EFL Cup: Southampton ease out Liverpool to reach Wembley final

Southampton are going to WembleyView photo
Southampton are going to Wembley

Liverpool‘s difficult start to 2017 continued as Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat against Southampton saw Claude Puel‘s men reach the EFL Cup final, Shane Long the hero in the second leg with his 91st-minute goal.

The Reds had shouts for a late penalty ignored by referee Martin Atkinson after a duel between Jack Stephens and Divock Origi and substitute Long decided the tie just moments later with a cool finish.

Jurgen Klopp’s men had won just one of their previous six outings this calendar year – a 1-0 FA Cup win over League Two side Plymouth Argyle – and they knew they were in for a tough task at Anfield following the 1-0 setback from the reverse fixture, a single strike from Nathan Redmond the difference at St. Mary’s.

But Liverpool had plenty of reasons for optimism heading into the game following the news earlier in the day that Philippe Coutinho had signed a new long-term deal and the home fans were hopeful the Brazilian could conjure up some magic in the hunt for silverware.

Coutinho was unable to make much of an impact before the break, though, and Liverpool had Loris Karius to thank for still having a chance of making it to Wembley at half-time.

The hosts spurned a number of chances to send the game into extra time and saw Fraser Forster claw off the line to deny Emre Can before Southampton – who amazingly have not conceded a goal in this season’s competition – made sure of their trip to…