Premier League
Southampton0Liverpool3

Southampton 0-3 Liverpool

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez celebrates scoring against Southampton

Liverpool strengthened their title challenge as a clinical victory over Southampton lifted them into second in the Premier League table.

Striker Luis Suarez scored his first goal for six games with a low finish from just inside the penalty area.

Southampton's Adam Lallana was denied an equaliser by a post before Reds substitute Raheem Sterling made it 2-0.

The teenager netted with his first touch after Suarez's cross, and Steven Gerrard added the third with a penalty.

The spot-kick was awarded after the tireless Suarez, making his 100th Premier League appearance, was hauled down by Jose Fonte deep in stoppage time.

With Arsenal losing earlier at Stoke and Manchester City not playing, Liverpool are now table-topping Chelsea's closest rivals.

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Liverpool were outstanding - Rodgers

The Reds head into a two-week break four points behind Jose Mourinho's leaders with 10 games remaining.

But they leapfrog Arsenal because of a superior goal difference and, just as importantly, are nine points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race for Champions League qualification.

Manager Brendan Rodgers will be just as pleased with a clean sheet after his side conceded five goals in their previous two games.

Liverpool remain unbeaten in the top flight in 2014, with seven wins in nine games.

They arrived at St Mary's Stadium having scored in their previous 17 league games, and required just 16 minutes to extend that run to 18.

Steven Gerrard scores at Southampton
Steven Gerrard has scored eight goals in 25 Premier League games this season

The goal came after a powerful run by Daniel Sturridge following a Liverpool throw-in, with Fonte diverting the ball into the path of Suarez, who finished clinically.

In a game that featured nine players called up for England duty against Denmark, Southampton spent the remainder of the first half testing the visitors' defence.

Lallana was denied by a post after the Reds had failed to deal with Jay Rodriguez's looping cross, while French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin fired narrowly over with a shot on the turn.

Rodriguez was then left frustrated by Simon Mignolet's diving save before Sterling put the game beyond the hosts 80 seconds after replacing Philippe Coutinho.

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Result unfair on Southampton - Pochettino

Watched by England boss Roy Hodgson, Sterling kept his composure after Suarez turned provider, beating Dejan Lovren before cutting the ball back into the path of his teenage team-mate.

And Liverpool fans were singing "We're going to win the league" when Gerrard made it 3-0 in stoppage time after Fonte's lunge on Suarez.

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino:

"I thought 3-0 wasn't a fair result. Liverpool were a lot more clinical than we were in front of goal.

"But we had some very good chances that wouldn't go in for us.

"We just need to keep on working. We're going to be without many players who are going to be away on international duty.

"When they come back on Thursday and Friday, we'll be more than ready for the next game."

Line-ups

Southampton

  • 31Boruc
  • 22Chambers
  • 23Shaw
  • 18CorkSubstituted forWanyamaat 77'minutesBooked at 84mins
  • 6Fonte
  • 5Lovren
  • 8DavisSubstituted forRamírezat 45'minutes
  • 4Schneiderlin
  • 7LambertSubstituted forGallagherat 76'minutes
  • 9Rodriguez
  • 20Lallana

Substitutes

  • 2Clyne
  • 3Yoshida
  • 10Ramírez
  • 12Wanyama
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 40Gallagher

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 38Flanagan
  • 2Johnson
  • 8GerrardBooked at 86mins
  • 37Skrtel
  • 5Agger
  • 14HendersonBooked at 70mins
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forSterlingat 57'minutes
  • 7Suarez
  • 15SturridgeSubstituted forIago Aspasat 85'minutes
  • 24Allen

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 9Iago Aspas
  • 12Moses
  • 20Cissokho
  • 31Sterling
  • 53J. Teixeira
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
31,659

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home13
Away12
Shots on Target
Home2
Away5
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home10
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Southampton 0, Liverpool 3.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Southampton 0, Liverpool 3.

Goal!

Goal! Southampton 0, Liverpool 3. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

Penalty conceded by Jose Fonte (Southampton) after a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty Liverpool. Luis Suarez draws a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Southampton).

Glen Johnson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Southampton).

Joe Allen (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Dejan Lovren (Southampton).

Iago Aspas (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Adam Lallana (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).

Substitution

Substitution, Liverpool. Iago Aspas replaces Daniel Sturridge.

Booking

Victor Wanyama (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

Luis Suarez (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Sam Gallagher (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Daniel Agger (Liverpool).

Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Jon Flanagan.

Attempt missed. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

Raheem Sterling (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Victor Wanyama replaces Jack Cork.

Substitution

Substitution, Southampton. Sam Gallagher replaces Rickie Lambert.

Attempt missed. Luis Suarez (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jordan Henderson.

Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left following a corner.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Artur Boruc.

Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Artur Boruc.

Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Attempt missed. Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Joe Allen.

Jack Cork (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (Liverpool).

Booking

Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Luke Shaw (Southampton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the left. Assisted by Luis Suarez.

Gastón Ramírez (Southampton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Chelsea2819633063
2Liverpool2818553859
3Arsenal2818552459
4Man City2618354257
5Tottenham271557350
6Everton2713951148
7Man Utd2713681245
8Newcastle2813411-243
9Southampton281099339
10West Ham288713-431
11Hull288614-530
12Stoke287912-1430
13Swansea277713-428
14Aston Villa277713-1028
15Norwich277713-1928
16Crystal Palace268216-1826
17West Brom2741310-825
18Sunderland266614-1624
19Cardiff275715-2922
20Fulham286319-3421
View full Premier League table

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