EFL Cup - Semi-Final - 2nd Leg
Liverpool0Southampton1

Liverpool 0-1 Southampton (Agg: 0-2)

Shane Long scores
Shane Long came off the bench at half-time and sealed Southampton's progress

Southampton reached the EFL Cup final at Wembley with a fully deserved victory over two legs against Liverpool - crowned by Shane Long's late winner at Anfield.

Claude Puel's side, defending a 1-0 lead from the first leg, should have put the tie out of Liverpool's reach inside the first 45 minutes but Dusan Tadic's close-range shot was blocked by keeper Loris Karius and captain Steve Davis blazed another great chance wildly over.

Liverpool raised the tempo in front of the Kop in the second half but Daniel Sturridge wasted their two best chances, Fraser Forster acrobatically hooked an Emre Can shot off the line and the hosts also had a late penalty appeal turned down when substitute Divock Origi tumbled under Jack Stephens' challenge.

But Southampton broke clear in the closing moments and Long finished convincingly from Josh Sims' pass to send them into the their first final in this competition since 1979, where they will meet either Manchester United or Hull City - a feat achieved without conceding a goal.

Saints superior over two legs

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Liverpool 0-1 Southampton: Saints through to League Cup final

Southampton's date at Wembley on 26 February is a rich tribute to this brilliantly run club and their understated French manager Claude Puel.

Saints were vastly superior over two legs against Liverpool and, despite the home side's complaints about that late penalty claim, no-one could seriously begrudge them their victory.

And it was all done without their talisman and key defender Virgil van Dijk, out through injury. Southampton were dangerous on the break in the first half and then, when they needed to be, were superbly organised, disciplined and determined defensively before breaking for Republic of Ireland international Long to strike the killer blow.

Southampton have once more demonstrated their ability, as a club, to take the blows of key departures and still achieve.

They lost manager Ronald Koeman to Everton in the summer - as well as important components such as Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane to Spurs and Liverpool respectively - and have carried on undisturbed with a Wembley appearance as their reward.

Liverpool lose their way - one win in seven matches

Liverpool failed to make 73% of possession tell at Anfield and now have just one win in seven matches
Liverpool failed to make 73% of possession tell at Anfield and had only three shots on target

Liverpool's laboured performance was in stark contrast to the all-action attacking displays that briefly took them to the top of the Premier League earlier this season.

Jurgen Klopp's side looked jaded and have lost their way, with only one win in seven games this year, a third-round FA Cup replay victory at League Two Plymouth Argyle.

Liverpool look shorn of threat without £34m summer signing Mane, away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, and lacking an alternative plan when teams as disciplined as Swansea and Southampton have been in inflicting two successive home defeats.

Sturridge felt the frustration of Liverpool's supporters for a poor performance and two missed chances, while substitute Origi looks short of confidence.

Klopp's decision to play Can and Jordan Henderson together in midfield backfired badly and his decision to leave out Georginio Wijnaldum was questionable.

Saints profit from fine margins

Divock Origi went down under the challenge of Jack Stephens late on but referee Ben Atkinson gave no penalty
Divock Origi went down under the challenge of Jack Stephens late on but referee Ben Atkinson gave no penalty

Southampton's players enjoyed every second of their celebrations with their fans in the Anfield Road end as they looked forward to the chance to win their second major trophy, following an FA Cup triumph over Manchester United at Wembley in 1976.

Saints had several anxious moments in the second half, especially when goalkeeper Forster dropped Can's shot behind him then recovered miraculously to claw it off the line as Sturridge closed in.

They also survived two penalty appeals - for handball against Long and that fall from Origi - but this was a glory night for Southampton and one they fully deserved.

Man of the match - Southampton's Oriel Romeu

Oriel Romeu
Oriel Romeu was solid in the heart of Southampton's midfield and consistently broke up Liverpool's play

Analysis - 'Southampton totally outplayed Liverpool'

Daniel Sturridge watched on as Fraser Forster atoned for spilling Emre Can's shot by hooking the ball off the line
Daniel Sturridge watched on as Fraser Forster atoned for spilling Emre Can's shot by hooking the ball off the line

BBC Radio 5 live pundit Mark Lawrenson: "Absolutely, totally and utterly deserved. They always, always carried that goal threat. They played with so much pace, so much directness. Over the two legs they have totally outplayed Liverpool. They thoroughly deserve the Wembley appearance."

A first for Klopp - the stats you need...

  • This is the first time Jurgen Klopp has lost a semi-final as a manager, progressing from the previous six.
  • Southampton have reached the final without conceding a single goal.
  • Liverpool have failed to score in all three games v Southampton this season in all competitions.
  • Claude Puel is unbeaten in six games against Liverpool as a manager (W3 D3).
  • This is just the second time Liverpool have been eliminated in six League Cup semi-finals (the other v Chelsea in 2014-15).
  • The last time Liverpool failed to score in either leg of a semi-final was in the 1970-71 Fairs Cup v Leeds.

'Seven good chances' - what the managers said

Claude Puel
Claude Puel has not lost in six matches in which he has faced Liverpool

Southampton manager Claude Puel: "It is fantastic for all the squad and a good reward for their hard work. It was difficult to find this opportunity to play a final at Wembley. In the two legs we deserved the win. We were fantastic in the first leg at home and tonight we had chances in the first half.

"In the second half it was difficult but now we go to Wembley, not just to participate but to win this cup. I have been there once, just to watch France beat England."

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Puel delighted by 'fantastic' Saints victory

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "They won both games, they deserved it. We did really well. We cannot create more chances than we did in the second half - we were dominant. It is difficult because you have to take risks but too many risks plays to their strengths.

"We had seven good chances. You have to score, and we didn't do, so we lost. I'm fine with the performance but not the result."

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Long handball was obvious - Klopp

What's next?

Liverpool host Championship side Wolves in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday at 12:30 GMT, while Southampton travel to Arsenal in the same competition at 17:30.

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 1Karius
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 32Matip
  • 6Lovren
  • 7Milner
  • 23CanSubstituted forOrigiat 78'minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 20Lallana
  • 11Firmino
  • 15Sturridge
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forWijnaldumat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 17Klavan
  • 18Moreno
  • 21Leiva
  • 22Mignolet
  • 27Origi
  • 58Woodburn

Southampton

  • 1Forster
  • 2Cédric Soares
  • 24Stephens
  • 3Yoshida
  • 21Bertrand
  • 16Ward-ProwseSubstituted forHøjbjergat 59'minutes
  • 14Romeu
  • 8Davis
  • 22RedmondSubstituted forSimsat 81'minutes
  • 9RodriguezSubstituted forLongat 45'minutes
  • 11Tadic

Substitutes

  • 4Clasie
  • 7Long
  • 15Martina
  • 23Højbjerg
  • 38McQueen
  • 39Sims
  • 41Lewis
Referee:
Ben Atkinson
Attendance:
52,238

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamSouthampton
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home13
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away2

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 0, Southampton 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 0, Southampton 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 0, Southampton 1. Shane Long (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Josh Sims following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jack Stephens.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Adam Lallana (Liverpool).

  6. Post update

    Oriol Romeu (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Georginio Wijnaldum replaces Philippe Coutinho.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Cédric Soares.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).

  10. Post update

    Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

  12. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Oriol Romeu.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Southampton. Josh Sims replaces Nathan Redmond.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Divock Origi replaces Emre Can.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Emre Can.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Jack Stephens.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Dusan Tadic.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Dejan Lovren.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathan Redmond.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 25th January 2017

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