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West Ham United
February 22, 2015
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: K. Friend
• Attendance: 31723
Philippe Coutinho 3'
R. Sterling 73'
90' + 6'
That's all we have time for today. Thanks a lot for joining me, Tom Webber, and have a great evening.
90' + 5'
FULL TIME - Southampton 0-2 Liverpool: Rodgers' men secure a huge three points in the chase for European football, making it 10 Premier League games undefeated in the process. Saints will be disappointed to have been beaten at home, without scoring again, and they miss the chance to stay in the top four. The Reds are up to sixth.
90' + 4'
There's the final whistle!
90' + 2'
Liverpool take the corner short and try to keep possession down there. After surrendering the ball they quickly win it back and Sturridge fires a tame effort straight at Forster.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card Eljero Elia
90' + 1'
We are into the first of an additional four minutes, and Fonte does enough to deflect Sturridge's latest effort out for a corner.
Liverpool are just a few moments away from making it five consecutive away games without conceding on the road. That's quite a feat!
Sturridge cuts inside from the left side of the box and shapes to curl a shot inside the far post with his right foot. He aims it far too close to Forster, though, who makes the save.
Despite plenty of pressure throughout the game, Southampton just haven't looked convincing in attack. Pelle has not had many opportunities to test Mignolet, who for his part has had a good outing.
Yellow Card Jordan Henderson
Now the hosts are awarded a free kick as Henderson brings down Elia out on the left. It earns him a yellow card and Saints have another great chance to get the ball in the box. Johnson has returned to the field following treatment.
Johnson has stayed down on the deck after sliding in to challenge Elia on the right. It looked fairly innocuous, but he appears to be in trouble as he is holding his shoulder. Will Liverpool be forced to play the remainder with 10 men?
Time is running out for Southampton. They're in danger of missing out on the chance to leapfrog Manchester United in the table, and their challenge for European football could suffer as a result.
Tadic rifles a powerful low effort through the wall, but it's held at the first time of asking by Mignolet. He's looked a lot more confident in goal today.
Yellow Card Alberto
Moreno is the latest player to be shown a yellow card following a clumsy challenge on Mane. Saints could go for goal direct from the resultant free kick.
Mane's cross is controlled by Pelle just inside the box, but his touch takes him away from goal. Still, he smashes a shot from 20 yards on the spin which is blocked by Skrtel.
Koeman responds in kind, introducing Tadic at the expense of Djuricic.
Rodgers makes another change as Johnson comes on in place of Ibe.
Goal Raheem Sterling
GOOOOOAAAAL!! LIVERPOOL DOUBLE THEIR LEAD! Moreno intercepts a lax pass from Schneiderlin and subsequently plays a one-two with Sterling, but his cross from the left is poor and fails to find a team-mate. Targett slips as he attempts to clear to the ball, sending it straight to the feet of the England striker who fires in to the back of the net!
Sturridge makes light work of beating Fonte inside the box, darting to the byline where he is dispossessed by a challenge from Yoshida. The Japanese had to get that right, and he did!
Schneiderlin feigns to shoot from the free kick before rolling a pass to the corner of the box for Djuricic. The Serbian wasn't on the same wavelength, though, and the best he can do is stop it from going out of play for a goal kick, though he still concedes a throw in.
Mane is brought down in a dangerous position by Henderson, and Southampton could really cause Mignolet some problems from here. If only they still had Ward-Prowse on the pitch!
Although they've brought Sturridge on, Liverpool are still sitting very deep as they look to absorb the pressure currently being applied by the hosts.
Targett plays a quick ball inside from the left, and Djuricic deftly flicks it into the path of Mane. The Senegalese cuts inside of Skrtel but is unable to adjust quickly enough to stop Lovren from getting the ball to safety.
Wanyama goes through the back of Sterling, getting a touch to the ball before completely flattening the Liverpool man. It looked a fair challenge, but the referee shows him a yellow card for it.
Yellow Card Victor Wanyama
Second change of the night from Rodgers as Lallana goes off to a chorus of boos to be replaced by Daniel Sturridge.
Moreno finds Coutinho in a good position inside the Southampton half, but the Brazllian's subsequent attempt to feed Sterling is woeful. The pass is intercepted and the hosts clear it for a throw in.
MANE! The Senegalese controls a lofted pass inside the box with his chest, setting himself up for a shot with his second touch. He fires a volley towards the target which is blocked behind by Skrtel.
Mane's first involvement sees him receive the ball on the right, with Can coming across to face him. The former Bayer Leverkusen man sends him down the outside before making a well-judged tackle to dispossess him.
Koeman makes his second change of the afternoon with Mane coming on for Ward-Prowse.
Lallana and Coutinho are both dropping into the midfield when Saints have possession, leaving Sterling isolated up top. Whenever Liverpool have managed to venture out of their in this half, the young striker has frequently been adjudged offside.
Saints are awarded a free kick on the left after Henderson sends Wanyama to ground. Ward-Prowse is again given the responsibility of delivering the ball, but he fires it straight into the hands of Mignolet.
Henderson rolls a pass down the right-hand channel for Sterling, but Yoshida intercepts. It wouldn't have mattered if the centre-back hadn't intercepted, though, as the flag goes up for an offside decision.
A nice move from Southampton results in Pelle receiving the ball in space 25 yards from goal. He takes a touch to set himself for a shot which he drags wide of the upright. The Italian hasn’t scored in the Premier League since December 20 in the 3-0 win over Everton.
Pelle dinks the ball over the defence for Elia to run onto, but the bounce holds it up, allowing Skrtel to get back into position. The Dutchman still gets to the byline to provide a cross, but there is no one in the middle to supply a finish.
We are back underway! There is one change at the break from Koeman as Morgan Schneiderlin replaces Steven Davis. Rodgers also makes a switch, with Markovic making way for Alberto Moreno.
The teams are making their way back out onto the pitch, so the second half will begin in a few moments.
HALF TIME - Southampton 0-1 Liverpool: The Reds took an early lead through a truly mesmerising goal from Coutinho, but since then they've barely tested Forster. Saints, meanwhile, have been denied by Mignolet on a few occasions and have also had a number of penalty claims turned down. What a half of football that was! Be sure to stick around for the next 45 minutes.
45' + 1'
We are into the first, and only, minute of stoppage time and Mignolet produces a great save to deny Djuricic, and neither Pelle or Elia can find the net on the follow-up! There's the half-time whistle, though!
Yet another penalty claim for the hosts is ignored! From a corner, Yoshida's header hits the hand of Lovren, who then hooks the ball to safety. The referee seemed to think about it for a moment before continuing with play.
WHAT A CHANCE! Elia is released in behind the defence with a pass over the top of the defence, so Mignolet races off his line to meet him. The Southampton man looks to lift a shot beyond the keeper, who seems to use his hand to block it outside the area. Nothing given, though!
Yellow Card Dejan Lovren
Lovren is shown a yellow card for scything down Ward-Prowse as the midfielder knocked the ball forwards in an attempt to start a counterattack from Pelle's knockdown. He's not happy with the decision, but it was probably the correct one.
Ibe shows good strength to draw a foul while protecting the ball near the corner on the near side. Henderson flights it in but he sends his delivery over every single head inside the box.
Liverpool have still yet to produce a second shot on goal, with Coutinho's beautiful strike their only threat on target. Rodgers will want more from his side or they could risk being pegged back.
The hosts win yet another free kick wide on the right, and it is whipped into the box by Ward-Prowse. Pelle is again the target, and the Italian gets what turns out to be the first of a series of headers on the ball. The defence can't get it clear, but a foul on Markovic from Djuricic sees the referee give the Reds a free kick.
Targett shows some flair to progress beyond Lallana on the left, but as he approaches Allen on the edge of the box he loses his footing and stumbles to ground without the ball.
STAT: Southampton have won just two of their last seven league games at home.
Now it is Liverpool who are awarded a free kick, and it comes following a shove on Lallana by Ward-Prowse. The Reds take it short and eventually slide a pass into the box for Sterling, who is caught by a sliding Fonte. Nothing given again, though.
Southampton are awarded a free kick out on the right moments later, though, and again it is Ward-Prowse who supplies the delivery. Mignolet comes from his line to claim it but the ball slips out of his gloves. Fortunately for him their is no Saints player on hand to capitalise.
Wanyama releases the overlapping Clyne with a pass down the right, and the defender is brought down by Can as he looks to get in behind him. The home fans appeal for a free kick but nothing is given, much to their dismay.
Elia uses his pace to get in behind Can as he comes over to the right, and, although the former Juventus man digs out a cross, he is only able to send it behind for a goal kick.
Wanyama is doing a great job of dropping deep and protecting his defence against Sterling. He's not done quite as well in keeping Coutinho out of the game, though.
Saints' momentum since going behind seems to be fizzling out now. Liverpool are seeing more of the ball, with Coutinho and Sterling becoming increasingly involved in the opposition's half.
Markovic clips a brilliant pass into the centre of the box, looking for the diagonal run of Lallana. Fonte runs back and gets a leg up to make a crucial interception, as the Liverpool man would have been one-on-one with Forster there.
Coutinho and Sterling combine well around the edge of the box but the Englishman is crowded out as he attempts to turn into space for a shot.
STAT: Liverpool have had 14 different scorers in the Premier League this season, the joint-highest number alongside Arsenal.
