Southampton 1-6 Liverpool: Divock Origi scores hat-trick as Reds rout Saints
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 03/12/15 11:50am
Divock Origi scored a brilliant hat-trick as Liverpool reached the Capital One Cup semi-finals for the third time in five years with an impressive 6-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Sadio Mane headed in the opener after 41 seconds, the 100th goal of Ronald Koeman's reign, but a Daniel Sturridge brace and an opportunistic strike from Origi had Liverpool firmly in control by half-time.
The Belgium international made the game safe with a stunning first-time finish for Liverpool's fourth on 68 minutes, before substitute Jordon Ibe smashed home a fifth to seal the rout. Origi made it six to complete his hat-trick with four minutes to play, heading home Brad Smith's cross.
The Reds will play Stoke City in the semi-finals with the first-leg tie taking place week commencing January 4, and the second-leg match set for week commencing January 25, both live on Sky Sports.
Ronald Koeman made five changes from Saints' 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, while Jurgen Klopp rotated six from his side's victory over Swansea, the key addition being the return of Sturridge to the starting line-up.
Koeman had lamented his side's slow start at Manchester City, but they were quick out of the blocks at St Mary's, Mane converting Ryan Bertrand's cross to put Southampton ahead inside the first minute.
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Dusan Tadic and Bertrand were given too much space down the left, and the England international picked out Mane at the back post. The Saints forward kept his header down under pressure from Alberto Moreno, giving Adam Bogdan no chance in the Liverpool goal for his first strike since his equaliser at Anfield on October 25.
Victor Wanyama and Mane again had chances as Southampton pressed for a second in a bright opening 15 minutes, but that was as good as it got for Koeman's side as Liverpool quickly settled and equalised through Sturridge.
The Liverpool striker latched onto Joe Allen's through ball, slipped Steven Caulker, who was making his first Saints start for two months, and arrowed his left foot shot past Maarten Stekelenburg from a tight angle.
Barely four minutes later the Reds completed the turnaround, Sturridge doubling his tally with a half-volley from Emre Can's expertly executed cross.
The striker was the grateful recipient of poor defending from the hosts on both occasions, but the returning Reds forward took his third and fourth goals of the season with the confidence that belied a player making his first start since early October.
Strike partner Origi was enjoying his best performance in a Reds shirt, and he made it three on the stroke of half-time, turning home Moreno's low drive for his first goal for the club.
Graziano Pelle slid Mane in behind the Liverpool defence to present Southampton their first opportunity of the second half, but Dejan Lovren recovered well to block, before substitute Shane Long nodded wide from Tadic's chipped cross shortly after.
Klopp took no chances with Sturridge, replacing the striker with Jordon Ibe on 59 minutes, and the replacement made an immediate impact, setting up Origi's second and Liverpool's fourth.
The winger cut in from the right flank and found his team-mate in space, with Origi blasting past Stekelenburg to put the game beyond doubt with just over 20 minutes to play.
Ibe put away Liverpool's fifth goal five minutes later, controlling on the chest before powerfully striking into the bottom corner, and Origi sealed his hat-trick with a routine header from Smith's inch-perfect cross - Liverpool's sixth goal from their seventh shot on target.
The defeat is Southampton's third in as many games, and they face Aston Villa next at St Mary's in the Premier League. As for Liverpool, since their 1-1 draw against the Saints in the league in late October, they have won seven of their last eight, and will be full of confidence heading into their Super Sunday clash with Newcastle.