Thursday 14 February 2013

On this day: Matt Le Tissier hat-trick lifts lowly Saints

  • Matt Le Tissier scores the first of his two penalties against Liverpool

  • Le Tissier celebrates one of 102 Barclays Premier League goals he scored for Southampton

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: Review of February

14 Feb 1994: Southampton 4-2 Liverpool

A hat-trick from Matt Le Tissier gave lowly Southampton a surprise 4-2 victory over Liverpool at The Dell.

Le Tissier, who spent his professional career with Southampton and scored 102 Barclays Premier League goals, put the home side ahead after only 28 seconds with a trademark stunning shot, hit first time past Bruce Grobbelaar.

Craig Maskell doubled the lead and then won a penalty that Le Tissier converted as Saints opened up a three-goal lead before half-time. Le Tissier sealed his hat-trick just after the break, again from the spot.

A change of ball from white to orange as the snow fell at The Dell helped Liverpool, as did the arrival as a substitute of Jamie Redknapp and late consolation strikes from Julian Dicks, another penalty, and Ian Rush thwarted headline writers’ hopes of using “St Valentine’s Day massacre”.

The victory lifted Southampton out of the relegation zone. Under the guidance of manager Alan Ball, who had taken charge on January 20, the South Coast club secured Premier League survival on the final weekend of the 1993/94 campaign with a 3-3 draw with West Ham United. Le Tissier proved to be the influential figure in the club’s survival, scoring 15 goals in 16 matches after Alan Ball’s appointment. He was the third-highest scorer in the Barclays Premier League that season, netting 25 times in 38 appearances.

“I told Matt when I arrived that the talk was that he didn't work hard enough and that he became distracted in games,” Ball said after the match. “I said that if he stepped that up he could go all the way and there is no higher place in the game than to represent your country.”

This was the second of four hat-tricks that Le Tissier would enjoy in the Barclays Premier League.

The defeat meant Liverpool missed out on the chance to move up to fourth in the Barclays Premier League table. They eventually finished eighth under the management of Graeme Souness.

For more details on the match click here.

To see action of Le Tissier in his prime, click here

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