Football: Saints recover to beat Reds 3-2 despite penalty miss

Southampton midfielder Sadio Mane raising his arm to celebrate after scoring their first goal past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. That sparked the Saints' rebound and they eventually claimed full points.
Southampton midfielder Sadio Mane raising his arm to celebrate after scoring their first goal past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. That sparked the Saints' rebound and they eventually claimed full points.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • In a thrilling Premier League match-up at the St Mary's Stadium last night, Southampton fought back after going 0-2 down to record a 3-2 victory over Liverpool.

But it was the home side who lacked concentration in the opening minutes, having been caught off guard in the 18th minute by giving Philippe Coutinho far too much free space, which the Brazilian took advantage of and scored with a shot into the bottom right corner of goalkeeper Fraser Forster's net.

Just five minutes later, Daniel Sturridge found himself with space again in the Southampton box to get to a pass from Divock Origi, which he slotted home to make it 2-0.

Liverpool continued to attack and they should have had another goal from Joe Allen in the 35th minute, but it was ruled offside.

After the break, Southampton began their comeback and won a penalty in the 49th minute after some shirt-tugging on Graziano Pelle by Reds defender Martin Skrtel.

Sadio Mane stepped up but missed the spot kick. However, he made up for his mistake not too long later with a goal in the 64th minute, showing good composure in the box.

From then on, Liverpool looked set to claim a valuable away win, before two moments of brilliance, from Pelle in the 83rd minute and Mane again in the 86th, sealed the win for Southampton in a remarkable turn of events.

Southampton moved up to seventh in the table, level on 47 points with Manchester United, while Liverpool remained ninth.

In the night's other match, Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez's second match in charge ended in a 1-1 draw with rivals Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby.

Jermain Defoe scored for Sunderland just a minute before half-time but Newcastle equalised in the 83rd minute with a headed goal from Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Both teams remain in the relegation places after the draw. Sunderland are 18th with 26 points, one more than 19th-placed Newcastle.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2016, with the headline 'Saints recover to beat Reds 3-2 despite penalty miss'. Print Edition | Subscribe