Belfast Telegraph

We're lucky we aren't down and out, blasts Klopp

By Nick Purewal

Jurgen Klopp blasted his Liverpool players after they crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at St Mary's Stadium last night.

The Reds finished runners-up in the competition last season and will return to Anfield needing to overturn a 1-0 loss following Nathan Redmond's first-half strike.

"I am not happy, of course," said Klopp, whose side face Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday.

"It could and should have been 2-0, 3-0. I can't remember a clear chance for us.

“The game changed when they scored and we lost a lot of what we needed.

“Our passing game got nervous, I don’t know why. We gave the ball away so easily and we needed Loris Karius to save our lives two or three times.

“The best thing for us is the result. We know that we can play better at Anfield, nothing is decided.

“We cannot be happy with the performance, Southampton cannot be happy with the result.

“They had the biggest chances because we were not compact enough in situations. It’s a deserved win for Southampton but it is only half-time.

“In this moment I am not too happy with the performance after 1-0. We should have been more clear in our passing. It is difficult, we could have done better. Things like this happen.

“We were in a good shape when we started, but the reaction was not good. Why exactly I will have to look again. The second leg will be a completely different game. Nobody should think it is already decided.”

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.

Redmond was left to rue his missed chances despite scoring the winner. He said: “I should have had four, on another day they might go in. We got the win in the first leg so we take it on to the second leg.”

When asked which missed scoring opportunities he regretted the most, he added: “The first one and the last one. The last one I tried to be a bit too smart and chip it over. I’ll take those mistakes and try to put it right in training and the next game. We got a clean sheet and a win in the first leg so we’ll take that on to the second.”

Southampton boss Claude Puel added: “We are deserving of this result with all the many chances we had. It was important to win with the clean sheet and we can have a strong game at Liverpool.

“It was a very, very good game but it is just the first leg and we are just one goal up. This competition is exciting, now it is important to keep the good concentration for the Premier League. We lost three games so it is important to have the good reaction.”

Saints’ skipper Virgil van Dijk was satisfied after keeping a clean sheet. He said: “It’s all about communication. They have a lot of movement and running so we talked it out.”

Belfast Telegraph


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