Liverpool Need to End Poor Record at Southampton to Maintain Title Hope

Max Munton@thisisanfieldLiverpool CorrespondentFebruary 28, 2014

Liverpool Need to End Poor Record at Southampton to Maintain Title Hope

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Liverpool's trip to Southampton this Saturday will be a real test of their title credentials. The Reds look to end an 11-year wait for a victory at St. Mary's Stadium.

    The record isn't as bad as it first sounds. Southampton's absence from the Premier League between 2005 and 2012 make up seven years of the wait.

    Nevertheless, St. Mary's has been something of a jinxed ground for Liverpool down the years—a hoodoo Brendan Rodgers will be keen to end as his side keeps the pressure on fellow title contenders this weekend.

    Here we look back down memory lane at a rather weak Liverpool record at Southampton, which has seen just one victory in the last five outings. 

January 2002

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Southampton 2-0 Liverpool

    After winning the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup the previous season, Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool went on to finish second behind Arsenal in the Premier League the following year.

    The trip to Southampton was a blip on the record. The side accumulated 80 points in all and enjoyed a rare season above Manchester United in the Premier League table.

    After a goalless first half, Sami Hyypia brought down Southampton’s Matt Oakley. Prolific striker James Beattie converted from the resulting penalty.

    Second-half substitute John Arne Riise compounded Liverpool’s misery late on when he sent a looping header into his own net past Jerzy Dudek. 

January 2003

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Southampton 0-1 Liverpool

    Emile Heskey’s header after 14 minutes was the only goal of the game, allowing Liverpool to walk away with three points and end a run of 12 games without a win.

    It was a great day for Heskey, too. The England international had come under immense pressure after failing to score in his previous 19 appearances for the Reds.

    Liverpool went on to finish fifth in the Premier League, qualifying for the following season’s UEFA Cup.

March 2004

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    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Southampton 2-0 Liverpool

    Houllier took his Liverpool side to Southampton toward the end of a dreary season for the Reds, which would see the Frenchman replaced by Spaniard Rafa Benitez in the summer.

    Beattie lifted the ball over Jerzy Dudek to give the home side the lead just before half-time, but Liverpool mounted pressure in the second half.

    They were awarded a penalty and the chance to draw level 18 minutes from time, but Michael Owen saw his spot-kick saved by Antti Niemi.

    Kevin Phillips' late goal sealed the points for Southampton. 

January 2005

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Southampton 2-0 Liverpool

    Just months before Liverpool’s European Cup triumph in Istanbul, Benitez’s Reds looked by far the weaker team on a disappointing and cold trip to St. Mary’s.

    Argentine defender Mauricio Pellegrino was guilty of sloppy defending, gifting the ball to David Prutton, who gave the home side the lead after just five minutes via a one-two with Peter Crouch.

    The visitors found themselves two down on 22 minutes when Crouch headed home from close range.

    Later that year, Liverpool would sign Crouch from relegated Southampton for £7 million.

March 2013

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Southampton 3-1 Liverpool

    Liverpool’s most recent trip to St. Mary’s, following Southampton’s promotion to the Premier League in 2012, ended in misery for Rodgers’ side on a dreary day on the south coast.

    Any chance of Liverpool ending the season on a good run and finishing in the top four were ended when Morgan Schneiderlin struck to give Southampton the lead after six minutes.

    Rickie Lambert’s free-kick took a wicked deflection to put the Saints 2-0 up before a Philippe Coutinho goal brought the Reds back into the game before the break.

    However, the three points were secured by Southampton when Jay Rodriguez put the ball away after an impressive run on goal 10 minutes from time.