Premier League - Liverpool second after Southampton victory

Premier League, St Mary’s - Southampton 0 Liverpool (Suarez 16’, Sterling 58’, Gerrard 90+5’ pen.)

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Premier League - Liverpool second after Southampton victory
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Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal (Getty Images)

Liverpool moved into second place in the Premier League with a 3-0 victory at Southampton.

Luis Suarez scored the opening goal on 16 minutes, taking advantage of a defensive mistake to curl the ball past Artur Boruc with a smart finish.

Southampton came back into the game, going close with Adam Lallana, who hit the post, and Jay Rodriguez, who forced a good save from Simon Mignolet. Suarez had another chance to score after a Daniel Sturridge cross found him in the box, but Boruc got down quickly to save.

In the second half, Southampton started brightly but failed to create any clear chances. Liverpool brought on Raheem Sterling for Philippe Coutinho. Almost immediately, he scored Liverpool’s second, steering in Suarez’s pass from the right after the Uruguayan cleverly got away from Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool continued to threaten and Suarez almost scored directly from a corner at Boruc’s near post; a minute later he dragged another shot just wide of goal.

With seconds remaining, Suarez earned a penalty for Steven Gerrard to convert, sending Liverpool to second place, ahead of Arsenal on goal difference but four points behind Chelsea.

KEY EVENTS

13’ - SOUTHAMPTON PENALTY CLAIM: Adam Lallana is barged over by John Flanagan in the box, but the referee rules it a fair challenge.

16’ - SUAREZ GOAL (Southampton 0-1 Liverpool): After the ball ricochets around the Southampton defence outside the box, the ball runs to Luis Suarez, who strokes the ball past Boruc.

32’ - LALLANA MISS: Rickie Lambert chests down a cross into the path of Lallana, who takes one touch and shoots against the post.

37’ - BORUC SAVE: Daniel Sturridge pulls the ball back for Suarez to fire at the near post, but Boruc saves.

43’ - MIGNOLET SAVE: Luke Shaw sends in a low cross, Lallana allows it to run to Rodriguez, who takes one touch before shooting towards goal - Mignolet is down smartly to save.

58’ - STERLING GOAL (Southampton 0-2 Liverpool): Suarez easily spins Lovren, charges into space and squares the ball for Sterling to double Liverpool’s lead.

68’ - STURRIDGE CHANCE: Sturridge rounds Boruc, but from a tight angle can’t quite get his shot on target.

90+5’ - GERRARD PENALTY (Southampton 0-3 Liverpool): Suarez is tripped in the box by Jose Fonte, giving Steven Gerrard the chance to add the third with a well taken penalty.

KEY STATS

Steven Gerrard has now scored more goals for Liverpool than Michael Owen.

Raheem Sterling scored after just 80 seconds on the pitch.

Liverpool beat Southampton having lost their previous three Premier League away matches to them.

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Liverpool are four points from Chelsea at the top of the league, and are second on goal difference.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

Liverpool are mounting a genuine title challenge. Written off for so long given their previous failings and their continued defensive weakness, it may be up to Chelsea and Manchester City alone to end their ambitions - there are no other teams better than them in the league.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Luis Suarez (Liverpool): His run resulted in the defensive mistake which he ended up converting to win the match, he set up Sterling’s goal with clever work, won the penalty for Steven Gerrard, and he was committed throughout, harrying Southampton’s defence.

PLAYER RATINGS

SOUTHAMPTON: Boruc 6, Chambers 6, Fonte 5, Lovren 5, Shaw 6, Cork 5, Schneiderlin 5, Davis 6, Lallana 7, Rodriguez 6, Lambert 6. Subs: Ramírez 5, Wanyama 6, Gallagher 6.

LIVERPOOL: Mignolet 7, Johnson 6, Flanagan 7, Agger 6, Skrtel 7, Gerrard 6, Allen 6, Henderson 6, Coutinho 6, Sturridge 7, Suarez 7. Subs: Aspas 6, Sterling 7.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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