Agger header enough as LFC beat Southampton

Premier League
Saturday 01 December 2012 - 3:00 pm
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Liverpool 1-0 Southampton

A Daniel Agger header proved enough as Liverpool ran out 1-0 victors over Southampton at Anfield.

The scoreline flattered Southampton, as the reds should have been home and dry at half time - but for a couple of wasted chances.  Agger rose highest in the 43rd minute though in a game that saw a return for Liverpool's star midfielder Lucas Leiva.

Both Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson made way after the Spurs defeat - Lucas Leiva returning and Jonjo Shelvey also getting a start for the reds.  Jose Enrique switching back to his more familiar left back role - with Gerrard moved a little further forward and relieved of some of his midfield duties.

The decision was a good one.  Gerrard looked much improved on the ball than in earlier games this season, and Shelvey's energy added to Lucas' guile.

Glen Johnson was the pick of the bunch in the opening stages of the game - a constant menace down the right wing - providing support and crosses to the Liverpool frontline.

Gerrard was seeing more of the ball in attacking positions, chancing a shot of his own, before setting up Shelvey who also had a crack at Gazzaniga in the Saints goal.

Both Suarez and Shelvey found themselves bearing down on goal from through-balls - both failing to convert - the former due to a good interception, the latter due to a little bit of hesitancy.

The goal came just before half-time.  Suarez was felled and awarded a free kick.  His curling effort rebounded off the crossbar - making it's way to Glen Johnson who played a sublime cross and Daniel Agger rose highest, and sent in a perfect looping header to give Liverpool a well deserved lead.

The second half Southampton improved, but it was still Liverpool who should have added more goals.  Enrique yet again heavily involved in our chances - and late on Sterling should have done better when he too suffered from nerves in front of the Kop - and ended up fumbling a pass to the incoming Gerrard.

Lucas Leiva was withdrawn with 2 minutes to go with the Anfield crowd saluting his return.  The only negative from the game was Luis Suarez picking up his 5th yellow card of the campaign - an offence that will be met with a one game ban - which means he will miss the next League game away at West Ham.

The reds move up to 11th.  Such is the poor standard of the league that only 7 points separate 3rd and 11th in the League.  Liverpool will be hoping they can continue to chase the pack at the top of the table and avoid being sucked towards today's opposition.

The reds travel to Italy midweek - where they face a difficult task in ensuring their European campaign continues.

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