SOUTHAMPTON 1-6 LIVERPOOL

Liverpool are through to the Semi Finals of the League Cup! An early goal by Southampton did not stop the Reds from making an emphatic comeback and taking the victory at Southampton’s own stadium.

Liverpool had recently qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League and were involved in this knockout tournament too. Thankfully, we’d knock the Saints out of the tournament in this fixture and are now progressing to a “two leg” (2 fixtures) Semi Final, and it has been announced that Stoke will be our opponent.

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Fixtures for the semi Final will be played in January. 

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The manager did not put a “full strength” starting 11 out for this fixture. Simon Mignolet would be a substitute, making way for Adam Bogdan to get a place in the starting 11. James Milner would not be captain or even feature in the starting 11. Lucas was captain and Milner was a substitute. Christian Benteke has been one of our finest strikers this season but would also only be substitute. In the striker’s positions we would see both Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge, who has recently returned from injury and was making his first appearance in a starting 11 lineup since getting back to full fitness again. We also would be without Coutinho who is still trying to get his way back to full fitness after getting injured in the game against Manchester City. He should back before the new year, though. Maybe even by Christmas Day or Boxing Day (up to December 26th).

Connor Randall was chosen in the starting 11 by Jurgen Klopp

Connor Randall was chosen in the starting 11 by Jurgen Klopp for this League Cup fixture.

In defence, we would see Academy youngsters like Connor Randall and Brad Smith, both of whom did not disappoint.

Connor Randall heads the ball away

20 year old Connor Randall defends and heads the ball away

The first half of the game did not start how we would have wanted, really. Within a single minute of the referee blowing his whistle to start the game, Southampton had scored! Ryan Bertrand would quickly get down to the left wing, crossing over to Sadio Mané who would leap into the air above Alberto Moreno to head past Adam Bogdan and take the lead, making it Southampton 1-0 Liverpool already.

Liverpool didn’t even look stunned, though. We just kept our heads held high and continued with the game. It’s a (league) cup game, so we knew right from the start that we wouldn’t be able to just defend for a 0-0 draw. You can’t get a single point out of games like this. You either win or you lose by the end of the game.
Eventually, we’d have to score a goal to win the game and progress in the competition. So we still knew we HAD to score to win this. Nothing about that had changed. Liverpool didn’t just settle to get two goals and win 1-2 though. We’d be confident and strong enough to score SIX goals in our comeback for victory.

Liverpool would fight back from one goal down  to equalise by the 25th minute of the game. Our first goal would come as Joe Allen assisted Daniel Sturridge with a pass from the halfway line. Sturridge received the ball on the edge of the penalty area, ran into the box and towards the last defender, then carefully placed the ball with a shot that made it’s way past the defenders, the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net. Southampton 1-1 Liverpool.

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The next goal for Liverpool would come only 4 minutes later and it’d be Daniel Sturridge’s, too. He’s done SO well to have returned from injury, then make an amazing comeback to have scored two goals in the first game that he’s a part of the starting 11 for.

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Klopp will have to seriously consider who he wants to use as a striker from now on, because the choices just got harder to choose from. Do we want to start with Benteke? Sturridge? Origi? They’re ALL great choices!  They’ve all put in great performances and scored for Liverpool this season.

This goal was assisted by Emre Can, who had ran forwards to about 30 yards from goal and then passed to Sturridge who had made his way into the penalty area. All Sturridge had to do was push the ball past the goalkeeper, which he managed to do as he calmly made the score Southampton 1-2 Liverpool.

Fans saw THAT dance again (you know the one) and I really was excited. I have missed this player and his celebration. It was special to see it happening again after so long without them.

STURRIDGE IS BACK! and so is his dance. I've missed them

STURRIDGE IS BACK! and so is his dance. I’ve missed them.

Half an hour had not even passed yet and the game had already seen three goals. It would also see another goal before the referee blew his whistle for half time.

