Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton0LiverpoolLiverpool3

Southampton 0-3 Liverpool

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport
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.

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.

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

Formation 4-3-3

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

Substitutes

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

Liverpool

Formation 4-1-2-1-2

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

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 9Iago Aspas
  • 12Moses
  • 20Cissokho
  • 31Sterling
  • 53Vilaça 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 0, Liverpool 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 0, Liverpool 3.

  3. Goal!

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

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Southampton).

  8. Post update

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

  9. Post update

    Foul by Gastón Ramírez (Southampton).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by Dejan Lovren (Southampton).

  12. Post update

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

  13. Booking

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

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Steven Gerrard (Liverpool).

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Iago Aspas replaces Daniel Sturridge.

  17. Booking

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

  18. Post update

    Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

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

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea28196352223063
2Liverpool28185573353859
3Arsenal28185552282459
4Man City26183569274257
5Tottenham2715573633350
6Everton27139538271148
7Man Utd27136843311245
8Newcastle28134113739-243
9Southampton2810993835339
10West Ham2887133135-431
11Hull2886143035-530
12Stoke2879122842-1430
13Swansea2777133640-428
14Aston Villa2777132737-1028
15Norwich2777132039-1928
16Crystal Palace2682161836-1826
17West Brom27413103139-825
18Sunderland2666142642-1624
19Cardiff2757151948-2922
20Fulham2863192862-3421
View full Premier League table

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