English Premier League 2015-16

Southampton storm back to damage Liverpool’s hopes of top-four contention in Premier League

Saints come from 2-0 down to stun Juergen Klopp’s troops 3-2

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 March, 2016, 12:34am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 March, 2016, 12:34am

Southampton staged a remarkable recovery from 2-0 down with Sadio Mane scoring twice to damage Liverpool’s hopes of moving into top-four contention in the English Premier League on Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho’s curling shot past Fraser Forster gave Liverpool the lead after 17 minutes and they doubled their advantage four minutes later when Daniel Sturridge finished off a swift counter-attack.

I wanted to celebrate with them, I was so proud of my players
Saints boss Ronald Koeman

Liverpool were well worth their lead but Southampton were a different proposition after the break. Mane had a penalty saved by Simon Mignolet in the 49th minute but he made amends with a close-range finish just past the hour mark.

Graziano Pelle equalised with a powerful 20-metre strike seven minutes from time and Mane snatched the points three minutes later with a precise low finish to move Southampton into seventh place on 47 points, three more than Liverpool.

“It was the first time I have celebrated like that and run. I had my Achilles operation so I was not sure about it,” said Saints boss Ronald Koeman.

“I was so happy for the players it was a must-win game, the same as last week we are still fighting for a European place, that is what we want. I wanted to celebrate with them, I was so proud of my players.”

Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp said: “We have played 20 more games, how can I blame my players? They were not in the same shape in the second half and we had to finish the game.

“We have had wonderful moments this season and today it was Southampton’s moments.

“I do not know about the top four, we are not closer than we were before. There are nine games left, that is 27 points, it is possible, I don’t know.”

“They scored three goals, we didn’t, that is how football is.”