The hero of Wednesday night's victory to put Southampton into the EFL Cup final, striker Shane Long believes the Saints now have a golden opportunity to win a long-awaited major trophy.
Claude Puel's men travelled to Anfield with an early advantage, boasting a 1-0 lead on aggregate from the first-leg of the semi-final.
Attack after attack from the Liverpool front-line couldn’t change their fate as Southampton sealed a place in the League Cup final for the first time since 1978.
Pride on the South Coast
Long sent the 3,500 travelling fans, and his teammates, into a frenzy on Merseyside when he scored in the 90th-minute on a breakaway to book the club a day out at Wembley Stadium next month.
It was a goal that Jurgen Klopp’s side couldn’t bounce back from, with only seconds left on the clock, and one that sent Saints to their first major final since the FA Cup in 2003.
In an interview afterwards, Long said: “It’s amazing.”
“Obviously coming to a place like Anfield with the players they have, the team they have and the support they have, it’s always going to be a hard task,” he added.
One for the fans
Long praised Southampton for the way they kept going as they did to “dig in” but explained the icing on the cake was getting the “winner in front of the fantastic fans" which he called an “amazing feeling.”
Describing the goal, Long added: “He (Josh Sims) did a great thing when he turned inside and committed Jordan Henderson to the ball, and I managed to take a touch and slot it past the keeper.”
Long said the good feeling was knowing that the time was running out and that Liverpool “needed two goals” to stand any chance of “getting to extra time.”
“We knew that was that and we’re on our way to Wembley,” he continued.
Long's timing of the goal couldn’t have been better for Saints, and it was the 30-year-old’s third goal to count this season.
The Republic of Ireland was ecstatic that Saints have some comfort after some severe disappointments this season so far.
The players are “disappointed with” how the season is going and their early exit from European football, insisting that also didn’t go to plan for them either, but said this trip to Wembley will be a “nice reward” for the passionate fans
He concluded: “It’s a massive thing for a club like Southampton to get to a final and for us players, it doesn’t come around too often to get that silverware to look back on your career and show off. It’s great opportunity for us, and we will go there fully ready to win, but it’s not going to be easy.”