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    Liverpool 0-0 Southampton Match Report


    Liverpool's hopes of finishing the season in the top-four were dealt a blow after they failed to beat Southampton in a largely uneventful match at Anfield.

    James Milner's penalty, which was expertly saved by Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster, was the home side's best chance in an game otherwise lacking in clear-cut opportunities.

    The former England international, who last missed a spot-kick in November 2009, struck the penalty hard and low but Forster dived to his right and clawed the ball away from danger with a strong hand.

    Liverpool dominated possession but were primarily restricted to speculative efforts from long-range, with Forster required to make routine saves from Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Emre Can in the first-half.

    The home side improved after the break but were fortunate to be awarded a penalty in the 64th minutes when Jack Stephens instinctively pushed the ball away from danger with his arm.

    Liverpool continued to push for a winning goal after Milner's penalty miss, with Daniel Sturridge weaving his way past Stephens to create space for himself before his subsequent strike was easily saved by Forster.

    Substitute Adam Lallana and Emre Can also tried their luck from outside the penalty area but the former Saints midfielder's effort was smartly saved low down to his right by Forster before Can's fizzing strike was deflected narrowly wide of goal.

    Southampton posed a threat on the break, especially when their opponents were pressing for a winning goal in the latter stages, and were unfortunate not to receive a free-kick when Simon Mignolet handled the ball outside his penalty area.

    The Reds created their best chance from open play in the second minute of stoppage-time when James Milner's pinpoint cross was headed towards goal by substitute Marko Grujic but Forster was alert to palm the ball over the crossbar.

    The draw had appeared to hand Manchester United the initiative in the race for a top-four spot but the Red Devils' 2-0 defeat to Arsenal later in the day put Champions League qualification firmly back in Liverpool's hands.

    Jurgen Klopp's side, who return to third-place above Manchester City in the table, have two games of the season still remaining and return to action on Sunday afternoon when they play West Ham at the London Stadium.

    Southampton, meanwhile, climb above Bournemouth and The Hammers into 10th-place ahead of two upcoming home matches against Arsenal on Wednesday and relegated Middlesbrough on Saturday.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 0-0 Southampton Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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