Liverpool travelled south to take on Southampton in the League Cup this evening, and downed the Saints 6-1 to move into the semi-finals of the competition we’ve won more than any other side.
A brilliant Daniel Sturridge brace won us the game in the first-half, but it didn’t tell the whole story by any means. Divock Origi, who’s not shone since arriving in the summer, bagged a hat-trick – staking a claim for a weekend starting spot in the process.
Has a Liverpool manager ever made such a stunning start to life on Merseyside as Jurgen Klopp…?
Within one minute though, we were behind – with Emre Can making it painfully easy for Ryan Bertrand to cross. Sadio Mane nodded in the delivery, and the Reds looked, in truth, as if they hadn’t got off the bus yet. How wrong we were.
But then the momentum changed, and Daniel Sturridge produced two moments which will see him dominate tomorrow’s back-pages.
Firstly, the fit again 26-year-old timed a perfect run and got on the end of Joe Allen’s long ball, before skinning Steven Caulker and firing into the bottom corner. While Liverpool fans were still getting over the equaliser, Sturridge found the back of the net again – this time after magical play from Emre Can. The German, with the outside of his foot, found the striker perfectly and Sturridge finished with his right foot this time.
As if Southampton were not hurting enough, Alberto Moreno (via Divock Origi) made it much worse. The Spaniard fired a zipped volley from 20-yards out, but the Belgian will take the credit after getting a tiny touch on the shot before it went past Stekelenburg.
The second half threatened to be less frantic, but it wasn’t! Sturridge withdrew after the hour mark to a rapturous reception from the travelling Kop. Sadly, Can picked up a booking, meaning he’ll miss the Premier League game with Newcastle at the weekend. He’ll be a big loss, but Jordan Henderson can come in and take his place.
Liverpool were not done yet, of course, and Origi capped his own fantastic evening with a wonderful second and a fourth goal for the Reds. Picking up a Jordon Ibe through-ball, he slammed into the corner of the net. It’ll do his confidence a world of good.
Provider then turned scorer, with the sub slamming in from Moreno’s deft ball after Origi’s excellent work down the left.
Rubbing salt in the wound, Origi bagged himself a hat-trick late on! Brad Smith, on for Moreno, crossed beautifully from deep and the Belgian nodded in his third. You can check that final goal out here.
There were barely any Southampton fans left upon full-time.
Klopp selected a mixed lineup, with Adam Bogdan replacing Simon Mignolet in goal, Connor Randall allowing Nathaniel Clyne a rest at right-back, and fit again Jordan Henderson starting from the bench.
Ronald Koeman went maximum strength for the Saints, and on paper – the sides were even at kick off. But Liverpool absolutely destroyed one of the Premier League’s better sides on their own patch.
Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren were ruthlessly booed by the home supporters due to our players’ former allegiances, but both impressed in what was Jurgen Klopp’s seventh win in eight matches.
Due to the opposition and the competition, this result won’t go down in history like the Chelsea and Manchester City ones, but in reality, Klopp’s outfit were just as impressive.