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Played
March 16, 2013 8:30 PM IST
St. Mary's Stadium — Southampton, Hampshire
Referee:‬ P. Dowd‎
Attendance:‬ 32070‎
 
Coutinho 45+1′
 
 
Top of the Match
Morgan Schneiderlin
Morgan Schneiderlin
Southampton
Jay Rodriguez
Jay Rodriguez
Southampton
Flop of the Match
Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool
Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel
Liverpool

Southampton 3-1 Liverpool: Saints secure priceless win in battle to avoid the drop

The Merseysiders' hopes of gatecrashing the top four are almost over following a shambolic defensive display against Mauricio Pochettino's relegation strugglers

EPL - Southampton vs Liverpool, Morgan Schneiderlin
Getty
By Wayne Veysey at St Mary's Stadium

Liverpool's hopes of gatecrashing the Champions League places are almost over after they were pummelled 3-1 by Southampton in a riveting encouter.

Brendan Rodgers' team were swept away by the aggression of the relegation strugglers in driving rain down on the south coast.

Goals from Morgan Schneiderlin and Rickie Lambert within the opening 33 minutes was due reward for the early dominance of the hosts, who took full advantage of shambolic defending from the Merseysiders.

Phillipe Coutinho gave Liverpool hope by pulling one back on the cusp of half-time but the off-colour Reds failed to make their marginal second-half improvement count.

With 10 minutes remaining, the excellent Jay Rodriguez slalomed through the porous visiting rearguard and sealed the win with a finish at the second attempt.

In front of a Premier League-record attendance at the stadium of 32,070, the 3-1 triumph helped Southampton climb seven points clear of the bottom three and has surely sealed their top-flight status for next season.

Liverpool's three-match league winning streak comes to a painful end, with the team now in seventh place, three points behind Everton and seven adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea, who have two games in hand on the Merseysiders.

Rodgers made two changes from the team that beat Tottenham six days earlier, with Martin Skrtel replacing the absent Jamie Carragher and Joe Allen coming in for the benched Lucas Leiva. For Southampton, Nathaniel Clyne replaced Jose Fonte in defence.

The culling of Lucas appeared even more perverse following an opening half completely dominated by the home side.

Mauricio Pochettino set his team up to attack the visitors and it paid rich dividends early on as Liverpool's defence and midfield were taken to the cleaners by the aggression of the hosts.

The excellent Schneiderlin conducted the red tidal wave from his central midfield station, and his untracked run led to the opener after six minutes.

Gaston Ramirez's inviting cross was nodded down at the back post by Rodriguez and Schneiderlin dashed in ahead of the floundering Daniel Agger to flick the ball in.

Southampton continued to keep their foot slammed down on the accelerator and created a glut of chances as they took advantage of a Liverpool side completely lacking in balance and fortitude.

Shortly after Brad Jones had saved well with his legs to keep out Lambert, the boyhood Liverpool fan made amends with his 13th league goal of the season.

There was a degree of fortune to the 33rd minute free kick but it was nothing that the hosts did not deserve given the dominance of their play. Lambert's 30-yard curled set-piece contrived to hit Daniel Sturridge, fly through a gap in the wall and into the left side of the net while Jones stood rooted to the spot.

Despite their defensive woes, Liverpool looked threatening going forward and, soon after Coutinho fluffed his lines when one-on-one with Artur Boruc, the little Brazilian gave his team hope with his second goal in four games for his new club.

After Sturridge's shot had been blocked following a smart header by Steven Gerrard, Coutinho kept his composure to slam home the loose ball on the stroke of half-time.

It gave Liverpool a foothold in the game that they scarcely deserved and Rodgers responded at the break by reversing his selection that had badly backfired, replacing the ponderous Allen with Lucas.

This brought greater aggression and balance to the visitors, and they were a far more effective force in the second period.

But, Southampton's pressing and closing down of space was so relentless that the Merseysiders were restricted to half-chances.

With the game on a knife-edge, Southampton continued to create opportunities and Rodriguez made Liverpool pay for more shambolic defending after 80 minutes.

The No9 sealed a miserable afternoon for Skrtel and company by jinking his way through the centre of the visitors' defence to secure all three points for his team. Liverpool could have no complaints about the result.



Southampton

31
Artur Boruc
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
Nathaniel Clyne
Defender
3.50
3
Maya Yoshida
Defender
3.00
26
Jos Hooiveld
Defender
32′
3.00
23
Luke Shaw
Defender
3.50
4
4.00
10
G. Ramírez
Midfielder
55′
2.50
18
Jack Cork
Midfielder
3.50
20
Adam Lallana
Midfielder
84′
3.50
7
3.00
9
Jay Rodriguez
Striker
6′ 80′
3.50

Liverpool

3.00
1
Bradley Jones
Goalkeeper
2.50
2
3.50
3
3.00
5
2.00
37
3.00
8
Steven Gerrard
Midfielder
3.00
10
Coutinho
Midfielder
46′
2.00
19
1.50
24
Joe Allen
Midfielder
46′
2.00
7
1.50
15

Substitutes

1
Kelvin Davis
Goalkeeper
 - 
6
3.50
5
 - 
8
Steven Davis
Midfielder
55′
3.00
16
 - 
21
 - 
13
Jason Puncheon
Midfielder
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
42
Peter Gulacsi
Goalkeeper
 - 
47
 - 
14
2.50
21
Lucas Leiva
Midfielder
46′
 - 
-
Suso
Midfielder
 - 
8
Jonjo Shelvey
Midfielder
 - 
33
Jordon Ibe
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

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 - 

Coach/Manager

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Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0