Five classic clashes with Liverpool
Southampton welcome Liverpool this weekend for the latest edition of what is so often a thrilling fixture.
Over the years, the teams have produced some sensational matches on the south coast, and, while the Reds have enjoyed their share of memorable victories, there have been many fantastic triumphs for Saints.
Here, we look back on five of the most entertaining top-flight encounters between the teams…
Saints 4-1 Liverpool (October 1989)
Liverpool arrived at the Dell with an unbeaten record in the top-flight, but were humbled by a sensational display from Chris Nicholl’s side.
Saints led after 24 minutes, as Paul Rideout met Jason Dodd’s right-wing cross to head home, and it was 2-0 on 39 minutes, as Matt Le Tissier picked out Rod Wallace following a mazy run, and the forward worked space in the area before firing into the far corner.
Shortly after half-time, Le Tissier set up Wallace for the third, whipping in a ball deep from the right, with the striker meeting it on the volley at the back post.
After Peter Beardsley had pulled one back from the spot for the visitors, Wallace and Le Tissier swapped roles, with the former crossing for the latter to power home a back-post header.
Saints 4-2 Liverpool (February 1994)
It is doubtful that anyone who decided to skip out on their loved one on this Valentine’s Day 22 years ago would have regretted their decision after this, no matter how much trouble it got them into.
Matt Le Tissier produced an inspired performance, netting a hat-trick, with the first goal arriving 28 seconds after the match started, as he slammed home a sensational half-volley from 20 yards.
By the eighth minute it was 2-0, as Craig Maskell headed home, and Saints were in complete command by half-time, as Le Tissier converted a penalty to make it 3-0 in the dying stages of the half, after Maskell had been fouled.
Things got even better within two minutes of the second half beginning, as a Mark Wright handball gave Le Tissier another chance from the spot, and he typically made no mistake, to make it 4-0.
A Julian Dicks penalty and a late Ian Rush effort went some way to reducing the embarrassment for Liverpool, but did nothing to take the gloss off the result for Saints.
Saints 3-3 Liverpool (August 2000)
Saints might have ended this game with only one point, but it certainly felt like a win, as they scored three times in the final 17 minutes to earn the unlikeliest of draws.
Two goals from Michael Owen, with a Sam Hyypia effort sandwiched in between, had put the Reds 3-0 up after 64 minutes.
But Saints’ incredible rally began with a Marian Pahars header on 73 minutes, before Tahar El Khalej flicked in another effort with five minutes remaining.
With time nearly up, Pahars sent the Dell crowd wild, as he latched onto Djimi Traoré’s misplaced header back towards goal to slot in the equaliser.
Saints 3-1 Liverpool (March 2013)
Saints might have had Premier League survival on their minds when they welcomed Liverpool to St Mary’s for this encounter, but that didn’t stop them producing a display that was perhaps a sign of things to come in the following years.
The hosts led after just six minutes, as Gastón Ramírez’s angled delivery to the back post was nodded down by Jay Rodriguez, allowing Morgan Schneiderlin to dart in and flick the ball home from close range.
Rickie Lambert then doubled the lead in the first-half, thanks to a deflected free-kick, before Philippe Coutinho managed to scramble on back for the visitors just before the interval.
Any hopes Liverpool had of completing a comeback were dashed, however, thanks to a sensational Rodriguez goal.
Picking the ball up on the halfway line, the forward drove on, flew past a couple of Liverpool defenders, and, although his initial shot was saved, the rebound fell to home to slot home.
Saints 3-2 Liverpool (March 2016)
Saints had lost 6-1 at home to Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the League Cup earlier in the season, and there were probably more than a few people fearing something similar following the start to this game.
Philippe Coutinho’s superb long-range effort put the visitors in front after 17 minutes, before Daniel Sturridge stroked home a second five minutes later.
It could have been even worse for Saints, as Liverpool wasted further opportunities to extend their advantage, with Fraser Forster notably making a fine one-on-one save from Joe Allen.
And when the hosts did get a chance to reduce the deficit, through an early second-half penalty, Sadio Mané’s effort was saved.
But Mané responded in perfect fashion, lashing home midway through the half, before Graziano Pellè thumped in a brilliant equaliser in the 83rd minute.
No sooner had Saints levelled than they went in front, as Pellè slipped in Mané, who finished into the bottom corner to complete the famous comeback.
Saints fans, of course, will be hoping for fewer fireworks from Mané this time around, with the forward set to be on the opposite side this weekend.