Jurgen Klopp has vowed to strike back in the second leg, after Liverpool lost the first leg of their EFL Cup tie 1-0 to Southampton
Nathan Redmond’s first half strike proved to be the difference between the two sides in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final, after Liverpool started the game in typically blistering fashion. Southampton were forced to defend deep as Liverpool exposed the Saints’ full-backs with ease.
However, Ragnar Klavan made a mess of a simple clearance and Jay Rodriguez capitalised, feeding the ball to Nathan Redmond who kept his composure and fired past Loris Karius after the custodian had saved a shot from the Englishman only a minute earlier.
Liverpool seemed slightly shell-shocked by the goal, and failed to create anything of note in the first half. They had the lions share of possession in the second half, but were unable to find a way past Claude Puel’s side.
Speaking after the game, Jurgen Klopp admitted in the post-match conference, that the performance was a disappointment but said that everything would be different in the second leg, and was confident that Liverpool would progress to the final :
“The start was good – the start was really good. If we played like this for 90 minutes, then it would have been very difficult for Southampton to cope with it. But after, we conceded one goal and obviously the game changed. Even if I would try to explain it it’s not easy because I’m not actually used to a reaction like this from my boys. But we have to accept it, tonight it was not good.”
“We will strike back, we will be a different team, a different side, everything will be different at Anfield. So, for us, it’s still possible to go to Wembley, and that’s the target. It’s the third best result you can get. If you don’t win, you don’t draw, then losing 1-0 is the third best result. I don’t like it too much but it’s still possible.”
One piece of good news for Liverpool was the return of Philippe Coutinho, who has been out of action since November and missed 10 games for Liverpool due to a malleolar injury. Coutinho managed to put in 29 minutes. Coutinho – who Jurgen Klopp once again insisted was not for sale earlier this month – was not fully match fit but still managed to show Liverpool what they had been missing.
Klopp will be hoping that Liverpool can get over this loss quickly, as Liverpool face a crunch clash against Manchester United on Sunday. He will also be hoping that Coutinho is fit enough to start, given that the Brazilian made an instant difference when he came on last night.