Date: 17th August 2014 at 4:59pm
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Liverpool got their Premier League season off to a winning start, with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Southampton at Anfield.

Raheem Sterling put the Reds in front midway through the first half, before Nathaniel Clyne equalised for the Saints ten minutes after the restart.

It was left to Daniel Sturridge to fire the winning goal on 79 minutes, whilst Simon Mignolet produced a stunning save to deny Morgan Schneiderlin what would have been considered a deserved equaliser for the Saints.

The Reds gave Premier League debut’s to both Javier Manquillo and Dejan Lovren, and the pair enjoyed a comfortable first half.

Liverpool struggled to trouble Fraser Foster during the opening twenty minutes, with a Daniel Sturridge shot from distance that went narrowly wide the Reds best attempt.

It needed something special to break the deadlock, and that was provided by Jordan Henderson, who produced an inch perfect through ball to Raheem Sterling after winning possession in the middle of the park.

Sterling was one of the stars of the Reds pre-season programme, with cool finishes against both Olympiakos and Manchester City.

The 19-year-old proved he could also do it when it really mattered, cooly slotting the ball past the on rushing Saints goalkeeper, before wheeling away in front of the Kop.

Mignolet was called into action for the first time shortly before half time, tipping a decent long range strike from Schneiderlin over the crossbar.

The Saints looked a different side after the restart, and got their rewards on 56 minutes from an unlikely source.

Full back Nathaniel Clyne ran onto a delightful flick from Dusan Tadic, and fired past Mignolet into the top corner to stun the Kop.

The Belgian was called into action again ten minutes later, denying Steve Davis from eight yards after the midfielder had been teed up by the impressive James Ward-Prowse.

Davis went for placement rather than power, and Mignolet was able to read his intentions and hold onto the shot.

That served as a wake up call for Brendan Rodgers, who sent on Joe Allen and Rickie Lambert as the Reds went in search of an all-important winner.

Lambert and Allen were both involved in the build up to the Reds second goal 79 minutes, when Raheem Sterling nodded into the path of Daniel Sturridge, who anticipated where the ball would land and got the faintest of touches to guide it into the corner from six yards.

There was further worry for the Reds however, with Simon Mignolet called into action once more, producing a stunning save to turn Schneiderlin’s close range shot onto the crossbar, whilst Glen Johnson did just about enough to put off Shane Long with the follow up, as the Saints new £12million centre forward heading wide from six yards.

Hardly a vintage display from Rodgers side, although the ecstatic reaction to Sturridge’s winner from the Northern Irishman suggested his delight at the fact his team had ground out an all-important opening day win.

Player ratings: Mignolet 8, Manquillo 7, Lovren 7, Skrtel 6, Johnson 6, Lucas 6 (Allen 7),  Gerrard 7, Henderson 7, Sterling 8, Sturridge 7, Coutinho 6 (Lambert 6)