Klopp admits Liverpool were saved by keeper Karius
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted his side's hope of reaching the EFL Cup Final could have been ended in the first leg of their semi-final against Southampton without sparkling performance from keeper Loris Karius.
Karius was dropped from Liverpool's Premier League side after a series of shaky performances earlier this season, but he was an impressive last line of defence as Southampton missed big chances to finish the first leg of the tie with a 1-0 advantage thanks to Nathan Redmond's goal.
Klopp’s admitted his team were fortunate to leave St Mary’s Stadium just one goal behind after the home side missed some clear cut chances to extend their advantage, buy he is convinced his team can bounce back.
“We can do better and no-one should think it is already decided,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“After the goal we conceded the reaction was not good. We lost timing, we were not compact enough, everything changed and that reaction was not good.
"Maybe it is easy to explain - we made wrong decisions - but it is a cup game and especially in an away cup game you concede a goal and it is tough.
“They had the biggest chances because we were not compact enough in situations and Loris Karius had to save our life, 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.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp suggested Klopp and his players now face a crucial few weeks in their season, with Sunday’s game against Manchester United quickly followed by the second leg against Southampton and a clash with Premier League leaders Chelsea to end the month.
“They have lost some of their spark and there is no better way to get it back than by beating Manchester United on Sunday,” stated Redknapp.
“They are having a moment. The Sunderland draw (2-2), the results against Plymouth in the FA Cup 0-0 last weekend. They need to find a way of getting their confidence back.”