EFL Cup semifinal | Southampton beat Liverpool to take advantage into second leg

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EFL Cup semifinal | Southampton beat Liverpool to take advantage into second leg

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SportsCafe Desk

01/12/2017

A first-half Nathan Redmond goal at St. Marys, was enough to give Southampton a slight advantage in the semi-final of the EFL Cup yesterday. Liverpool can count themselves lucky to still be in the tie after a brilliant all round performance by the Redmond-inspired team.

Having played most of the Cup with his second team, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp showed his intent on winning his first piece of silverware in England by opting to start with his first-choice team. Philippe Coutinho could only find a place on the bench as the Brazilian made his return from injury.

The first chance of the match fell for Liverpool winger Roberto Firmino who got the ball 10 yards from goal after Adam Lallana headed the ball into his path. However, the Brazilian found Fraser Forster up to the challenge to keep the scores level.

In the 19th minute, the Saints created a chance of their own when a Dusan Tadic cross evaded everyone and fell for Nathan Redmond in the box. The Englishman was closed down quickly by Loris Karius whose outstretched boot kept the ball out of the net.

Liverpool, however, went down a goal in the very next minute as the Southampton front three of Tadic and Jay Rodriguez combined brilliantly to release Redmond who slotted the ball past the onrushing Karius to give the home side a much-deserved lead. 

Two minutes from half-time, Tadic and Redmond combined again with the former cutting the ball back from the left wing towards the Englishman. Karius, however, made sure that Liverpool entered the second half with the score of just 1-0.

After the interval, Southampton continued to create chances but Karius, who had been under some scrutiny before the match was proving a hard keeper to beat. On the other side of the pitch, the Merseyside club had been relegated to taking shots from distance. 

With just under 10 minutes on the clock, Southampton had a great chance to double their lead when Shane long crossed the ball in from the left wing after a lung-bursting run. Redmond went for a cheeky chip but the ball came off the crossbar. The players appealed for a goal, but replays clearly suggested that Dejan Lovren had stopped the ball from crossing the line. 

The two sides will now meet again at Anfield for the second leg of the semi-final on Jan 26.

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