Saints Take Slender Lead To Anfield

13 January 2017

Southampton managed to beat Jurgen Klopps Liverpool team by a goal to nil in the second semi final match of the League Cup.

This first leg in Southampton had all the hallmarks of a famous Southampton victory and they played wonderfully at times. However they should have won by a far greater margin and will look back on a missed opportunity to wrap up a bigger win over the Merseyside team.

Even Klopp admitted in post match interviews that they could and should have lost by a greater margin in his words ‘we were lucky not to lose the match 3-0’.

Nathan Redmond scored for Southampton to give them the deserved win, but the former Norwich winger also missed two good chances to put the tie beyond the reach of a very very poor Liverpool team that had been rested over the weekend to let the teenagers have a game in the FA Cup and despite this Liverpool put in a dire performance. It’s difficult to remember the last time the Reds played so badly and certainly not under Klopp’s stewardship.

Redmond himself said after the game that he “should have scored four”. Redmond hit the woodwork and Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius under fire for most of the season made several good saves.

Klopp said: “We cannot be happy with the performance, Southampton cannot be happy with the result. I can’t remember a clear chance for us. We gave the ball away so easily and we needed Loris Karius to save our lives two or three times.”

At least Karius will be a happy bunny after his spirited performance in the face of adversity lately. He pulled off one or two crackers to stifle an at times rampant Southampton who simple couldn’t find the back of the net a second time.

A chance in the first half saw Redmond collect a cross from Jay Rodriguez on the right and attempt a shot that Loris Karius smothered well. However, within a minute as Klavan’s inability to deal with a simple ball forwards cost his side and Rodriguez was alert to capitalise on the poor clearance, beating former team-mate Dejan Lovren with a deft pass to put Redmond through and this time the 22-year-old did not falter, keeping his composure to direct past Karius.

Liverpool responded badly, failing to attack with any intensity before half time and it was Southampton instead that ended the opening period on top. Jordy Clasie saw an audacious attempt comfortably dealt with by Karius. Karius was also a match for Redmond’s close-range effort.

In the second half one good piece of news for the Reds was the introduction of Brazilian whiz kid Coutinho who has been out for a few months with injury. He visibly lifted the team and Liverpool played better in the final 20 minutes. It wasn’t enough to rescue a draw for the Reds but will make it a close match at the end of January in the second leg at Anfield.

Liverpool will be looking to get to the final once again after they lost the League Cup final to Manchester City on penalties last season.

“Main photo:  Rnoid / Shutterstock, Inc.”

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