Jurgen Klopp was disappointed with the performance of referee Mike Atkinson during his side’s EFL Cup semi-final exit to Southampton and the Liverpool manager was also unhappy with the part played by the wind.

Klopp was convinced his side should have been awarded a penalty for handball by Shane Long before the Saints substitute scored an injury-time goal which gave the visitors a 2-0 aggregate victory.

“Congratulations to Southampton but I am disappointed,” Klopp said.

“The handball was clear. Long’s was a clear handball.

“The handball was obvious, 100 per cent obvious. No one comes down and says, ‘Sorry, I didn’t see it’.

“Maybe it’s not interesting and I won’t look for excuses but it is really hard to accept.

Liverpool have yet to win in 2017 and Klopp believes that is in part due to mistakes made by the match officials.

“In one of the biggest games against Man United (a fortnight ago) he (Antonio Valencia) was two or three yards offside (for Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s equaliser) and no one really speaks about it,” he added.

“We’ve had a lot of offside goals against us which shouldn’t have been allowed and then a handball.”

The German coach was also unhapy with the wind which he thought affected his side’s performance, especially in the first half.

“First half, difficult, I’m not sure if you felt it but the wind was really strange,” Klopp said afterwards.

“It was difficult to handle. You saw one or two balls when Milly [Milner] couldn’t… the ball stopped in a moment no-one could know about it.

“It was difficult for the football playing side, obviously.”

Deserved to win
Despite the defeat the Reds boss said he was happy with the performance of his players.

“Southampton counter-attacked really well and in the second half they did it much better,” he added.

“We usually score in situations like this but we didn’t.

“It doesn’t say anything about the performance but everything about the result. We are out and we have to accept it.

“As a coach it is very important for me to know what the performance is like and I thought we deserved to win the game. For me it is very important the way we choose to create chances. We stuck to the usual plan and in one or two moments immediately we had good chances.

“We are out and I think no one will talk about this for a long time but for us the performance was really important and I am fine with this.”

Claude Puel

Claude Puel celebrates after Southampton score.

Southampton manager Claude Puel felt a trip to Wembley was merited after a what has been an inconsistent season thus far.

“I am happy for all the squad because they work very hard since the beginning of the season and play all these games every three days which is very difficult,” he said.

“Often they can do fantastic work on the pitch without the good reward and today I think it’s fantastic to win this game, to see them qualify for Wembley and to have all this for the staff, the players and our fans.

“It’s not finished now. It’s interesting of course to go to Wembley and it’s not just to participate but to win this game.

“It’s an important game, not just to play this final but perhaps to see another qualification for the European games.

“It will be important for the squad to continue the work, to improve, and know the possibilities to play European games.

“It’s important to put all this experience for next year in European games. It will be important to qualify.”