Saturday, 1 December 2012

Liverpool v Southampton

Southampton were the visitors to Anfield after the defeat in midweek to Tottenham as Liverpool looked to bounce back and push up the table.

The naming of Lucas Leiva in the starting lineup was a welcome sight for the home fans and also the inclusion of Jonjo Shelvey in the eleven was well deserved after a string of good performances as a substitute.

Liverpool started well and could have taken the lead in the 10th minute when Glen Johnson latched on to a Suarez cross at the front post but the shot spun wide.

Shelvey seemed to have settled well in the advanced role alongside Suarez and Sterling and had two good chances to break the deadlock, the first forcing a save from Gazzaniga and the second smashed against the inside of the post.

Liverpool had a penalty shout when Suarez was pulled back in the box but he hung on and got a shot on goal but failed to hit the back of the net. The net did bulge in the 43rd minute after a superb free-kick from Suarez pinged off the crossbar to reach Johnson who swept in a wondrous cross which was met by the head of Daniel Agger who headed home to give the home side the lead into the break.

Southampton came out and pushed for the equaliser which saw Lucas show why he was missed so much while injured as he held the midfield line well to deny the Southampton attacks.

Enrique could have sealed the game after bursting into the box and receiving a nice pass from Suarez but missed the target with the shot and forced a save from Gazzaniga with 15 minutes to go after a well taken half-volley.

Lucas left the field in the 88th minute to rapturous applause to be replaced by Jamie Carragher and after being out for three months, he did well to last so long while putting in a good performance.

A nice exchange of passes between Johnson, Gerrard and Sterling allowed Suarez to try his luck from close range but his chance went begging after struggling to adjust his position on the ball and he had the final chance of the game but hit the ball wide from 10 yards out.

So Agger's header gives Liverpool a well deserved win and moves them up to 11th  just behind struggling Arsenal who fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea after a late brace from Michu who joined Suarez at the top of the scoring charts

Next up for Liverpool is the daunting trip to Italy to face Udinese in a game which will hopefully secure the passage into the Europa League last 32 before then travelling to face West Ham at the weekend who shocked Chelsea 3-1 this afternoon after trailing 1-0 at half-time before a scintillating trio of strikes to seal the win.