After an inspired comeback to win against Tottenham last week, Liverpool travelled to the South Coast to face Southampton and were brought down to earth with a crushing blow to their top four hopes.
Martin Sktrel returned in place of Jamie Carragher and Allen came in for Lucas with Jones again deputising between the sticks as Liverpool hoped to continue a four-game unbeaten run.
The hope suffered an early hit as Ramirez swept in a cross to Rodriguez and up popped Schneiderlin to tap past Jones, stun the travelling kopites and give the home fans great pleasure.
The advantage could have been two as Lambert went one-on-one with Jones but luckily Jones denied him the chance to score. Southampton looked in control and a way away from the 'strugglers' tag they hold in the table as Rodriguez forced a good stop from Jones with a clear cut drive from the edge of the box and blazed over a great chance after Jones parried Lallana's lob.
Liverpool took until the 28th minute to register their first shot on target as Sturridge caught Boruc out of position but his 25 yard shot was easily collected by the keeper.
Southampton increased their lead five minutes later as a free-kick from Latmbert brushed Sturridge's back in the wall and wrong-footed Jones to sail into the corner and need Liverpool needing a miracle to keep their unbeaten run intact, some solace did come just before the break as Coutinho made the most of a goalmouth scramble to tap home and cut the deficit by one going into the interval.
Sturridge attempted to equalise early in the half but miscued a volley and that was it from Liverpool until the 65th minute when a Suarez free-kick sailed into Boruc's grasp.
Southampton threatened a third when Lallana found space but an attempted lob was denied by Jones, the third did come with ten minutes to go as Rodriguez weaved through the defence and slotted home from a rebound after his original shot was parried by Jones to ruin Liverpool's recent good form and give Southampton a crucial win in their fight to achieve safety in the league.
As for Liverpool, losing at Southampton coupled with other results going against them meant a top four finish is a fantasy and that Europa League qualification is the best they can hope for in a mixed season which resumes against Aston Villa after the International break.