Continuing the series where I look back at my five favourite wins the Liverpool’s next opponents. This weekend Liverpool play against Southampton at Anfield. Here are my five favourite wins from past encounters.
25th September 1982
LIVERPOOL (3) 5 (Whelan 6, 71, Souness, 22, Lawrenson 41, 67)
SOUTHAMPTON (0) 0
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Neal, Lawrenson, Thompson, Kennedy; Lee, Johnston, Souness, Whelan; Rush (McDermott), Dalglish
SOUTHAMPTON: Shilton; Baker, Wright, Nicholl, Holmes; Ball (Wallace), Williams, Agboola, Armstrong; Cassels, Moran
Having won the League and League Cup the previous season, Liverpool had started the 1982-83 season unbeaten by the time Southampton arrived at Anfield. But after 4 games without conceding, they’d hit an alarming defensive slide when both Nottingham Forest and Luton had scored 3 goals each on their visits here. Southampton, themselves had only scored 3 goals in their 6 matches so far that season and so it turned out Liverpool had little to worry about.
Early on they had a bit of luck when an attack in the 6th minute saw Dalglish play a ball into Ronnie Whelan’s path and Mark Wright tried to intercept but hit the ball against Whelan and it looped over the helpless Shilton for the opening goal. Midway through the half came a trademark strike from Graeme Souness. Whelan and Dalglish were again involved as Dalglish turned Holmes to create the space for Souness to hit one from 25 yards into the top corner for a 2-0 lead. As the half reached a close Liverpool went searching for a third goal and some desperate defending from the visitors scrambled away attempts from Rush, Johnston and Whelan. Rush was in again minutes later but Shilton was on hand to deny him as Liverpool laid siege on the Saints goal.
This was typical of Liverpool at this period, when an early goal just spurred them onto want to score more, almost as if they were competing with themselves for scoring records. They just wouldn’t let sides settle and the third goal, just before the break, was evidence of that. Lee gave the ball away wide on the right on the halfway line but a combination of Lawrenson and Lee won it back. Lawrenson had come out from the back to regain possession and when the ball fell to Souness, he carried on his run. Souness found him and he was clear of the defence to calmly slot the ball past Shilton for a 3-0 half-time lead. Midway through the second half, with Liverpool in total control, came the best move of the day. Southampton had tried to create something having the won the ball on the edge of their area, but when Cassels tried to find Moran just inside the Liverpool half, Lawrenson was already one step ahead and had anticipated the pass. He intercepted the pass and moved forward, playing the ball to his right where Johnston dummied for Dalglish, who simply waited for Lawrenson to continue his run and then found him with a perfectly weighted pass into his path and Lawrenson again was cool with his finish. If you wanted a lesson in how to pass through two lines of defence, that was it and Liverpool were 4-0 up. The home crowd didn’t have to wait long for another as the game began to resemble a training match. Southampton were just chasing shadows at this point as Liverpool let the ball do all the work. Lee, with the ball deep in the right-back position, found Dalglish just inside the Saints half on the edge of the centre circle. He touched it first time to his right where Souness hit a first time pass to allow Johnston to run clear of the defence. Outrageously, Johnston tried to “do a Pele” and knock the ball one side of the England goalkeeper whilst running round the other but Shilton managed to stop his progress though Johnston was still in possession down on the bye line. The Australian turned and picked out a pinpoint pass to find Whelan in the 6-yard area. Despite being outnumbered 3-to-1 the cross was so accurate that Whelan simply passed it into the empty net and Southampton had been humiliated. This was Liverpool at their sublime best in Bob Paisley’s final season as manager where they ended up with another League and League Cup double, winning the League by 11pts.
