EFL Cup semifinal return leg: Liverpool-Southampton [first leg: 0-1]
Early January, Sadio Mané left to play the African Cup of Nations with Senegal and Liverpool has lost its form since then [two points earned over the last three League fixtures]. Now, only a few days after an astonishing 3-2 defeat at Anfield to Swansea, Liverpool is about to play the most important home game of the season. You can look at the best online bookies to play your odds for this anticipated fixture against Southampton as Liverpool tries to renew with its glorious past.
Liverpool lost the first leg 1-0 a couple weeks ago and will have to play a much better football than they did last weekend against the Welsh, especially defensively. The EFL Cup Final in London is at stake on Wednesday to fight for a national title.
Liverpool coach, Klopp comments on troublesome last few days:
“Against a deep-defending Swansea side, we created I don’t know how many chances. Even after 3-2, we shot three or four times inside the six-yard box, so that says everything. It’s not that we are searching for intensity and if that’s not there, we cannot win. No, we have different ways to win football games. We only have to do the right thing in the right moment; if we have to defend, we have to defend all together, if we have to attack, we have to attack all together. We have to create chances together, we have to defend set-pieces together and all that stuff. If we would have done everything at our best, we would have more points, 100 per cent. That’s clear.
“We are Liverpool, and a really good football-playing side, and we don’t enjoy the job we have to do. If you are another team at the bottom of the league, then we have to defend 80 to 90 per cent of the time, and 10 per cent you can invest in counter-attacks and sometimes a set-piece, and all that stuff. In our job, in 70 to 80 per cent of all games, we are dominant. So we have to enjoy this, even when we don’t come through after five minutes. That’s how it is. That’s the job to do. They concentrate even then on defensive situations. It was a football meeting with a few other parts of the game.”
In the other semifinal, Manchester United goes to Hull City with a comfortable 2-0 advantage and Mourinho’s men are in a very good position to reach the Final at Wembley stadium.
Man United’s striker Wayne Rooney is excited about the upcoming challenge at Hull on Thursday and knows it will not be easy:
“Every trophy is great to win in football and it’s obviously the next one we can win so that’s the focus, certainly on Thursday.
We’re still in every competition we’ve entered this season. The Premier League will obviously be tough but in the competitions we’re in we feel we’ve got a good enough squad to push for those titles.”
Midfielder Juan Mata added: “We’re starting a special week. A different one, for we have two games but neither of them is a Premier League fixture. We have the EFL Cup first, and then the FA Cup. Two different challenges that we face with the same goal in our minds: winning both of them.”