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17 August 2014
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 44736
R. Sterling 23'
D. Sturridge 79'
N. Clyne 56'
Well, that was a bit of a cracker in the end, wasn't it? Just how I like my Sundays. Goals galore and a great game to boot. I have been Hayden Gribble and until next time, have a good one!
Ronald Koeman will be pleased with the performance his side mustered and will surely have silenced any doubters who thought that the exodus from St Mary's would result in a difficult season. If they keep playing like that, then the visitors will have no problems in keeping the fans happy...no matter who comes or goes before the transfer window shuts!
FULL TIME: LIVERPOOL 2-1 SOUTHAMPTON. What a second half that was! Brendan Rodgers' men emerge victorious from a testing encounter with an unlucky Saints side. Sterling broke the deadlock in the first half but the visitors deserved their equaliser from Clyne just before the hour mark but a late goal from Sturridge sent Anfield wild with a winning start to the season.
90' + 2'
With just two minutes to go the away side are still hustling the Red's back four, giving them very little time to settle into a shape strong enough to hold back their advances.
Liverpool have been pushed so far back that the only outlet up front at the moment is Sterling, who tries to play it into the corner but is unsuccessful as the visitors win it back.
There will be FOUR minutes of added on time.
CROSSBAR! Oh so close from the Saints! Mignolet tips a powerful effort from Schneiderlin, who volleys it from close range, onto the woodwork and Long can't convert the rebound! So close to an equaliser there!
Southampton are still very much in this and need to keep their belief that they can nick another goal. Their composed, pressing game has given way to a more rushed, attacking mindset.
STAT ATTACK: Last year's 1-0 win against Stoke was the first time in five seasons that Liverpool have won their opening league match (D2, L2).
Assist Raheem Sterling
Goal Daniel Sturridge
GOAL! It's 2-1 to the Reds with only 12 minutes remaining! Sturridge is the man who nips in to nudge it in from close range after the Saints failed to clear their lines.
Yellow Card Steven Davis
And there he is: Lambert, the former Southampton favourite, is being clapped on by both sets of supporters as he makes his bow. I wonder what the odds will be on him scoring a Liverpool winner!
It looks like Shane Long will make his way on to add a bit more attacking threat up front for the Saints. How long will it be before Lambert comes on to face his old club?
The tempo is well and truly on fire here now as Sturridge ijnks past two defenders before plucking a ball out from his feet towards Sterling, but Fonte makes a brilliant sliding tackle to knock the ball out of play.
SHOW OFF! There are groans of frustration around Anfield as Tadic is given far too much time on the ball and even has enough time to do a couple of step overs before his cross is collected by Mignolet.
STAT ATTACK: Southampton summer signing Dusan Tadic created 133 goalscoring chances for FC Twente last season - that is 46 more than any other player in the Dutch top flight.
Yellow Card Morgan Schneiderlin
That was a poor challenge from Schneiderlin, who brings Coutinho down from behind and sees yellow for his troubles.
DAVIS MUST SCORE! Brilliant football from the visitors as Davis is left unmarked just inside the box but his tame shot is too central and right at Mignolet. That is poor from the midfielder and he knows it!
PENALTY APPEAL! Coutinho wriggles his way into the box and goes down under the challenge from Yoshida. Referee Mark Clattenburg waves the appeals away. Liverpool were clutching at straws there.
Brendan Rodgers is scribbling away feverishly on the touchline as he looks to make changes to his side, who have been second best in this half so far. Will he introduce Lambert any time soon?
CLOSE AGAIN! The visitors are by far the better side as they win yet another corner on the right. Ward-Prowse sprints over to take it and whips a glorious ball in that finds Davis, who fires it high into the Kop under pressure from Sturridge.
Assist Dusan Tadic
Goal Nathaniel Clyne
GOAL! Brilliant goal from Clyne! The full-back ventures into the box after playing a clever one-two with Tadic before unleashing a powerful effort from ten yards into the roof of the net. That is just what the Saints deserve!
WELL WIDE! The ball is bouncing all over the place outside the Red's penalty area. Schneiderlin picks out Wanyama who lashes a poor shot well wide of the goal.
Liverpool are pinned back at the moment as Davis chases down Johnson on the left and concedes a throw in. There have been very few chances in this game so far and this half has been no better.
Bertrand wins a corner as the Saints continue to march forward. They are content to pass it around at the moment, build up possession and remain patient on the ball.
The visitors have pressed a little higher up the pitch in this second half, looking to catch their hosts on the break.
STAT ATTACK: The Saints' 1-0 victory against West Brom 12 months ago was the first time they had begun a Premier League season with a victory since 1999.
No changes for either side as Southampton get us back underway.
As for Ronald Koeman, he will not be too unhappy with his charges so far. They have threatened Liverpool's goal and kept a calm, pressing game up all half. Will they be rewarded for their performance in the next 45 minutes?
The home side will be happy, but the fans will be surprised to see the gung-ho style of play that the Reds displayed last year has been absent so far. Will they be let off the leash in the second half?
HALF-TIME: LIVERPOOL 1-0 SOUTHAMPTON. The Reds go in at the break a goal to the good after Sterling latched onto a fabulous ball from Henderson to slot it low past Saints debutant Forster. The visitors have gone close too with Ward-Prowse and Schneiderlin producing marvellous saves from Mignolet but it's Brendan Rodgers' men who are on top.
