Shane Long guarantees Southampton passage into EFL Cup final
Ireland striker made it 2-0 on aggregate late on at Anfield22:15 Wednesday 25 January 2017, 22:15 25 Jan 2017
Ireland forward Shane Long's goal in stoppage time proved to be the icing on the cake for Southampton as they secured their place in the EFL Cup final by beating Liverpool 2-0 on aggregate.
With Saints leading 1-0 after the first leg at St Mary's two weeks ago, tonight's second leg was marked by spurned clear-cut chances for both teams.
Southampton had chances to go 2-0 up on aggregate but opportunities fell by the wayside.
After having a first half shot from the edge of the box blocked, Southampton's captain on the night Steven Davis had an even better chance to give Claude Puel's side the lead.
But his close range effort ended up going over the bar.
Dusan Tadic went closer after that but Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was able to thwart the Serbian playmaker.
The second half saw Liverpool spurn chances of their own, with the usually razor sharp Daniel Sturridge particularly struggling when it came to converting good chances from close range.
Southampton's Shane Long scores his side's first goal during the EFL Cup Semi Final, Second Leg match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture by Martin Rickett PA Wire/PA Images
The Reds also came close to taking the lead when Southampton keeper Fraser Forster was able to rescue a situation by preventing the ball from going over the goal-line.
As the game entered stoppage time, Liverpool had a penalty shout when Divock Origi fell under the challenge of Jack Stephens in the box.
But after clearing a corner, Southampton were able to turn their 1-0 aggregate advantage into an unassailable 2-0 gap.
Running at Liverpool on the break, Saints were able to find 45th minute sub Long on the run and he finished coolly into the back of the net to give Southampton a famous win on the night.
They will face either Manchester United or Hull City in the EFL Cup final and victory at Wembley would be just their second major trophy and first since their FA Cup win in 1976.
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