Liverpool 1-0 Southampton
Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger earned his side's third home league win of the season to leave Southampton embedded in the bottom three.
The Reds had the better of the chances and a Jonjo Shelvey strike hit the post, while a Luis Suarez free-kick came back off the crossbar.
Agger finally rewarded his side's play when he headed in Glen Johnson's cross.
Southampton's main threat came from Rickie Lambert and he went close with two speculative long-range efforts.
Although the scoreline suggested a slender win, it was a convincing victory for a Liverpool side which had most of the play only to leave themselves vulnerably placed by not adding to their lead.
However, Southampton rarely looked like breaking through the Reds' rearguard as the attack-minded quartet of Lambert, Gaston Ramirez, Adam Lallana and Jason Puncheon struggled to make their presence felt.
The defeat checked the recent improvement of the Saints as their unbeaten four-game streak came to an end.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will point to back-to-back league wins at Anfield for the first time since September 2011 as further signs of the progress his team are making.
Having seen Southampton striker Lambert fire a 25-yard shot wide, Johnson sliced a near-post shot across the face of the goal from a Suarez cut back.
Johnson's energy and enterprise on the right flank was a constant source of threat and the defender also had a left-foot shot saved after cutting inside.
Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has come in for criticism from some quarters after scoring just once in the league so far this season but, while he may not be as clinical in front of goal as in previous seasons, he is still intrinsic to his side's game.
His prompting of the play and range of passing can still hurt the opposition and Gerrard went close when a goal-bound 15-yard shot was cleared by Morgan Schneiderlin.
Gerrard set up fellow midfielder Shelvey for a powerful shot but the 20-year-old saw his effort come crashing back off a shuddering post as the home side's frustrations continued to mount.
Suarez thought he might be in on goal after Saints centre-back Jose Fonte failed to deal with goalkeeper Pepe Reina's long ball forward but visiting keeper Paulo Gazzaniga got a vital touch before the ball was put out for a corner.
Suarez bent a free-kick against the crossbar and, while he was ruing the home side again being denied, Johnson crossed for Agger to head the Reds deservedly in front.
Apart from Lambert's half-volley from 40 yards, which forced Reina into a smart save, Southampton failed to exert any real goal threat, with the returning midfielder Lucas Leiva giving Liverpool more protection.
Jose Enrique, back to playing in his more accustomed left-back position, poked a shot wide and a powerful drive saved by Gazzaniga.
Suarez also put a shot wide when well-placed and Liverpool's ability to play without him will be tested in their next game against West Ham when he will be suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers:
"The game should have been put to bed well before it was.
"No matter how much you dominate the game, if it's still only 1-0 going into the final 10 minutes it can always offer you a bit of a challenge where you have to defend.
"There's no question we should have been out of sight, but the most important thing is it was a terrific performance and another win at Anfield. We continue with another three points and moving up the league."
Southampton boss Nigel Adkins: "We have come away from home in a good run of form of late but Liverpool's movement was very good and we couldn't get a grip of the football.
"If we could have got to half-time at 0-0 that would have been pleasing but a free header in the penalty area has given them a 1-0 lead.
"Credit to the players because we managed to hang in there and the last 10-15 minutes we went a lot more direct."
- 25 Reina
- 02 Johnson
- 03 Jose Enrique
- 05 Agger
- 37 Skrtel
- 08 Gerrard
- 21 Lucas (Carragher - 88' Booked )
- 24 Allen (Henderson - 69' )
- 31 Sterling
- 33 Shelvey
- 07 Suarez Booked
- 01 Jones
- 23 Carragher
- 47 Wisdom
- 04 Sahin
- 14 Henderson
- 19 Downing
- 30 Suso
- 12 Gazzaniga
- 02 Clyne
- 03 Yoshida
- 06 Fonte
- 23 Shaw
- 04 Schneiderlin
- 10 Ramirez
- 18 Cork (S Davis - 70' )
- 20 Lallana
- 42 Puncheon (Rodriguez - 78' )
- 07 Lambert
- 01 K Davis
- 05 Hooiveld
- 29 Reeves
- 08 S Davis
- 16 Ward-Prowse
- 09 Rodriguez
- 24 Mayuka
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +2:14
Luke Shaw has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the goal.90:00 +1:01
The free kick is swung in right-footed by Gaston Ramirez, clearance by Jose Reina.90:00 +1:01 Booking
Booking Jamie Carragher receives a yellow card.90:00 +0:51
Jay Rodriguez fouled by Jamie Carragher, the ref awards a free kick.90:00 +0:05
Luis Suarez has an effort at goal from the edge of the box that misses to the right of the target.87:18 Substitution
Substitution (Liverpool) makes a substitution, with Jamie Carragher coming on for Leiva Lucas.85:45
Sanchez Jose Enrique takes a shot. Save by Paulo Gazzaniga.84:39
Steven Davis challenges Luis Suarez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Sanchez Jose Enrique takes the free kick.83:55
Rickie Lambert takes a shot. Daniel Agger gets a block in.83:28
Handball by Glen Johnson. Morgan Schneiderlin restarts play with the free kick.82:36
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Jonjo Shelvey played to the near post, Morgan Schneiderlin makes a clearance.80:45 Booking
Booking Luis Suarez goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.80:18
Luis Suarez is adjudged to have handled the ball. Paulo Gazzaniga takes the indirect free kick.78:56
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jay Rodriguez on Daniel Agger. Martin Skrtel takes the free kick.77:09 Substitution
Substitution Jay Rodriguez replaces Jason Puncheon.76:48
Shot from just outside the area by Glen Johnson misses to the left of the target.76:36
Sanchez Jose Enrique takes a shot. Save made by Paulo Gazzaniga.74:02
Free kick awarded for a foul by Leiva Lucas on Rickie Lambert. Morgan Schneiderlin delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance made by Leiva Lucas.72:36
Corner from the right by-line taken by Jonjo Shelvey, Header by Martin Skrtel from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
Substitution Steven Davis replaces Jack Cork.68:26 Substitution
Substitution Jordan Henderson is brought on as a substitute for Joe Allen.67:51
Corner taken by Luis Suarez from the right by-line to the near post, Effort from inside the six-yard box by Steven Gerrard goes wide right of the goal.67:34
Sanchez Jose Enrique takes a shot. Luke Shaw gets a block in.67:06
The ball is crossed by Luis Suarez, clearance by Jose Fonte.65:39
Jonjo Shelvey fouled by Gaston Ramirez, the ref awards a free kick. Glen Johnson takes the indirect free kick.65:02
Morgan Schneiderlin crosses the ball, clearance by Glen Johnson.63:25
Corner taken right-footed by Jonjo Shelvey from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Jack Cork.62:58
Morgan Schneiderlin gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joe Allen. Free kick taken by Steven Gerrard.61:50
Free kick awarded for a foul by Leiva Lucas on Gaston Ramirez. Free kick taken by Jack Cork.59:50
Raheem Sterling takes a shot. Save by Paulo Gazzaniga.57:25
Sanchez Jose Enrique is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Jose Fonte takes the indirect free kick.56:27
Corner taken by Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel challenges Jose Fonte unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paulo Gazzaniga restarts play with the free kick.56:16
Centre by Jonjo Shelvey, blocked by Luke Shaw.55:08
Shot by Gaston Ramirez from a long way out goes over the target.54:20
Steven Gerrard crosses the ball, Jack Cork manages to make a clearance.53:03
Sanchez Jose Enrique takes a shot. Save made by Paulo Gazzaniga.50:25
Corner taken by Gaston Ramirez, clearance made by Daniel Agger.48:59
Morgan Schneiderlin takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.48:38
Inswinging corner taken by Gaston Ramirez, Jose Reina manages to make a clearance.48:24
Jason Puncheon takes a shot. Sanchez Jose Enrique gets a block in.46:06
The ball is delivered by Raheem Sterling, blocked by Luke Shaw.45:01
