Southampton 0 Liverpool 2: Coutinho nets wonder-strike in vital win

Philippe Coutinho scored a wonderful early goal before Raheem Sterling sealed a vital 2-0 win for Liverpool at Southampton.

Liverpool enhanced their UEFA Champions League qualification prospects with a 2-0 Premier League win at Southampton on Sunday.

Philippe Coutinho scored a magnificent long-range opener amid a frantic start when the home team had a pair of strong penalty appeals turned down.

Southampton enjoyed sustained periods of pressure, but Liverpool’s defence managed to hold firm, leaving Raheem Sterling to double their advantage in the 73rd minute.

The result moves Liverpool, unbeaten in the league since mid-December, up to sixth in the table – a point behind their opponents and two shy of Manchester United in fourth.

Filip Djuricic was handed a first start in attack for Southampton, who welcomed back left-back Matt Targett and midfielder James Ward-Prowse.

A hip injury to Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho meant Dejan Lovren joined Adam Lallana in starting against his former club, while Sterling replaced Daniel Sturridge.

Djuricic was immediately into the action, going down under pressure from Emre Can in the penalty area after 20 seconds, but referee Kevin Friend was unmoved.

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