Saints beat Liverpool to boost hopes of staying up

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Southampton took a big step toward avoiding relegation from the Premier League on Saturday by beating Liverpool 3-1 to provisionally move seven points clear of the drop zone.

Goals from Morgan Schneiderlin in the sixth minute, Ricky Lambert in the 33rd and Jay Rodriguez in the 80th at St. Mary's Stadium led Southampton to its first league win since beating defending champion Manchester City by the same score five weeks ago.

Liverpool pulled a goal back in the 45th minute through Coutinho to make it 2-1, but its ninth loss of the season almost certainly ended any slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Liverpool is seventh, seven points behind fourth-place Chelsea but having played two matches more.

Southampton provisionally rose one place to 15th in the standings.

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