31st March 1990
LIVERPOOL (1) 3 (Barnes 15, Osman og 73, Rush 82)
SOUTHAMPTON (1) 2 (Rideout 35, Case 48)
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Venison (Gillespie), Hansen, Hysen, Staunton; Houghton, McMahon (Rosenthal), Whelan, Barnes; Rush, Beardsley
SOUTHAMPTON: Flowers; Dodd, Adams, Osman, Cook (Cherednik); Wallace, Case (Cockerill), Horne; Le Tissier, Rideout
When Southampton arrived towards the end of the 1989-90 season, two men who played in the 1982 match I highlighted above, returned as managers – Kenny Dalglish and Chris Nicholl. Liverpool had missed out on the title the season before after Michael Thomas last minute goal at Anfield, and they were determined to win it back. They came into the game in 2nd place, 3pts behind Aston Villa with 2 games in hand. Arsenal were a further 6pts back having played a game more.
For most of the first 60 minutes Liverpool were poor in this game, seeming unable to pull themselves out of a rare indifferent mood, and against an opposition with more to play for than Southampton, they may have suffered for it. But they took the lead after 15 minutes when a Ray Houghton free-kick was headed in by John Barnes. Liverpool had been beaten 1-4 by Southampton the previous October, and the visitors levelled 10 minutes before the break. Jimmy Case, once a favourite at Anfield, took a free-kick, Moore flicked it on and Paul Rideout rose to head unchallenged into the net for the equaliser. Then soon after half-time, Rodney Wallace ran through to allow Case to shoot from 20 yards out and give the Saints the lead. Case had come to Anfield in 1983 with Brighton and scored to put Liverpool out of the cup and looked like he’d have a hand in another rare away win. But Dalglish brought on Ronnie Rosenthal, who was on loan from Standard Liege at the time, and his introduction seemed to change the game.
Rosenthal won a corner soon after coming on and Houghton’s kick was turned into his own net by Russell Osman to square things up again. Then as the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Glenn Hysen headed on for Ian Rush to score from the edge of the area and Liverpool had dramatically turned a 1-2 deficit into a 3-2 victory. Wallace should’ve grabbed a point for Southampton right at the end as Southampton created history by bringing on Cherednik who became the first player from the Soviet Union to appear in the English First Division.
With Villa not playing that day, Liverpool moved back to the top of the table where they remained to win their 18th League Championship. They narrowly missed out on their second double as Crystal Palace beat them in a thrilling FA Cup Semi-Final.
30th October 1993
LIVERPOOL (2) 4 (Fowler 14, 29, 85; Rush 63)
SOUTHAMPTON (1) 2 (Le Tissier 40, 78)
LIVERPOOL: Grobbelaar; Jones, Wright, Ruddock, Bjornebye (Rosenthal); Nicol, Stewart, Matteo, Harkness; Rush, Fowler
SOUTHAMPTON: Flowers; Kenna, Adams, Benali, Monkou; Moore (Cockerill), Reid, Allen, Maddison; Le Tissier, Dowie
Into the second season of the Premier League and Liverpool, now managed by Graeme Souness, welcomed the visit of Southampton, now under the stewardship of Ian Branfoot. Souness had systematically taken apart the title winning side and Anfield witnessed many new faces, some who lasted, many who didn’t. By the end of October they had already lost 5 of their 12 matches and were 14pts off the leaders. Southampton were faring even worse with just 2 wins to their name and only 1pt from 6 away games.
Tim Flowers, in the visitors goal, had just agreed a move to Blackburn, turning down Liverpool in the process, yet he was motivated enough to deny the home side time and again. But the day belonged to Liverpool’s new scoring sensation, Robbie Fowler. 14 minutes into the game and Fowler’s neat back-header from a near post corner gave Liverpool the lead. On the half hour Ruddock’s long ball was met by Fowler who chested it down and then hit a shot past Flowers for a 2-0 lead. But Southampton managed to get a goal back before half-time when Dowie’s header found Le Tissier who beat Grobbelaar. In the second half, Souness brought on Rosenthal for Bjornebye and pushed forward down the wings. Soon they had created three good chances but each time Flowers denied them until just after an hour when he saved from Stewart only to see the rebound fall to Rush who didn’t miss. Le Tissier again hit back running 30 yards to score and give the Saints feint hope, but it was Fowler again who confirmed things for the home side. Fowler scored direct from a free-kick which curled past Flowers to complete his first ever Premiership hat-trick and his 10th goal in 8 games. By the time the two sides would meet again in February they were both under new management. Liverpool finished the season down in 8th and Southampton stayed up by virtue of a solitary point.
