Southampton head to Liverpool in the driving seat after Nathan Redmond’s strike secured a narrow victory in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg.
Jurgen Klopp’s men finished runners-up in the competition last season and return to Anfield needing to overturn a 1-0 loss to the side they have raided for key players in recent years.
Redmond’s first-half strike was the difference at a packed-out St Mary’s, bringing a timely end to a four-match winless run in all competitions on their first appearance in the last-four of a major competition since 2003.
Tweet of the match
Star man – Jay Rodriguez
The hosts’ lone striker laid on the goal and battled manfully to link a hugely-defensive Saints system where his midfield were usually 20 yards away from him.
Moment of the match
Former Norwich winger Redmond wasted two fine chances in the first half, but kept his calm to slide the ball past Loris Karius and hand Saints the slender first-leg advantage.
Clanger of the night
Ragnar Klavan is far too old at 31 and experienced with 116 Estonia caps to be dropping the kind of clanger that led to Southampton’s goal. The Liverpool defender’s botched clearance let Rodriguez send Redmond through on goal, with the Reds duly punished by the 22-year-old’s neat finish.
Player ratingsSouthampton: Fraser Forster: 7, Cedric: 6, Maya Yoshida: 5, Virgil Van Dijk: 7, Ryan Bertrand: 7, Oriol Romeu: 6, Jordy Clasie: 6, Steven Davis: 6, Dusan Tadic: 7, Nathan Redmond: 7, Jay Rodriguez: 8. Substitutes: Pierre Hojbjerg (for Clasie, 74): 6, Shane Long (for Rodriguez, 82): 7, James Ward-Prowse (for Davis, 82): 6.Liverpool: Loris Karius: 6, Nathaniel Clyne: 5, Dejan Lovren: 6, Ragnar Klavan: 4, James Milner: 6, Georginio Wijnaldum: 5, Lucas Leiva: 5, Emre Can: 5, Adam Lallana: 6, Roberto Firmino: 5, Daniel Sturridge: 5. Substitutes: Philippe Coutinho (for Wijnaldum, 60): 5, Divock Origi (for Firmino, 80): 5.
Who’s up next?
Burnley v Southampton (Premier League, January 14)
Manchester United v Liverpool (Premier League, January 150