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Pictures: Saints in action at St Mary's. Saints 0-2 Liverpool.

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.

Southampton's Graziano Pelle (left) and Filip Djuricic (centre right) wait to restart after Raheem Sterling's goal during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton. Credit: PA Wires
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel battles for the ball with Southampton's Graziano Pelle (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton. Credit: PA Wires
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel battles for the ball with Southampton's Graziano Pelle (left) during the Barclays Premier League match at St Mary's, Southampton. Credit: PA Wires

Saints score late winner at Loftus Road

Southampton's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Southampton are third in the Premier League after a late winner at Queens Park Rangers.

Sadio Mane fired a powerful shot into the top corner in the 93rd-minute in a 1-0 win at Loftus Road.

The result means Ronald Koeman's side remain in the Champions League qualifying position, despite last week's disappointing home defeat against Swansea.

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Football fans asked to look out for stolen items taken from former Saints player's home

Police are asking people to look out for stolen goods which were taken from Francis Benali's home this week. Computers and jewellery were taken from the former Saints player's home on Wednesday evening.

Mr Benali is well known in Southampton and among football supporters and I hope that if anyone comes into contact with the laptops in particular they will recognise his photographs and get in contact with us.

– DC Mark Bradley

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Former Saints player's home burgled

Ex-Southampton player, Francis Benali, has had his computers and jewellery stolen in a burglary.

The football player's home in the Highfield area was broken into between the hours of 5.30pm-8.30pm on Wednesday 3rd December.

The Saints FC has had his house burgled Credit: ITV Meridian

Jewellery, including four wrist watches, earrings, necklaces and rings, was among items stolen.

Also taken were two Apple Macbooks belonging to Mr and Mrs Benali’s children that contained family photographs.

This has been a distressing intrusion of our family home especially for my wife and children.

In particular we have lost extremely sentimental items that cannot be replaced including photographs on the laptops and jewellery.

Anyone who has any information regarding this burglary, please contact the police.

– Francis Benali

Southampton FC midfielder has home burgled

Victor Wanyama had home burgled when he was playing at away game on Monday evening Credit: Press Association

The home of a Premier League footballer has been burgled while he was away with his club for a match. Thieves broke into the home of Southampton midfielder Victor Wanyama when his club was away for the game at Aston Villa on Monday night. When he returned he found his Range Rover Sport, electrical items and jewellery had been stolen from his home in Winchester. The vehicle was later found in Iver, Buckinghamshire.

Officers are currently investigating a burglary at a house in the St Cross area of Winchester. Entry was forced to thehome between 8.30am on November 23 and 2.15am on November 25. Items of electrical property and jewellery were stolen from the address along with the keys to a Range Rover Sport which was then stolen from the driveway. The car was located during the early hours of Tuesday November 25 in Iver, Buckinghamshire, and has been recovered. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Priority Crime team at Winchester police station by calling 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppersanonymously on 0800 555111

– Hampshire Police spokesman

Saints remain 2nd in Premier League after drawing with Aston Villa

Nathaniel Clyne in action Credit: PA

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was delighted as his side stole a late point in their 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Villa broke the deadlock just before the half-hour mark as Gabriel Agbonlahor collected Ciaran Clark's long ball forward and beat the advancing Fraser Forster to the ball, sliding it into an empty net to end Southampton's four-match clean-sheet run in the league.

The visitors equalised after 81 minutes as Nathaniel Clyne collected Ryan Bertrand's cross and slotted the ball past Brad Guzan to claim a share of the spoils.

Koeman said "We had a good team to win to tonight but after going 1-0 down, in an attacking way we didn't have the freshness to create the opportunities what we normally have.

"If you score that late (in a) 1-1 (draw) then I think you can be happy with the result at the end, but we missed some freshness and some qualities and it was difficult because at 1-0 - the misunderstanding defensively - it was more difficult.

"It was completely a misunderstanding in defence. But it's football, we're human people and we can make mistakes, but after going 1-0 down it was more difficult."

Koeman's side face a testing month ahead that brings games against Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea.

The Saints also have to play four games in nine days over Christmas including league fixtures on Boxing Day and New Year's Day before the FA Cup third round on the first weekend in January.

He added: "It's a nice week to play and we live game to game and of course, it's three big teams but as I said before the game, every game is a battle, every game is difficult.

"Aston Villa had some key players injured and maybe they were more dangerous, it was difficult and we didn't reach our level. We need that to be competitive against City for Sunday."

Sunderland players "to refund fans" after team thrashed 8-0 by Southampton

It's being reported that Sunderland’s players will look to reimburse the 2,456 supporters who travelled to Southampton to watch them get thrashed 8-0

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone said he would ask his team-mates to agree to the gesture.

According to The Chronicle Mannone thinks the team owes the fans.

He said: “We should do it because we didn’t put our foot (down), we didn’t work hard."

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