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Saints cry foul as Liverpool win again

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman was unimpressed Credit: PA

Philippe Coutinho's exceptional strike amid a series of controversial decisions from referee Kevin Friend helped Liverpool overcome Southampton 2-0 in what could prove a crucial result in the chase for a Champions League place.

There was no lack of vim and vigour on display in miserable conditions at St Mary's, where Brendan Rodgers' side moved within two points of the top four as the season enters the home straight.

Raheem Sterling wrapped up the points by adding to Coutinho's early wonder goal. However, Liverpool's seventh win in 10 league matches might not have come about had referee Friend made different calls on a clutch of match-defining incidents.

Brazilian Coutinho's third-minute effort off the underside of the bar took the breath away of many at St Mary's, where the home crowd focused as much of their ire - if not more - on Friend as the returning Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren.

The latter got away with a handball towards the end of a first half which began with Filip Djuricic twice being taken down in the penalty box, yet Friend did not deem the challenges of Emre Can and Joe Allen to be fouls.

Those frustrations were compounded by Southampton's belief that Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet handled outside the penalty area in a first half which ended with the players departing to chants of "One-nil to the referee".

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse in action against Liverpool's Adam Lallana Credit: PA

Runners galore for 25th Brighton Half Marathon

A record number of runners gathered in Sussex this morning for the 25th Brighton Half Marathon. Places sold out in record time for this year's event through the city of Brighton and Hove.

The race grows in popularity every year, from 200 in the very first event in 1990 to 12,500 runners today. Sarah Saunders reports.


Campaigners fight to save IOW's only ice rink

A rally will take place at 3pm on Sunday Credit: ITV news

Campaigners fighting to save the Isle of Wight's only ice rink are holding a rally today to highlight their plight.

Staff at Planet Ice in Ryde were told last week that the rink would close on 25 March because it is making a loss.

Forty jobs are at risk at the rink - 34 staff and six self-employed coaches.

It is home to Wightlink Raiders Ice Hockey Team and is used by a number of figure skaters. The nearest rink is on the mainland at Gosport 24 miles away - a 1 hour 40 minute journey via a ferry.

Among those campaigning to save the venue is John Giddings, promoter of the multi-million pound Isle of Wight Festival, who has a home in Ryde, He tweeted that he'd donate £1000 and suggested that if every Islander gave £1, the debts could be cleared and the venue saved.

An online petition to save the ice rink has had more than 8000 signatures.


12,500 runners due at today's Brighton Half Marathon

Spectators and runners at the Brighton Half Marathon in 2014

The twenty-fifth annual Brighton Half Marathon takes place today. The organisers say that 12,500 amateur and elite athletes are expected to take to the streets with their running shoes firmly fastened.

The runners will start at Madeira Drive in Brighton at 9am and follow a 13.1 mile route around the city of Brighton and Hove.

Two thousand more runners are taking part in the 2015 event, compared to the Brighton Half Marathon of 2014.

>> Watch ITV Meridian's coverage of the Brighton Half Marathon in 2014 by clicking here.

If you are taking part or watching do send your photographs to the ITV Meridian Facebook page or send them via twitter to @itvmeridian.

The route of this year's Brighton Marathon Credit: Brighton Half Marathon 2015
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