Liverpool, four days before the big English Premier League clash against Manchester United, failed to find their attacking mojo, against Southampton in the semifinal first leg of the EFL Cup. As a result, the Saints, who were the much better side, took a narrow 1-0 lead from the first leg at St. Mary's.
Nathan Redmond was the goalscorer in this semifinal, netting the crucial strike in the 20th minute to give Southampton the edge going into the second leg at Anfield in a fortnight's time.
This was a game that could have easily ended 3-0 or even 4-0:
Southampton would have been the winners by that score on another night, leaving Liverpool staring at an exit.
Redmond could have helped himself to a hat-trick, while there were quite a few other chances, chief of them to the full-back Cedric, that went begging.
Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp watching on with a "what on earth is going on" expression, just could not find anything resembling the kind of attack that has turned them into one of the more exciting teams to watch.
Even after Philippe Coutinho came in"
For the first time in nearly seven weeks the Brazilian got onto the pitch, but the Reds could not really muster up an opportunity of note, with Southampton, in the end, left to rue the amount of chances they had let go.
The positive for Liverpool will be the performance of the much-maligned Loris Karius:
Liverpool's goalkeeper who made a few smart saves, even if he could do little to stop the opener from going in. Dusan Tadic played the ball to Jay Rodriguez, who found a pass for Redmond, with the pacy forward providing an assured finish.
"It was important he scored because it's a very good player with many qualities but I think we'll see," a relieved and satisfied Southampton manager Claude Puel said. "It's important now that he plays well because he has all the quality.
"It's the first time he played in this position and, if step-by-step, he can improve a bit then because of his quality with scoring and good running, he has all the qualities of a striker, and has a striker's mentality."
It could have been more, but the 1-0 lead gives Southampton a really good chance to make it to the final and try and win only their second ever major trophy, while Liverpool will know they cannot play worse than they did at St. Mary's when the second leg comes calling at Anfield.