Loris Karius has faced criticism left, right and centre during the early stages of his Liverpool career, but he was the shining light in a dismal performance from the team in Wednesday night’s EFL Cup semi-final first leg against Southampton.
The 23-year-old German was recently dropped from the number one spot in the Premier League, with manager Jurgen Klopp preferring Simon Mignolet following a number of howlers from the summer signing against Bournemouth and West Ham United.
Karius was reinstalled to the starting XI at St Mary’s, presumably with Klopp thinking that Mignolet will start against Manchester United in this Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford.
However, the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss may alter his plans after Karius put in a solid performance in between the sticks.
The former Mainz keeper conceded one goal – a Nathan Redmond striker on the 20-minute mark – but the damage could have been much worse for Liverpool.
Karius made a number of decent stops, two of which denied Redmond from netting a hat-trick in the first half.
Klopp recognised his player’s positive display after the game, telling Sky Sports: “They had the biggest chances because we were not compact enough in situations and Loris Karius had to save our life, a deserved win for Southampton but it is only half time.”
Plenty of Liverpool fans have criticised the overall team performance on social media, but they have been full of praise for their goalkeeper.
— THE LFC POLL (@TheLFCPoll) January 11, 2017
Best thing to come from that game, was Karius playing well
— Jœy Redlynch (@joe220698) January 11, 2017
Karius was fantastic today when we he had to ????????
— christian lego (@LegoChristian) January 11, 2017
A couple of flaps from crosses aside, Karius was excellent tonight. Delighted for him that he has shown the critics why Klopp signed him.
— Danny Le Maistre (@dannylemaistre) January 11, 2017
@ThoseScouseLads Karius had a sick game could have been 4/5 if it wasn't for him
— Nicholas Syddall (@NSyddall) January 11, 2017
Karius to the final
— LES LFC CAVE (@LESCAVE1) January 11, 2017
Karius earned his right to start vs United on Sunday with his performance tonight. Rest of the lads need to sort it out tho! ????
— Malteeza || Geeza (@JaidonAgius) January 11, 2017
karius being exceptionally good today makes me so happy omg
— halfblood (@ayeitsnabs) January 11, 2017
— Ben Webb (@benwebblfc) January 11, 2017
Karius was the hero shame outfield players let him down role on 2nd leg we will smash them Ynwa
— Dave Phipps (@davephipps65) January 11, 2017
Pleased for Karius. Needed a game like that tonight. If we go through in the second leg his performance tonight would be key to that #LFC
— Sam Winstanley (@SammyWinst) January 11, 2017
Loris Karius was the only positive today!
— Jurgen Klopp ❤ (@LiverBirdQ8) January 11, 2017