Liverpool 1-2 Southampton
Southampton leap-frogged Liverpool in the Premiership table as Gordon Strachan's side secured a deserved win at Anfield.
Brett Ormerod scored in the second minute - his third goal in two games - to give Southampton the lead and Michael Svensson added a second with a header on 64 minutes.
Emile Heskey gave Liverpool hope with a scrambled effort, but Gerard Houllier's side were unable to contrive an equaliser as they slipped to a fourth home league defeat of the season.
It was hardly the tonic flu-victim Gerard Houllier, wrapped in scarves on the bench, was looking for from his side, who if they had won by two clear goals would have moved into fourth place.
Liverpool got off to the worst possible start imaginable, going behind in just 72 seconds to a goal that originated from a corner to the home team.
Claus Lundekvam cleared the danger from deep in his own half and sent Ormerod scampering away.
With Liverpool's central defensive duo of Sami Hyypia and Igor Biscan caught up field, Dietmar Hamann was the only man back and he was unable to deal with Ormerod's pace.
The Southampton striker raced away from the German and struck his shot past Chris Kirkland from 12 yards.
Ormerod then looked to expose Hyypia and Biscan for pace, with every ball going over the top for the Southampton strikers to chase.
2 mins: Ormerod gives Southampton a shock lead
61 mins: Svensson doubles Southampton's advantage
75 mins: Heskey scores to give Liverpool brief hope
Beattie's physical presence was also causing problems and after the England striker left John Otsemobor on the floor, Marian Pahars got to the line and crossed for David Prutton to send an angled header just over on 26 minutes.
Liverpool's efforts had the early touches of panic about them, with control
poor and passes going astray.
They were also confronted by a Southampton midfield which allowed Liverpool's players no time on the ball.
Heskey, having to contend with Lundekvam and Svensson largely on his own, did manage a glancing header from Diouf's cross that flew over, but chances were few.
Otsemobor then produced a flighted ball into the box, and Danny Murphy moved into the area to flick a shot just over.
Svensson's goal came from a corner, the Swede scoring with a powerful header which beat Kirkland and cannoned off Smicer on the line and into the roof of the net.
Heskey gave Liverpool hope with a messy effort with 15 minutes to go, but Liverpool were unable to find an equaliser.
Liverpool: Kirkland, Otsemobor, Biscan, Hyypia, Riise,
Diouf (Le Tallec 57), Hamann (Sinama Pongolle 57), Gerrard,
Murphy, Heskey, Smicer.
Subs not used: Luzi Bernardi, Diao, Cheyrou.
Southampton: Niemi, Dodd, Michael Svensson,
Lundekvam (Marsden 41), Higginbotham, Telfer, Delap, Prutton, Beattie (Delgado 81), Pahars (Fernandes 63), Ormerod.
Subs not used: Jones, Phillips.
Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).