Daniel Sturridge celebrates against Southampton

Southampton 3-2 Liverpool: A tale of two halves as the reds throw away 3 points

Southampton 3-2 Liverpool

Coutinho (17) Sturridge (21)
Premier League
St Marys Stadium / Attendance: 31596
Sunday 20 March 2016 1:30 pm

Liverpool take a first half lead before a fine Southampton comeback denies the reds all the points.

In the week that he signed a new 3 year contract, Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan was named captain for the reds.

After missing out of the Europa League games due to being ineligible he was returned to the side in place of Alberto Moreno.  Nathaniel Clyne switched to left back.

Jordan Henderson was named on the bench after failing to fully recover from sickness, whilst James Milner served his one game suspension for the red card picked up in the last Premier League outing.

With Firmino also ruled out with injury, Divock Origi partnered Daniel Sturridge for the first time in the Premier League.

Liverpool were the better side in the first half, but not initially.

Saints started well and might have been awarded a penalty early on.  The ref didn't award a penalty - probably because Shane Long ran across into the path of Dejan Lovren.  Was there contact? Yes.  But was it a foul? No.

Just after the quarter hour mark Coutinho lit the game up with a wonderful finish from 25 yards out - beating Forster with a clinical strike.

The reds were rampant and five minutes later Divock Origi set off on a powerful run, before unselfishly finding Sturridge who calmly controlled the ball before stroking it into the far corner.

Daniel Sturridge celebrates against Southampton

The reds should have had more.  Joe Allen had the ball in the net but it was disallowed for a close offside.  Sturridge and Coutinho both had other chances as the reds looked the more dangerous.

Half time saw changes for both sides.  Southampton bringing on Mane, whilst Lovren (who had picked up a yellow) was replaced by the returning Martin Skrtel.

Within 3 minutes Skrtel had conceded a penalty - admittedly a soft one.  But Mignolet dived the right way to deny Southampton getting back into the game.

The penalty didn't serve as a warning though - Southampton were plugging away.

Mid way through the half Mane made up for failing to convert the penalty - lashing in to cut Liverpool's advantage in half.

Liverpool failed to respond and in the 70th minute Benteke came on to replace Sturridge.  Benteke should have put the game beyond Southampton but put a shot wide from inside the box.

The last ten minutes didn't go well - as the reds prepared to bring on Henderson to bolster the midfield, Martin Skrtel lost out on a header - and Pelle fired the equaliser in from outside the box.

Three minutes later and Skrtel was at fault again - as Mane completed a remarkable comeback for Southampton and stole all three points back.

After three good performances from Liverpool their inconsistency was again revealed and any lingering hopes of the reds finishing in the top four can now probably be put to bed.

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