Virgil van Dijk had conceded a corner coming up the final minute of the first half. It was taken and the ball had come to Alberto Moreno. Moreno struck a shot from just outside of the penalty area directly at goal, clearly hoping to score. The ball however made it’s way directly towards Divock Origi who would just give it a small flick with his boot. Origi had been directly in front of the goalkeeper, around 6 yards out. The Southampton goalkeeper had already dived down to save the shot coming in from Moreno and the touch from Origi diverted the path of the ball to make sure the ball wasn’t going to be saved, it quickly went into the goal.

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The score at half time after the goal by Origi would be Southampton 1-3 Liverpool. Even now, the Liverpool fans were excited and confident that their team would progress to the next round of this competition but we would not have to do it with just the three goals (scored by Liverpool) in the first half. We would see three more goals in the second half.

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Shortly into the second half, Klopp would substitute Daniel Sturridge with Jordon Ibe. He’d done great and in any other game that didn’t see one of our players score a hat trick, I’d have given Daniel the “Man Of The Match” for scoring two goals for us. You’ll find out soon who got that honour instead of Sturridge and why.

Origi scored in both the first and second half

Divock Origi was the only Liverpool player who scored in both the first half and the second half

Our next goal to be scored would come around the 68th minute and it seemed Divock Origi had wanted to score more than just his first half goal. He was ready for more in the second half. Substitute Jordon Ibe had provided an accurate pass for Origi who had been running towards the edge of the penalty area. By the time he had collected the ball from Ibe, Origi was inside of the penalty area on the right hand side, then he struck the ball powerfully with his right foot and it crashed past the goalkeeper and into the right hand side of the net making the score Southampton 1-4 Liverpool.

Liverpool weren’t done scoring yet, either. Jordon Ibe had assisted the last goal and now would go on to score one himself, also.

There was nice build up from Liverpool for this goal. A back-heeled pass to Alberto Moreno led to Moreno putting a cross into Jordon Ibe, who was waiting for the ball on the edge of the penalty area. Ibe chested the ball down and by the time the ball had fallen down to the pitch, Ibe struck the ball with power and it blasted powerfully and accurately into the bottom right corner of the net. The goalkeeper had dived to save it, but he just could not reach far enough across the goal, the ball making it’s way to the furthest possible position on the right hand side it could have gone to. So now the score would be Southampton 1-5 Liverpool.

 

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When Klopp had substituted Sturridge for Ibe, many fans had wanted Sturridge to stay on the pitch and perhaps get himself a hat trick (he did already have two goals in the game). However Ibe’s contribution to the game seems to have validated Klopp’s decision as being a smart one which led to good things. So don’t question the boss! He knows what he’s doing, clearly.

Brad Smith played in our league cup fixture victory against Southampton

Brad Smith played in our league cup fixture victory against Southampton

In the 77th minute, Moreno was brought off the pitch as Liverpool’s Australian youngster Brad Smith was given a chance to play in our defence. Smith’s a natural left back, though can play on the left wing in midfield just like Moreno.

Our final goal of the game actually came from an assist that was provided by Smith. Brad had made his way far down the left hand side of the pitch, crossed over to Divock Origi and Origi leapt into the air from around 6 or 7 yards away (at the edge of the 6 yard box) to claim his hat trick (3rd goal of the game) with a powerful header that could not be stopped by the Southampton goalkeeper. Great football and this is why Sturridge didn’t even get Man Of The Match after returning from injury to the starting 11 and scoring two goals. Origi had honestly done better in this game, which was surprising to many fans.

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Divock Origi is Man Of The Match. A fine contribution from him saw him score three goals and help Liverpool to a League Cup quarter final victory which Reds fans will not forget any time soon. “Remember when Origi scored a hat trick?” will be spoken about for years by Liverpool’s supporters. He just went down in history.

Origi is Man Of The Match

Origi is Man Of The Match

So, Liverpool finally secured their win with a 6th goal and we’re on to the Semi Final’s of the League Cup now. Well done, Reds!

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Liverpool will now continue their season and are soon to be playing an away Premier League fixture at Newcastle’s ground.

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I hope you all enjoyed this victory as much as I did and we are not done with this season yet. So, just walk on with hope in your heart and You’ll Never Walk Alone, Anfield Family.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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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 (about 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.

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