By ADAM TROXTELL
There was no last laugh for Southampton on Sunday, because it was replaced by jeers.
The Saints had at least two penalty claims and a potential red card to Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet turned down as the Reds took a 2-0 win. They also missed out on a chance to jump over Arsenal and Manchester United into fourth.
The race for UEFA Champions League spots has only become tighter after Liverpool’s win in an entertaining encounter. In just the first minute, Southampton had its first penalty appeal turned down when Filip Djuricic was brought down when he came together with Emre Can.
Philippe Coutinho followed that up two minutes later with a goal-of-the-season contender. The Brazilian exchanged passes with Lazar Markovic down the right before lining up from 25 yards out for a laser-beam strike into the upper left corner.
The game perhaps could have changed when Mignolet blocked Eljero Elia from lobbing the ball toward goal, seemingly with his hand outside of the box. The referee’s whistle, once again, remained silent.
The Saints were unable to produce a solid chance against a Liverpool defense that now has five consecutive shutouts away from home. The victory was sealed in the 73rd minute when Raheem Sterling rolled the ball into the net after a poor clearance.
Elsewhere in Europe, Lyon took the top spot in France back in a win against Nantes. Real Sociedad edged Sevilla in a seven-goal thriller in La Liga play.
Here is more from Sunday’s action across Europe:
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Harry Kane has made a habit of coming up big in London derbies.
The English striker scored his 14th goal of the season to hand Tottenham a 2-2 draw against city rivals West Ham. Kane scored on a rebound after his penalty in the 90th minute was saved by Adrian.
A lively game saw 19 total shots on target, with 12 of those coming from Tottenham. Despite this it was West Ham who took the lead in the 22nd minute through Cheikhou Kouyate’s header.
Diafra Sakho doubled the Hammers’ lead in the 62nd minute when Mark Noble found him at the back post for a goal from a tight angle.
With nine minutes to go, Tottenham finally struck when Danny Rose sent a volley straight into the ground and over Adrian’s head. Spurs’ persistence paid off when Kane raced into the box and was brought down by Alexandre Song, setting up the equalizer.
Tim Howard had a difficult time in goal, but Everton still salvaged a 2-2 draw against Leicester in more English Premier League action. The American goalkeeper was at least partially to blame for the Foxes’ equalizer when he failed to handle a cross that fell right to David Nugent.
Steven Naismith scored first for the Toffees, working well with Romelu Lukaku in the 57th minute. Nugent’s goal was followed by a 70th minute strike from Esteban Cambiasso that handed the lead to Leicester.
With two minutes left, Lukaku’s diving header ended up in the back of the net for the tie. Replays showed it was Leicester defender Matthew Upson who ended up getting the final touch.
SPANISH PRIMERA DIVISION
Despite scoring three times, Sevilla’s effort to stay in the race for Europe took a big blow.
Real Sociedad scored the odd goal in a 4-3 thriller inside the home confines of Estadio Anoeta. Xabier Prieto scored twice, including the winner in the 90th minute to take Sociedad up to 10th.
Imanol Agirretxe opened the scoring in the 16th minute before Sevilla hit back through Thimothee Kolodziejczak’s first goal for the club. A converted penalty by Prieto in the 48th minute handed Sociedad the lead again, but the action was only getting started.
Carlos Bacca’s 14th goal of the season handed Sevilla the equalizer again before Kevin Gameiro’s penalty gave Los Rojiblancos their first lead of the game with 12 minutes to go.
Tragedy struck for them five minutes later when Alejandro Arribas put the ball in his own net. That set up Prieto for the winner as the game ended.
Athletic Bilbao picked up a 1-0 win on the road against Rayo Vallecano in other Sunday action in Spain.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Lazio leapt into fourth place on Sunday after coming back to beat Palermo 2-1.
The Biancocelesti are in the thick of the race for European spots and picked up a second valuable win in as many weeks. It looked like it might go wrong for them, however, when Paulo Dybala put Palermo in the lead in the 26th minute.
Stefano Mauri restored parity just seven minutes later. Fans inside the Stadio Olimpico had to wait until the 78th minute to celebrate Antonio Candreva’s winner.
The red side of Rome, AS Roma, lost another step on Juventus at the top of the table in a 1-1 draw on the road against Hellas Verona. Francesco Totti scored his fifth goal of the season to give Roma the lead, but Bosko Jankovic hit back for Verona to leave the teams deadlocked.
Here are more results from Italy:
AC Milan 2, Cesena 0
Empoli 3, Chievo Verona 0
Hellas Verona 1, Roma 1
Lazio 2, Palermo 1
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Despite dominating, Lyon had to settle for a solitary goal to take back the top spot in France.
Nabil Fekir scored in the 67th minute to finally break a stingy Nantes defense in a 1-0 win. Lyon put four shots on target, a small return for 71 percent of possession.
Without Alejandro Bedoya, Nantes concentrated on defending and didn’t register a single shot on goal. The win puts Lyon in first, two points ahead of Paris Saint-Germain.
Elsewhere in France, Montpellier handed Guingamp its first loss since mid-January in a 2-0 win on the road. Reims and Metz finished their game goalless.
Hertha Berlin is still in the thick of a relegation battle after second-placed Wolfsburg sealed a 2-1 win.
Bas Dost scored twice in the victory for Die Wolfe that still leaves them eight points behind Bayern Munich, though they haven’t lost in any competition since November.
After Dost’s opener, American John Brooks had a hand in play at the other end for Hertha. His chipped pass bounced nicely for Valentin Stocker, who found Julian Schieber in the 30th minute for the equalizer.
Dost scored the winner in the 73rd minute to hand Hertha a second straight loss.
Earlier in the day, Hamburg tied Monchengladbach 1-1. Julian Green was left out of the squad.
laser beams don’t curve…
They certainly can depending on what substance they are going through.