LIVERPOOL 0-1 (0-2 agg) Southampton
Liverpool have failed to progress to the League Cup Final. The task was rather simple – pull back 1 goal to level the aggregate score which Southampton were already beating us by before the 2nd leg began, then score another and do not concede (Karius would need to keep a clean sheet) to win and you’d get to go to Wembley for the Final. It would also have been possible to just score one goal to equalise, then play until the end of extra time and win a penalty shoot out to progress in the competition. Apparently Liverpool couldn’t even manage a single goal against their opponents.
Jurgen Klopp did not field the same bunch of inexperienced youngsters that has been seen in the Cups before this season. This time, it was almost a full strength squad of first team regulars. Nathaniel Clyne is still suffering from abdominal pain so Trent Alexander-Arnold would replace him. Karius has been playing in the Cups while Mignolet gets to play all Premier League fixtures now. Ben Woodburn was on the substitute bench. You should have recognised almost all names on the squad list though.
Liverpool would create chances to attack and potentially score right throughout the game. I’ve already mentioned that we had a strong side. It’s not the squad selection that caused us to lose and it’s not entirely that we don’t have Sadio Mané available to use right now. We still had a strong starting 11 to score with.
Firmino had recently scored two goals himself against Swansea. Surely he could have gotten 1 to equalise for us? It would not happen.
Coutinho was part of the starting 11 and had recently been in the news, due to reports of his new 5 year contract with the club. In an interview about that, he’d briefly mentioned how important he thought it was to win this game and go onto the League Cup Final. Despite all of this clear motivation, he would not score either.
Daniel Sturridge has shown his dislike for being a substitute before, yet this time he was given a starting 11 position to play from the first minute of the game. He’s previously been able to come on and score in under 5 minutes but he was given the 90 minutes he seems to yearn for and doesn’t manage to find a minute or two to score in from the whole game. I still respect his talent but we badly needed him to get a goal and he did not provide it for us.
Origi and Wijnaldum were just as unsuccesful to help out with goals, too. Brought on as late substitutes and with fresh enough legs to out sprint our opposition, run all the way towards our opponents goalkeeper and shoot past him into the net? Well, that didn’t happen.
As a whole team, Liverpool were not doing what was desperately needed. To get goals and not concede. By the time when it got into the late 80s minutes and nearing full time, our attackers really pushed hard. Too hard, it seeemed. Too hard, because Southampton would counter attack after we’d pushed most of our men down to their far end of the pitch and a long ball played up to Shane Long would make it to his feet, he’d run towards our goal with it and as Karius rushed out to meet him he’d just push the ball past him and into the net.
Man Of the Match
Lloris Karius made multiple great saves which had stopped us from being too far behind to make a comeback, much earlier on than Shane Long had scored. If perhaps his teammates had focused on scoring once, twice or maybe three times then he really wouldn’t have had to be so bothered by the end of the game that they had managed to score past him. He gave a great performance and was doing more than most others to try and take us to the League Cup Final. It was appreciated, even if we couldn’t progress in this competition. Well played Lloris.
That Shane Long goal was truly the moment when we knew we weren’t going to the Cup Final. It was then down to Liverpool to score two goals in about two minutes or we wouldn’t even make it to extra time at a 2-2 aggregate score. Plus, Southampton now had an away goal and a third goal would have to be scored by Liverpool within a half hour of extra time at the very latest or they’d lose to Southampton at 2-2, with their away goal giving them an advantage which could have qualified them through to the Final. Liverpool wouldn’t even get 1 in the 90 minutes of regular time, let alone 2 in 2 minutes. I think we’ve gone through enough of the reasons that we lost now, though. This isn’t about putting Liverpool down, it’s just informing you of all the facts that happened in our recent unfortunate defeat.
I don’t want to heavily criticise the team I love and support – support isn’t just about cheering on a winning team. It’s also for when you draw or lose and this time, we lost. I’ll still continue with my love and support for Liverpool. I’m with you, Reds.
We’re going to continue with our season and see how we’ll do in the FA Cup and Premier League.
I urge you not to lose faith or hope in your team, Anfield Family. Walk on with hope in your hearts. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by] Stuart Drewery.
I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.
I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s