Nathan Redmond reflected on a missed opportunity to score a hat-trick, or better, after his goal gave Southampton a slender 1-0 advantage over Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-finals.
The England Under-21 international struck midway through the first half at St Mary’s Stadium after Jay Rodriguez pounced on Ragnar Klavan’s error to finish coolly past Loris Karius.
Redmond had not scored in 15 matches prior to Wednesday’s encounter and he was denied by sharp Karuis reflexes either side of his goal in the first half before clipping the bar with a cute effort in the game’s closing stages.
With Liverpool likely to bring a concerted response at Anfield in the second leg in two weeks, Redmond was in reflective mood post-match.
“I should have had four,” Redmond told Sky Sports. “On another day, they might go in.
“We got a win so we’ll take it onto the second leg.
“The first or the last one [was most frustrating]. I didn’t realise how much time I had, and with the last one I tried to be too smart.
“I’ll learn from those mistakes in training and try to put it right.”
Redmond’s strike could remain crucial thanks to a superb rear-guard display from Southampton’s defence – led by stand-in skipper Virgil van Dijk.
The in-demand Dutchman took the armband, with Jose Fonte out of favour after submitting a transfer request, and he performed superbly as Southampton brushed off memories of last season’s 6-1 hiding to Liverpool in the same competition.
“We won and kept clean sheet, that’s the most important thing and we played good football at times,” Van Dijk said.
“Liverpool are a great team so it’s difficult but we put in a great team performance, [Redmond] was unlucky today but I’m happy with the goal he scored.
“They have plenty of movement up front, so we needed to talk with each other and we did it very well. In moments it was tough, but we managed it and did well and it’s a good win to take to Anfield.
“I said before the game, we need to believe. It’s something special for the club and we showed today we want it so bad. It’s going to be tough but you never know.”
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