Ward-Prowse swings in a corner from the left which is held by Mignolet. The home crowd are really behind their side, clearly pleased with what they are seeing despite conceding an early goal. It has been a great response from Koeman's men.
A huge cheer goes up as Lovren's attempt to switch the play to Sterling with a long pass up from the back ends up going out of play, nowhere near the forward.
Clyne throws a couple of stepovers at Markovic as he gets beyond the Serbian near to the byline. He floats a cross into the box which is narrowly out of the reach of Pelle again.
Ward-Prowse whips a free kick towards Pelle at the back post, but the delivery is a little too high for the Italian to get his head to. It was the industrious work of Djuricic that one that set-piece.
Ibe goes on a brilliant run down the right, beating two opponents before getting into a crossing position. His delivery goes all the way through to Markovic, whose attempt to clip it back across goal is headed away by the Saints defence.
Henderson sends an early ball to the feet of Sterling on the halfway line, and the England international knocks it out to the right before looking to spin Yoshida. The centre-back reacts quickly, though, and stays ahead of the forward to play a safe pass back to Forster.
Well, what an absolutely electric start to this match we've had! A moment of pure brilliance from Coutinho has Liverpool in the lead, but the hosts have still posed a hreat going forward.
GREAT SAVE! Saints almost draw level immediately, with Djuricic breaking into the box at pace once more. He goes down under a challenge from Allen and the referee signals for play to continue. It proves a good move as the ball falls kindly for Elia, whose shot is kept out of the bottom corner by the leg of Mignolet.
Assist Lazar Marković
OH MY, THAT WAS A STUNNER! Markovic passes inside for Coutinho in space, and the Brazilian takes a couple of touches to get the ball out from his feet. He then lashes a powerful strike which hits the underside of the crossbar before bouncing into the back of the net!
Lovren is roundly booed by the home fans for his comments before departing the club last season. They haven't forgotten!
Manchester City were awarded a penalty inside of 30 seconds in their meeting with Newcastle yesterday, but there is no such luck for Southampton today!
Penalty claim from the hosts! Djuricic burts into the box from the right wing and goes to ground after a coming together with Can. The referee refuses to point to the spot, though, as the Serbian went down fairly easy despite some contact.
We are underway!
The rain is really pouring down on the south coast which is going to make for a rather greasy surface. It will be interesting to see whether that influences the play at all.
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch, so kick off will be upon us in a few short moments. Southampton are in their traditional red and white stripes, while Liverpool are sporting their alternate black kit.
Saints have had a total of 11 days off since their last outing so should feel refreshed ahead of today's meeting. Liverpool, meanwhile, were in action on Thursday and haven't made too many changes. It is interesting to see that Mario Balotelli remains on the bench despite scoring the winner against Besiktas after forcing Henderson aside to take the penalty himself.
Liverpool bench: Ward, Johnson, Toure, Moreno, Lambert, Sturridge, Balotelli.
Liverpool (3-4-3): Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Lovren; Ibe, Henderson, Allen, Markovic; Lallana, Sterling, Coutinho.
Southampton bench: K. Davis, Gardos, Schneiderlin, Reed, Tadic, Mane, Long.
Southampton (4-3-3): Forster; Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Targett; Ward-Prowse, Wanyama, S. Davis; Djuricic, Pelle, Elia.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS: Captain Steven Gerrard misses out with a hamstring injury so Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen continue their partnership in the centre of midfield. Rodgers hands starts for two former Saints players, Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana, while Ricky Lambert takes his place on the bench alongside Daniel Sturridge and Mario Balotelli.
SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS: Ryan Bertrand is banned for today's game so Matt Targett comes in at left-back, while Maya Yoshida moves into the centre of defence alongside Jose Fonte, with Toby Alderweireld still not fit enough to feature. Sadio Mane and Harrison Reed drop to the bench, with Filip Djuricic and James Ward-Prowse coming in.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League matches, of which they have won six, and come into the match off the back of a 1-0 win over Besiktas in the Europa League in midweek. Furthermore, the Reds have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four away games in the top flight. They will be hopeful that a similarly professional performance this afternoon could move them above Tottenham Hotspur and into sixth.
Saints have slipped down the table having won just one of their last three Premier League matches, and they only netted once in the process. Manchester United's defeat at Swansea yesterday, though, means they could move as high as third with a win this afternoon. That will surely provide them with plenty of motivation going into this fixture.
Good afternoon and welcome to this enticing Premier League fixture between the Champions League chasing duo of Southampton and Liverpool. Four points separate Ronald Koeman's fifth-placed side from Brendan Rodgers' Reds in seventh, and both teams have plenty to gain if either can secure a victory today. My name is Tom Webber, and I will be guiding you through all the action.
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