Liverpool looked out of sorts as they lost 1-0 to Southampton in the EFL Cup semifinal first-leg at the latter’s homeground, St. Mary’s stadium. A string of fine saves from Goalkeeper Loris Karius meant that Liverpool finished the match conceding just a single goal.
Nathan Redmond scored in the 20th minute after a misjudged kick from Ragnar Klavan fell to Rodriguez, who slid it under the legs of Dejan Lovren to pass it to the scorer Redmond, who slotted the ball past Karius to score the only goal of the game.
Liverpool came close to take the lead in the 18th minute when a clever back-header from Lallana fell to Firmino, whose direct shot from his weaker left foot was saved by Southampton’s last man Fraser Forster. Southampton them responded quickly by a quick attack on the other side of the pitch, Karius having to make a save on Redmond’s shot on target to keep the scoreboard unchanged.
Southampton, fondly called the Saints, were unlucky for being unable to double their lead on several occasions. They came close to doing so just before half-time, with Karius saving the shot from Redmond from going in. With ten minute left of the match, Redmond skillfully chipped the ball over Karius after a counterattack, only for the ball to hit the bar.
Usually very creative, the Liverpool frontline were unable to cause much trouble to the opposite team as the Southampton defenders were able to foil all the efforts of the visiting team.
The only good news for Liverpool coming through this game was the return of Philippe Coutinho to action after a long injury break. He was out since November owing to an ankle injury. His addition to the squad comes at a crucial time, with Liverpool scheduled to face Manchester United in the premier league.
Jurgen Klopp admitted that they were lucky as the score could have been much worse for them. Though, he was visibly upset with his team’s performance. Meanwhile Southampton boss Claude Puel also seemed frustrated at his team being unable to extend the single goal advantage in this game.
Liverpool host the return leg of the contest at Anfield on 25th January.