Liverpool produced a masterclass in attacking football as they rallied from a goal down to record an impressive 6-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary's Stadium in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
- Southampton 1 Liverpool 6
- Mané scores after just 41 seconds
- Sturridge scores two in four minutes
- Origi nets memorable hat-trick
- Ibe gets in on the act for Liverpool
Southampton got off to the best possible start after Sadio Mané headed them in front inside the first minute of play, and the hosts very nearly added more goals in the minutes that followed.
However, Liverpool grew in confidence as the half progressed and drew level on 25 minutes through Daniel Sturridge. The hosts were still reeling from the equaliser when Sturridge struck again a few minutes later, marking a brilliant return from injury.
The visitors didn't let up and added a third in the dying moments of the first half when Divock Origi deflected Alberto Moreno's powerful shot past the wrong-footed keeper to bag his first competitive goal for Liverpool.
Origi added a second after the break before substitute Jordon Ibe converted from just inside the area to put the Reds out of sight.
And the Belgium international, not content with just two goals to his name, converted with a powerful header in the closing stages of the contest to pile further misery on the Saints and their supporters.
The Saints made a flying start to the clash and caught Liverpool napping in the opening minutes of play as Ryan Bertrand wriggled free of his marker on the left flank before sending in a cross to the centre of the box, where Mané got above Alberto Moreno to head home from close range.
Ronald Koeman's men had a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0 just four minutes later, but Victor Wanyama was only able to head the ball straight into the grateful arms of Reds keeper Adam Bogdan after being picked out in the danger area by Dusan Tadic.
Southampton created another good chance in the ninth minute, but it went to waste as Steven Davis fired high and wide from the centre of the box.
The hosts were eventually made to pay for failing to covert their last two chances as Liverpool grew in confidence as the half progressed, eventually drawing level on 25 minutes. The returning Sturridge latched on to a pass from Joe Allen before cutting inside and lashing a left-footed effort into the bottom-right corner from the left-hand side of the box.
The goal gave the Merseysiders and instant lift and they doubled their advantage just two minutes later. Emre Can split the Saints defence following a cultured pass with the outside of his boot, and Sturridge raced clear of the defence before firing home on the half volley.
Sturridge's second goal did the job of silencing the home crowd, who had jeered Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana every time one of the former Saints players touched the ball, and the striker went agonisingly close to notching a third two minutes from half-time when he shot high and wide from a free-kick.
The match was effectively over as a contest on the stroke of half-time, though, after Divock Origi deflected Alberto Moreno's driven shot past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Just as they had done in the first half, Southampton came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second stanza.
Graziano Pellè made his first notable contribution of the game in the 50th minute, but could not find a way past Bogdan in the Liverpool goal.
Mané squandered a good opportunity to reduce the deficit when he dragged a left-footed effort wide of goal in the 52nd minute, while at the opposite end of the pitch, Lallana fired over the bar from outside the box.
If the result wasn't already certain, it was put beyond any doubt in the 68th minute as Origi latch on to a well weighted through pass from substitute Jordon Ibe, who had replaced the excellent Sturridge, before smashing a thunderbolt of a shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the area.
Liverpool rubbed further salt in the wounds of the hosts as Ibe got in on the act five minutes later. The youngster chested the ball and allowed it to drop at his feet before firing a half volley into the bottom-right corner.
There was more to come from the Reds, though, as Origi rounded off a memorable evening in the best way possible, heading home from substitute Brad Smith's inviting cross in the 86 minutes to complete his hat-trick.