The referee starts the second half.45:00 +1:40 Half time
Half Time The first half comes to an end.45:00 +1:16
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana from the left by-line.45:00 +0:56
Rickie Lambert takes a shot. Jose Reina makes a save.45:00 +0:33
Jonjo Shelvey produces a cross, Header by Raheem Sterling from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.44:25
Corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana, Jason Puncheon challenges Jose Reina unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Jose Reina.42:19
The ball is sent over by Glen Johnson,42:07
Assist on the goal came from Glen Johnson.42:07 Goal scored
Goal! - Daniel Agger - Liverpool 1 - 0 Southamp'n Daniel Agger gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-0 Southampton.41:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gaston Ramirez on Luis Suarez. Strike comes in from Luis Suarez from the free kick,37:15
The referee penalises Jason Puncheon for handball. Leiva Lucas takes the indirect free kick.36:37
The assistant referee flags for offside against Luis Suarez. Indirect free kick taken by Paulo Gazzaniga.35:54
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Gaston Ramirez by Leiva Lucas. Free kick crossed by Adam Lallana, save by Jose Reina.35:24
A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson.35:10
Jonjo Shelvey has an effort at goal from the edge of the area hitting the post.34:09
Adam Lallana fouled by Glen Johnson, the ref awards a free kick. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes in from Rickie Lambert.32:33
The ball is sent over by Luis Suarez.31:00
Foul by Luis Suarez on Jose Fonte, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Jose Fonte.30:14
The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard, Header from deep inside the area by Martin Skrtel goes harmlessly over the crossbar.29:56
Steven Gerrard takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Rickie Lambert.29:05
Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Steven Gerrard played to the near post, Martin Skrtel takes a shot.25:20
Luis Suarez takes a shot. Save made by Paulo Gazzaniga.24:57
Centre by Raheem Sterling, Maya Yoshida manages to make a clearance.23:32
Foul by Leiva Lucas on Jack Cork, free kick awarded. Jack Cork restarts play with the free kick.23:17
Jonjo Shelvey takes a shot. Save made by Paulo Gazzaniga.22:47
Glen Johnson takes a shot. Save made by Paulo Gazzaniga.22:04
Steven Gerrard produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.21:43
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sanchez Jose Enrique by Jose Fonte. Jonjo Shelvey restarts play with the free kick.20:28
Handball decision goes against Luis Suarez. Paulo Gazzaniga restarts play with the free kick.19:54
Luis Suarez is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Paulo Gazzaniga restarts play with the free kick.18:59
Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Leiva Lucas, Steven Gerrard takes a shot. Morgan Schneiderlin gets a block in.18:52
Glen Johnson sends in a cross, Jose Fonte manages to make a clearance.17:02
Steven Gerrard handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Maya Yoshida takes the indirect free kick.16:07
Luis Suarez takes a shot. Blocked by Jose Fonte.15:34
Centre by Rickie Lambert, Daniel Agger manages to make a clearance.15:09
Gaston Ramirez fouled by Leiva Lucas, the ref awards a free kick. Jose Fonte takes the free kick.13:24
Foul by Raheem Sterling on Nathaniel Clyne, free kick awarded. Indirect free kick taken by Paulo Gazzaniga.11:20
Raheem Sterling sends in a cross, save made by Paulo Gazzaniga.10:20
Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Steven Gerrard, save by Paulo Gazzaniga.9:45
Steven Gerrard takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Adam Lallana.9:36
Joe Allen produces a cross, clearance made by Luke Shaw.9:12
The ball is sent over by Luis Suarez, Glen Johnson takes a shot.8:26
The ball is crossed by Steven Gerrard, Jonjo Shelvey takes a shot. Save made by Paulo Gazzaniga.6:45
Glen Johnson produces a cross.5:27
A cross is delivered by Raheem Sterling, Maya Yoshida makes a clearance.2:22
Rickie Lambert has a shot on goal from outside the area which misses right.0:40
Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Lallana on Glen Johnson. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Gerrard from right wing.0:00
The game kicks-off.
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