|Image via telegraph.co.uk|
It was a phenomenal result for Liverpool who will surely fancy their chances of making it to the final at Wembley now after drawing Stoke in the semis. I personally was hoping for an Everton double header followed by City in the final but you certainly won't find me complaining about the draw.
The game couldn't have got off to a worse start for Liverpool as just 39 seconds in Saido Mane found the back of the net with a header. Assisted from a Bertrand cross, it was remarkable how easily the Saints found the back of the net. Southampton are a very good side and whilst there was plenty of time left in the game I can't deny that I was worried. Our line up wasn't exactly a regular XI and there were definitely some weaknesses that Southampton could exploit, it never happened though. In fact, Koeman's side seemed to just slowly crumble away.
Don't get me wrong, the disappearance of the Southampton threat wasn't immediate, they continued to attack the Liverpool goal but as soon as the Reds found their equaliser it was like the venom had been taken out of them.
At 24 minutes that equaliser came from the brilliant Daniel Sturridge. A beautiful long range pass from Joe Allen put the striker into the box, when Sturridge decided to take the ball wide to his left it looked as though he'd missed a grand opportunity but he kept his focus and finished from a testing angle.
It was just fantastic to see Sturridge back doing that famous dance, last week if you'd have scrolled through Twitter there were many trying to justify getting rid of him. Yes, he's injury prone but he can fire them home better than anybody in the league in my opinion and to come straight back for a first start under Klopp and play like he did last night? Just superb.
Liverpool's second goal came just four minutes later and it was Daniel Sturridge again. This time some delightful footwork from Emre Can saw him find some space, following with an outside of the boot pass to Daniel Sturridge, it was a glorious assist and an even better finish. The Reds were into the lead and unfortunately for Southampton, it was evident things were going to get worse.
Shortly after the second goal Saints found themselves asking for a penalty when Randall looked to have handled the ball. No decision was given and to be honest I think it would have been harsh but it does make you wonder sometimes, in a different game with a different ref that would probably have been given.
Just when it looked like Koeman could take his team to the dressing room with just a goal to make up, Liverpool took an out swinging corner via Adam Lallana. The ball bumbled out to an awaiting Alberto Moreno who absolutely smashed his effort home. On closer inspection however it was found that Divock Origi got a cheeky touch and who could blame him, he needs to prove himself to Klopp. Origi was awarded the goal.
The second half for Liverpool saw Daniel Sturridge leave the field and the introduction of Jordon Ibe at 58 minutes. Just ten minutes later and Divock Origi had found himself a second goal. A lovely through ball from Ibe set up the Belgian who netted with another fantastic finish which clipped the underside of the bar.
Southampton looked completely lost now, Origi was completely free with no pressure applied from the defence and the Reds weren't finished yet.
Five minutes later and it was Ibe's turn to get on the scoresheet. A lovely cross from Alberto Moreno was chested down by Ibe who gained space in the movement and struck home to put the Reds 5-1 up. It was unbelievable to watch. Saints by now had completely combusted, it must have been hard for Ronald Koeman who has undoubtedly built a strong side at St Mary's.
Youngster Brad Smith entered the fray for Liverpool at 76 minutes and it wasn't long before he got himself involved. Ten minutes later his perfect cross to Origi allowed the Belgian to head home a sixth for Liverpool and in the process seal a hat trick. No offence to Origi but there is no way anybody would have predicted a hat trick for him, not even himself! He had a brilliant game.
It was phenomenal to watch and it just goes to show that Klopp's impression on the club clearly goes way deeper than tactics. His relationship with the players is clear to see, the whole team from the youth players to regulars are absolutely buzzin and it's hard not to feel excited about the immediate future for the Reds.
I asked you for your thoughts on the game and here are a few of the tweets I received:
@LFCKirstyLFC the boys showed what they were made of by how the responded after going down so quick. Also, welcome back Sturridge— Tony DelMonte (@TheGamingKeeper) December 3, 2015
@LFCKirstyLFC when I saw our team i thought we would lose. A goal down inside a minute affirmed my fear. I forgot about Klopp! #LFC #NoFear— Bryan B (@BryanB_LFC) December 2, 2015
Next up for Liverpool is Newcastle away.@_TheLiverBird Liverpool back. Sturridge back. Origin the new Lewandowski. Fixture list says we could be top by Christmas!— Brian LFC (@jagusak) December 2, 2015