Liverpool reached the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup in style tonight as they thrashed Southampton 6-1 courtesy of two from the returning Daniel Sturridge and a hat-trick from Divock Origi.
Sturridge was making his first start under the management of Jurgen Klopp and scored twice inside four first-half minutes to help the Reds recover from Saido Mane’s headed opener after 40 seconds.
The England striker’s first suggested that he had never been away. He created some room to get away from Steven Caulker and fire a confident shot into the bottom corner with his left foot.
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And his second came from a delightful pass from Emre Can, who lofted the ball over the top of the Saints defence with the outside of his boot for Sturridge to cushion beyond Maarten Stekelenburg.
Liverpool were two clear by the break as Origi scored his first goal for the club, although it initially appeared to belong to Alberto Moreno, whose 25-yard shot was flicked home by the Belgian.
Klopp saved Sturridge the final half an hour but the goals kept coming. There was no doubt about Origi’s second as he hammered into the roof of the net following a through ball from Jordon Ibe.
Substitute Ibe added his own name to the scoresheet with a well-taken fifth, before Origi completed his hat-trick and a wonderful night for the Reds by heading home a cross from teenager Brad Smith.
Liverpool avoided a tricky all-Merseyside semi-final against Everton and will instead play Stoke City over two legs for a place at Wembley. Manchester City face the Toffees in the other last-four tie.
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