutinho's strike has masked an abject display so far by Rodgers' men, but both sides will still feel the game is up for grabs.
45' + 1'
COUTINHO SCORES!!! It's a mess of a goal but Liverpool needed that. A Suarez cross comes in and Gerrard heads it back across goal to Sturridge. He turns and his low shot is deflected into the path of the Brazilian, who makes no mistake by burying the chance from eight yards out. Game on!
Lallana goes close! The midfielder twists and turns after a wonderful flowing move by the Saints, but he screws a shot wide of Jones' right-hand post from close range. Pochettino has really got his side playing some lovely flowing football.
What a save by Boruc! Philippe Coutinho is clean through on goal after a wonderful ball through by Johnson, but the hosts' keeper is out quickly and saves the Brazilian's low finish with his feet. He should have scored, but take nothing away from the stop there.
Rodriguez nearly makes it three! Steven Gerrard gives the ball away in the middle and the Saints forward receives the ball on the bounce - he takes it past Martin Skrtel but his volley skids just wide of Jones' right-hand post. That would have surely been the killer blow for Liverpool.
What have Liverpool got to get back in to this game? They're pressing further forward now but they've been dire so far, and will need a much-improved display to pick up any points in the second half.
Goal Rickie Lambert
THE SAINTS ARE TWO UP!!! Lambert lines up a free-kick from a good 30 yards out on the left and looks to curl it over the wall, but the shot takes a cruel deflection off of Sturridge in the wall and bounces into Jones' bottom left-hand corner. No chance for the keeper, and the hosts have some breathing space now.
Sturridge draws another close-range stop from Boruc - but again he's given offside. The linesman has made another poor decision though, with replays showing the England forward was onside from Downing's smart through-ball.
Sturridge takes a very speculative shot from 35 yards on the volley here and Boruc easily collects the bouncing ball. It's going to have to be better than than to beat the experienced keeper from there.
Suarez is through - but play is called back as the assistant referee flags for an apparent foul as Jos Hooiveld goes down. There didn't appear to be any contact - the centre-back appeared to simply slip over - and the Premier League's top scorer can feel harshly done by there.
Gerrard releases Suarez with a cute pass but the move breaks down as the Uruguay striker looks to link with Stewart Downing on the right - that's been the story of their half so far.
Jose Enrique does superbly to knock the ball out for a corner with Rodriguez lurking for a tap-in at the back post after a fine cross from Shaw on the left. Will the hosts rue those missed chances though?
Rodriguez goes close! There's more panic in the Liverpool box as Jones makes another save, and the net is empty as the Saints forward shapes a scissor volley - but he blasts it over from eight yards out. What a chance!
Glen Johnson looks for Sturridge over the top with a great long ball from the right, but Yoshida gets his head to the ball to nod it back to Boruc just in time - great defending there.
Pochettino's men are pressing excellently all over the pitch to stifle any build-ups Liverpool are attempting, but it'll be interesting to see whether they can keep up this tempo as the game progresses - especially with a certain Mr Suarez to deal with...
Joe Allen is giving away possession very cheaply this afternoon - a world away from his calm displays for Swansea. He will need to pick up the pace with Lucas ready and waiting on the bench.
STAT ATTACK [via@OptaJoe]: 27 - Southampton have dropped more points from leading positions this season than any other side in the Premier League. Nerves.
Oh Rickie Lambert, you have to score here! The striker is clean through on goal and should go around the onrushing Jones, but he dallies and allows the keeper enough time to come and save his attempted finish. The Saints should be two goals up already.
It's all Southampton at the moment as Lallana blasts a half-volley over the bar from the edge of the area after a bout of pinball in the box...
Assist Jay Rodriguez
Goal Morgan Schneiderlin
GOAL FOR SCHNEIDERLIN!!! Ramires floats a nice ball in from the right to the back post which Rodriguez does well to head back across goal, and the midfielder is on hand to delicately flick the ball into Jones' bottom left-hand corner from six yards out. What a start for the Saints!
Shaw does do better here, getting in a cross which Ramires scissor-volleys at goal, and Brad Jones does well to get down and stop the shot.
Daniel Sturridge draws a fine stop from Boruc, but he's correctly flagged offside. The chance came from a corner after Luke Shaw had lazily given possession away from a free-kick - he'll need to be wake up quickly against such an attacking Liverpool line-up.
We're off at St Mary's! The line-ups suggest plenty of goals today, so here's hoping...
Our man Wayne Veysey has this to say about the upcoming game: "Brendan Rodgers has selected what appears a gung-ho team for Liverpool's clash against relegation strugglers Southampton. Martin Skrtel replaces Jamie Carragher in defence, while Joe Allen surprisingly comes in for Lucas Leiva in central midfield, which gives Liverpool an uber-attacking front six of Allen, Steven Gerrard, Phillipe Coutinho, Stewart Downing, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. Southampton have a lot of energy in central midfield, particularly in the shape of impressive anchorman Morgan Schneiderlin."
Liverpool Starting XI: Jones, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique; Allen, Downing, Gerrard, Coutinho; Suarez, Sturridge. Subs: Gulacsi, Henderson, Lucas, Suso, Shelvey, Ibe, Wisdom.
The team news is in...Southampton Starting XI: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Cork, Rodriguez, Ramirez, Lallana; Lambert. Subs: Kelvin Davis, Fonte, Steven Davis, Forren, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Puncheon.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Southampton vs Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium. I'm Tom J Doyle (@TomJDoyle) and I'll be taking you through all the action today. Brendan Rodgers' side need a win to keep alive any faint hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, while Mauricio Pochettino's men will want to put more distance between themselves and the drop zone.
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