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Southampton

 By Chris Rann

Southampton must rediscover their scoring touch against West Brom

West Brom manager Tony Pulis plays down his team's good form at a news conference on Thursday ahead of his team's Premier League match against Southampton.

Southampton need to dust themselves down after Sunday's combination of frustration, travesty and injustice and find anew their scoring touch if they are to have any chance of fulfilling their dream of European football.

Perhaps, then, a trip to the Hawthorns is not the ideal follow-up fixture, but that is the card they have been dealt. It is almost hard to believe that Ronald Koeman's team ran out 8-0 winners against Sunderland earlier in the season, especially now given that they have scored just...

 By Rory Smith

Premier League referees not getting worse, contrary to popular opinion

Our experts debate whether Premier League referees need more help with crucial decisions during matches.

Ronald Koeman did not quite get the credit he deserved. Just a few minutes previously, the Southampton manager had seen his side lose to Liverpool, ceding ground in the achingly tight race for a Champions League spot. There had been a quite brilliant goal from Philippe Coutinho and a quite fortuitous one from Raheem Sterling.

There had also been three penalty claims -- one decent, one reasonable, one very strong -- for the Dutchman's team. Two had come in the first four minutes, a few seconds before...

 By Chris Rann

Referee overshadows Lallana, Lambert and Lovren's returns to Southampton

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman expresses his displeasure with referee Kevin Friend and believes Saints midfielder Filip Djuricic was fouled in the area by Joe Allen.

When the final whistle went in Sunday's Premier League fixture at St. Mary's, there will not have been a more relieved man than Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.

The Croatian was very much set to be the villain of the pantomime that Liverpool's visit to Southampton was always going to be. After Lovren, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert departed the South Coast in the Summer -- the former two in acrimonious circumstances -- and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers made some cutting remarks about having no...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Liverpool close in on the top four with win at Southampton

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik breaks down Liverpool's 2-nil victory over Southampton as they extend their unbeaten streak in the Premier League to 10 games.

SOUTHAMPTON, England -- Three quick points on Liverpool's 2-0 Premier League win at Southampton on Sunday afternoon.

1. Liverpool close on top four

Liverpool go to sixth and are just two points behind fourth-place Manchester United. Victory at Southampton makes them a full part of the Champions League qualification conversation.

Within two minutes of kickoff, Philippe Coutinho struck a 30-yard effort of the type that made Matthew Le Tissier into Southampton's greatest modern-day player. The ball...

 By Chris Rann

Southampton vs. Liverpool potentially a classic with added spice

ESPN FC's Alison Bender previews Liverpool's Premier League match against Southampton, where Adam Lallana's new club currently sit below the Saints.

Sunday's clash with Liverpool has the makings of classic. It has all the ingredients: a bit of controversy around the returning ex-Saints (two of them in particular); the faceoff between the league's best defence and a dynamic, pacey attack; and the small matter of a tight league table that sees both clubs very much in contention for the coveted Champions League qualification places.

Of course the media attention will largely be focused on the potentially tense atmosphere that will be created by...

Liverpool's raid of Southampton has worked in the Saints' favour

ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik believes Liverpool should have a big club mindset and put 100% into all competitions.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists his side will be aiming to win the UEFA Europa League, with the winners earning automatic Champions League qualification.
The ESPN FC team preview the Round of 32 matches throughout the Europa League, highlighted by AS Roma's clash with Feyenoord and Inter Milan's clash with Celtic.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno weighs in on Mario Balotelli's ability to remain consistent off the bench for Liverpool.
Rickie Lambert, left, Adam Lallana, centre, and Dejan Lovren, right, were recruited to help Liverpool fight for titles.

It ought to be a rancour-free reunion. Football being football, it probably won't be, but when Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren return to St Mary's Stadium on Sunday, they should be welcomed.

Southampton were good for them. They were good for Southampton. Southampton are even better without them. The chances of two of the Liverpool trio damaging their former club are limited. Lambert and Lovren will probably be confined to watching briefs. Lallana is likelier to feature, but despite...