Ronald Koeman’s team started in sensational fashion at St Mary’s Stadium, with Sadio Mane heading them into a first-minute lead, and the visitors’ listless reaction offered little indication of the thrashing to come.
Divock Origi scored a hat-trick and Daniel Sturridge netted two goals on his first start after injury as Liverpool demolished Southampton 6-1 to reach the League Cup semi-finals.
All that changed when Sturridge, making his first start since the Merseyside derby in October that brought Brendan Rodgers’ Anfield reign to its end, fired them level after 25 minutes.
Sturridge soon added a second courtesy of a brilliant assist from Emre Can and Origi turned in an Alberto Moreno shot in the final minute of the half to conclude a devastating three-goal spell.
If there was a touch of fortune about Origi’s first, his second arrived in more emphatic fashion – crashing home from the right-hand side of the area via the inside of the crossbar – and substitute Jordon Ibe got in on the act before the Belgian striker nodded in to claim the matchball in the 86th minute.