Sturridge and Ibe on target as Reds run riot at Southampton

Wednesday 02 Dec 2015
Sturridge and Moreno

Daniel Sturridge was back in the goals as his impressive first-half brace inspired Liverpool to a 6-1 win at Southampton. 

The England striker made his first Reds appearance in eight weeks as a late substitute in their 1-0 Premier League victory over Swansea City on Sunday. 

And Sturridge stepped up his return from injury on Wednesday night netting twice, while Under-21s winger Jordon Ibe was also on target, as Jurgen Klopp's team swept Saints aside to move into the League Cup semi-final.

Daniel Sturridge scores for Liverpool against Southampton

Daniel Sturridge drills home his first

It looked to be going Southampton's way when they took the lead at St Mary's after just a minute. 

England left-back Ryan Bertrand swung in a delightful cross from wide which Sadio Mane nodded past Adam Bogdan in the Liverpool sticks. 

Ronald Koeman and the Southampton fans were enjoying what they were watching as the visitors, including their former star, England's Adam Lallana, failed to spark.

But that all changed in the 25th minute when Joe Allen's inch perfect ball found Sturridge clear on the edge of the box. 

His first touch was not the best, taking him wide of goal, but the 26-year-old took his time before opening up space to drill low into the far corner to level matters.

“Studge showed what he is about.”

Adam Lallana on Daniel Sturridge

Within four minutes they were in front, and again it was a deft finish from Sturridge, volleying first-time from Emre Can's clever pass over the defence. However, Saints stopper Marten Stekelenburg would have hoped to have done better as the ball squirmed under his body.

Liverpool were out of sight just before half-time when Belgian striker Divock Origi netted the first of his hat-trick, turning home Alberto Moreno's long-range drive.

Sturridge made way with 58 minutes played and was replaced by Ibe, and the 19-year-old Londoner drilled home his second of the season with 72 minutes played.

Ibe's goal was sandwiched between two more from Origi - a glorious piledriver in off the bar and a neat header from Brad Smith's cross - as a confident Liverpool, who also saw captain Jordan Henderson continue his return to fitness from the bench, cruised into the last four.

Saints, who introduced England U21s captain James Ward-Prowse midway through the second half, were left licking their wounds after a tough game as Klopp's side were paired with Stoke City in the semi-final draw.

Jordon Ibe and Connor Randall celebrate

Jordan Ibe and former England U17s defender Connor Randall celebrate

Lallana was delighted with the outcome as he return to the club that he helped earn promotion from League One up to the Premier League before a 2014 move to Anfield.

"We started sloppily, but showed great character," he said. "Studge showed what he is about and credit to Divock as well. We have strength in depth if you look at the bench. 

"We want to keep the momentum we have gained. It is not a miracle what [Klopp] has done, he has come in and put his ethos into the squad. 

"We know we still have some way to go."

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor