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Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier:
"We threw it away"
 real 14k

Southampton manager Glen Hoddle
"An astonishing game, one which we could have won"
 real 14k

Southampton's Matthew Le Tissier
"A point gained, rather than two lost"
 real 14k

Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Pahars saves Saints against Liverpool
Nick Barmby and Jo Tessem
Nick Barmby and Jo Tessem fight for the ball
Southampton 3-3 Liverpool
real 14k BBC Five Live's Jonathan Overend reports from the Dell

Marian Pahars scored twice in the final 17 minutes minutes as Southampton rallied back from 3-0 down to rescue a point.

In an amazing comeback, the Latvian scored in injury time as the Liverpool defence rocked.

Tahar El Khalej scored the other Southampton goal, after a Michael Owen brace and a Sami Hyypia header had given the visitors a seemingly unassailable lead.

It was the visitors who moved into attack very quickly, with Steven Gerrard dragging a shot wide after a fast counter-attack had ripped Southampton open.

Ballooned

After Owen had also gone close with a curling right footed shot, the Saints fashioned a chance of their own when Jo Tessem's right footed cross was ballooned over from close range by Uwe Rosler.

Liverpool then began to work on the Southampton habit of holding the line just outside the penalty area, and after twice being called back for offside, Vladimir Smicer played a simple ball through for Owen who held off Lundekvam before putting a left-footed shot past Neil Moss in the 24th minute.


As a manager you can get furious and throws cups around the dressing room - that is probably what I would have done today if I had not kept my cool
  Gerard Houllier

A minute later, Smicer himself had a chance, which he should have converted after a super Nick Barmby pass.

Southampton threatened an equaliser during the final 15 minutes of the half, with Tessem firing at Sander Westerveld, Pahars heading wide from Hassan Kachloul's corner and the Morrocan hitting a rasping left footed shot which hit the corner of the post and crossbar.

Shortly before the final whistle, Dean Richards headed a Pahars cross wide from six yards.

Rounding

Southampton had a great chance at the start of the second half, with Rosler getting behind the Liverpool defence and rounding Westerveld before curling wide something that was neither a cross or shot.

After withstanding some pressure, Liverpool got the much needed second when Smicer's corner was headed in by captain Hyypia in the 55th minute.


At 3-0 down I felt the only difference was Owen and his cutting edge but we showed spirit and determination
  Glenn Hoddle

Westerveld was alert minutes later to prevent a long range Mark Draper shot from squeezing in at the near post. On the hour, Jason Dodd and Kachloul were replaced by Matthew Le Tissier and Tahar El Khalej .

On 65 minutes, Owen scored his second, again set up by Smicer, with the England man slotting in with his left foot.

Asleep

Liverpool fell asleep after that, with Le Tissier twice coming close and then Richards hitting the crossbar from a corner.

Finally the breakthrough came with Tessem's cross from the right finding Pahars at the far post, the Latvian heading past Westerveld in the 75th minute.

More Southampton pressure forced Liverpool onto the defensive, with Tahar heading a second after more good work down the Southampton right.

And in injury time, a stunnning error from Liverpool's rookie full-back Djimi Traore saw the ball headed intpo Pahars' path from three yards out, and the striker needed little invitation to slot the ball home for a remarkable comeback.


Teams:

Southampton: Moss, Dodd, Bridge, Richards, Lundekvam, Draper, Tessem, Oakley, Pahars, Rosler, Kachloul. Subs: Beattie, Soltvedt, Le Tissier, El Khalej, Jones.

Liverpool: Westerveld, Traore, Carragher, Babbel, Hyypia, Hamann, Smicer, Owen, Gerrard, Henchoz, Barmby. Subs: Song, Staunton, Murphy, Meijer, Arphexad.

Referee: J Winter (Stockton-on-Tees)

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