45' + 1'
WHAT A SAVE! Schneiderlin picks up the ball from 25 yards and curls one that looks like it is dipping, but Mignolet is equal to it and flies to tip it over the bar. Brilliant goalkeeping from the Belgian.
There will be TWO minutes of time added on.
As we near the end of the half I am struck by just how quiet Anfield has been today. Then again, neither of the two sides on the field have done much to inspire much excitement yet!
Southampton win their third corner of the match with Tadic swinging it in from the right. It is an awkward delivery but Gerrard is there at the near post to hook it clear.
WARD-PROWSE GOES FOR GLORY! The midfielder has been a live wire so far this afternoon and he sees the goal open up from 25 yards, but the youngster's shot is tame and Mignolet smothers.
The pressing game that Mauricio Pochettino employed whilst with the Saints is still present as Liverpool has so little space to move into. They are being constricted by a very organised side.
Yellow Card Javi Manquillo
SO CLOSE! Ward-Prowse whips in a free kick from the left-hand side and it loops dangerously towards the top corner, bringing a fantastic save from Mignolet who punches it wide for a corner! The wind is swirling at Anfield and I wonder if it played a big part there!
Gerrard has had a quiet game so far for the Reds and a trademark, long ball up front to Sturridge is dealt with by Schneiderlin. There is a lack of pace to this game at the moment.
Wanyama looks like he is in trouble in the Liverpool penalty box. The midfielder stumbled over Henderson as he tried to connect with Ward-Prowse's dangerous delivery from the right. After some medical attention, he looks like he will be okay to continue.
OVER! Coutinho's corner from the left is cleared to the feet of Johnson, who lashes it well over the crossbar from 30 yards.
STAT ATTACK: The Saints have never before won back-to-back league games away to the Reds. They won here 1-0 in this fixture last season.
Assist Jordan Henderson
Goal Raheem Sterling
GOAL! It's Raheem Sterling with the goal but my word, what a ball from Jordan Henderson. He threads an inch-perfect, curling pass from inside his own half through the Southampton defence for Sterling to calmly slot into the bottom corner.
What is Mignolet doing? The Reds keeper comes off his line to claim a corner but tries to go through the man to obtain it. That could have caused all sorts of confusion!
Fonte goes long looking for Pelle but Skrtel is equal to it and heads the ball clear. The crowd has died down a little here. What we need is a goal to wake them up!
STAT ATTACK: The Reds scored more Premier League goals from counter-attacks (nine) than any other side last season.
There is a good tempo to this game, with Liverpool's new right-back Manquillo enduring an interesting battle with Bertrand on the flank. This is a very composed performance from both sides. No risks taken so far.
PENALTY SHOUT? Sturridge surges into the box, cutting back and gets in a tangle with Yoshida as the Anfield faithful cry penalty. Mark Clattenburg waves away the protests as it looked like the defender had just got a touch to the ball before the England international went down.
Ronald Koeman's men are looking lively here and calm in possession as Tadic is caught offside down the left flank.
Sturridge is looking lively and gets the crowd going after jinking past Fonte. Will he miss the presence of his former strike partner Luis Suarez?
Southampton kept 15 clean sheets in last season's Premier League - only Chelsea (18), Arsenal (17) and Manchester City (16) managed more.
CLOSE! Sturridge gets his first sniff on goal, picking up a loose ball after good closing down from Lucas before producing a snap shot on goal from distance, but Saints keeper Forster has it covered.
There are boos from the away corner of fans every time Lovren picks up the ball, followed by an even louder cheer from the home support. Suffice to say that the Saints are not happy with their former talisman!
The Saints are pressing early here, with Tadic looking sharp in the final third. It's all about early momentum for the visitors here.
We are off! Liverpool are kicking from left to right.
Today's referee, Mark Clattenburg, prepares to blow his whistle as the customary rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' melts into the background.
Here they come...Anfield is buzzing. I hope you are too!
PRE MATCH STAT ATTACK: Southampton's 1-0 win at Liverpool last season means they have won two of their last four games at Anfield (W2, L2).
New manager Ronald Koeman has overseen a summer of disassembly on the South Coast, but will be hoping that new signings Dusan Tadic, Ryan Bertrand and Fraser Forster - who all start - can better those who departed. Morgan Schneiderlin, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham, also takes his place in midfield.
Brendan Rodgers has urged his Liverpool side to move on from their 'so near, yet so far' season last time out and starts new signing, Dejan Lovren, against his former side. Another former Saint, Rickie Lambert, takes his place on the bench whilst Adam Lallana misses out through injury.
Southampton subs: K Davis, Long, Taider, Cork, Hooiveld, Isgrove, Stephens.
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Forster; Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand; Wanyama, Schneiderlin; S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Tadic; Pelle.
Liverpool subs: Jones, Toure, Sakho, Allen, Ibe, Can, Lambert.
Liverpool (4-3-2-1): Mignolet; Manquillo, Skrtel, Lovren, Johnson; Gerrard, Lucas, Henderson; Coutinho, Sterling; Sturridge.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of this tasty Premier League clash between Liverpool and Southampton. My name is Hayden Gribble and I shall be taking you through all of the action. But first, let's get the team news in...
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