Monday, 3 March 2014

Reds End Poor St Mary's Record

Liverpool made the trip to the south coast to face a Southampton side with a good record against the Reds and the remaining team on Suarez's scoring checklist as Liverpool looked to move up to second in the table.

A solo change was made to the Swansea lineup with Allen replacing Sterling who dropped to the bench as Liverpool moved to four in midfield and early on the tactical switch put pressure on the hosts as Coutinho looked to setup Suarez with Lovren lucky to end the danger.

The hero of previous meeting was called into action again to thwart a cross from Henderson to Coutinho with defensive partner Fonte ending an exchange between the fabled 'SAS'. Lallana swept a cross to Rodriguez but Agger was on call to deny the attacker with a vital clearance. The Dane's block proved even more important when Suarez connected to a Johnson throw-in and moved well into the box with Sturridge close to finding him but a Saints block saw the ball ricochet to the Uruguayan who finished superbly past Boruc to break the deadlock. The strike saw him match the tally of Anfield legend Robbie Fowler by hitting his 62nd goal in a century of appearances.

Southampton responded and buzzing with confidence after his debut England call-up, Luke Shaw clipped a cross to Lambert but a mixed connection saw his effort go high above the goal, Lallana connected to Lambert's knockdown and saw his effort cannon off the post to the relief of the visitors.

Liverpool looked to go into the break 2-0 up with Sturridge and Suarez combining but the latter's effort failed to test Boruc. Southampton came out for the second half with a continuance of their attacking mood and Schneiderlin had a chance go over with Mignolet denying Rodriguez with a strong save.

The pressure from the hosts saw Rodgers make a change by bringing Sterling on for Coutinho meaning a return to the usual 4-3-3 and it paid off instantly as Gerrard picked out Suarez with the Uruguayan laying off to Sterling who tapped home at the back post only 80 seconds after coming on to the field.

Suarez turned creator again as he supplied strike partner Sturridge who looked to net for a ninth successive game but despite rounding Boruc, he was left with too narrow of an angle to hit the target, Southampton's pace began to stutter and Suarez again found his partner but Fonte intercepted and quelled the danger.

Fonte went from hero to villain as he pulled Suarez back and conceded a penalty which Gerrard converted to cap off a brilliant performance and propel his side to second in the table ahead of a fortnight's break ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.