On Wednesday evening Southampton travelled to Anfield looking to secure their place in the League Cup final at Wembley on 26th February.
Defending a 1-0 lead from the 1st leg, Claude Puel’s team should have been home and dry in the first half, but with Liverpool keeper saving Dusan Tadic’s close range attempt, and Southampton skipper Steve Davis hitting another good opportunity wide, the teams went in 0-0 at the break.
In the second half, Liverpool were playing towards the Kop end and started to insert themselves into the game, but with Daniel Sturridge blowing two good chances, and Southampton keeper Fraser Foster somehow denying Emre Can, the home team just couldn’t take advantage of the pressure. With minutes left, Southampton’s Jack Stephens caught Divock Origi in the area, but the ref turned down any appeal for a penalty over the challenge. However, with the game going into injury time and a goalless draw on the cards, Shane Long collected a pass from Josh Simms to blast the ball past Loris Karius and confirm a Southampton victory and a place at Wembley next month.
24 hours after the drama at Anfield, Manchester United travelled to Hull City to decide who would be meeting Southampton in the final. With a 2-0 lead from the 1st leg at Old Trafford a fortnight ago, Jose Mourhinho decided to make a few changes to his team as they looked to book their place at Wembley. Within minutes of the start it was evident that Hull were not going to give up without a fight and they took the lead through a Tom Huddleston penalty 10 mins before the break. It stayed that way until half way through the 2nd period, when Paul Pogba manged to poke the ball over the line to score his 7th of the season and make it 1-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. To their credit, Hull never gave up and, with minutes left, Oumar Niasse set up a tense finish as he contacted with a David Meyler cross to put the Tigers back into the lead. Unfortunately, it proved too little too late and, although the team placed 19th in the premiership managed to end United’s 17 match unbeaten run, they lost 3-2 on aggregate which sends Manchester United to face Southampton in the ELC Final next month.