16th January 1999
LIVERPOOL (3) 7 (Fowler 22, 37, 47; Matteo 35, Carragher 55, Owen 63, Thompson 73)
SOUTHAMPTON (0) 1 (Ostenstad 59)
LIVERPOOL: James; Heggem, Babb, Carragher (Kvarme), Matteo, Bjornebye; Redknapp, Ince (Thompson), Berger; Fowler, Owen (Riedle)
SOUTHAMPTON: Jones; Hiley, Monk, Lundekvam, Colleter; Kachloul, Howells (Oakey), Bridge (Le Tissier); Ostenstad, Beattie, Hughes
Fowler Hat-trick vs Southampton (7-1) by redhalfofmerseyside
When Southampton visited Anfield in January 1999, Liverpool were two months into their Gerard Houllier period, sitting 6th in the table yet knocked out of the UEFA Cup already. This would be one of the finest performances in the Frenchman’s early years. Michael Owen terrorised the Saints defence early on and could’ve had a hat-trick in the first half, but it was Robbie Fowler who again took the headlines. After 22 minutes Paul Jones fumbled Bjornebye’s corner and Fowler was on hand to put the home side in front. Then after 35 minutes they scored from another corner as Berger’s cross was powered home by Matteo for his first senior goal. Two minutes later Owen laid the ball into the box for Fowler to dummy a defender and fire past Jones for his 2nd of the game, Liverpool’s 3rd and Fowler’s 100th goal in 175 league matches for the club.
Two minutes after the break Fowler completed his second hat-trick of the season when he headed home Owen’s cross. Then 10 minutes into the second half and Redknapp fired in a fierce free-kick which was partially saved by Jones only for Jamie Carragher to smash it home. Ostenstad got a consolation goal for the visitors, before Liverpool restored their 5-goal advantage as Fowler went clear on the left and his cross was turned in by Owen. Substitute, David Thompson then made it 7-1 when he pounced on a fumble from Jones and Liverpool had produced an emphatic victory.
Liverpool ended the season in 7th with Southampton again just staving off relegation as they finished in 17th.
24th August 2002
LIVERPOOL (1) 3 (Diouf 3, 51, Murphy 90 pen)
SOUTHAMPTON (0) 0
LIVERPOOL: Dudek; Xavier, Hyypia, Henchoz, Traore; Diouf (Smicer), Gerrard (Cheyrou), Hamann, Murphy; Heskey, Owen (Riise)
SOUTHAMPTON: Jones; Telfer, Marsden, Lundekvam (M. Svensson), Bridge; Delap, Williams, Fernandes, A. Svensson; Beattie, Pahars (Tessem)
Liverpool welcomed Southampton as the first visitors of the new season and made it 2 wins out of 2 matches. Three minutes into the game and Heskey broke down the left, fired in a fierce cross where El Hadji Diouf tucked it away to open the scoring. Southampton recovered well and Beattie and Pahars both went close to equalising but the home side went into the break a goal up. Early after the break Heskey flicked on Xavier’s long throw and there was Diouf on hand again to head in at the far post. Danny Murphy was at his most industrious as he’d created a chance for Owen which was ruled out for offside. In the second half he brought out a couple of good saves from Jones before Bruno Cheyrou, who’d replaced Gerrard, was brought down by Bridges and Murphy stepped up to beat Jones from the penalty spot and Liverpool had won comfortably.
After the euphoria of winning 3 cups the previous season, Liverpool finished this one in 5th, narrowly missing out on Champions League qualification. Southampton finished in 8th.
HEAD TO HEAD at Anfield
Liverpool win: 25
Southampton win: 4
Liverpool goals: 69
Southampton goals: 28