Southampton overcame Liverpool to reach the final of the EFL Cup.
Southampton headed to Anfield on Wednesday evening without centre-back Virgil van Dijk, but Saints fans fearing a Reds backlash in the EFL Cup semi-final second leg need not have worried.
Maya Yoshida and Jack Stephens were imperious at the back for Claude Puel’s men, ensuring Liverpool could not find a way through and keeping the clean sheet that ultimately saw them win 2-0 on aggregate courtesy of a late Shane Long strike.
Yoshida continues to prove his critics wrong, but it was the performance of 22-year-old Stephens that really caught the eye.
The defender was making only his seventh first-team appearance for Southampton and yet he looked like he has been doing it for years, keeping the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho at bay time and again.
The conveyor belt of brilliant young talent at St. Mary’s shows no sign of stopping and on this evidence Stephens will be a future great at the club.
After the match we took to Twitter to see what Southampton fans thought of Stephens’ latest performance and you can read a selection of what we found below:
@alex_crook what a night to be a Saints fan! Fingernails all chewed off after witnessing the heroic defending. Stephens and Yoshida were fab— Emma Allen (@EmmaRAllen) January 25, 2017
@StanCollymore longest 90 minutes I've had to watch as a saints fan for a long time. So brave with the ball Stephens and Romeu superb!— Matt Edwards (@fatmatt_80) January 25, 2017
Unbelievable Jeff! take a bowSaints academy, Stephens u can release Sturridge from pocket now, Simms such an intelligent run...#saintsfc— stephen trott (@trotty1805) January 25, 2017
Without Virgil, the last 90 mins felt longer than The Aeneid. But what a performance from Stephens. Saints goals conceded this tournament: 0— Nick Harris (@sportingintel) January 25, 2017
No Van Dijk (or Fonte) no problem. Stephens may be lucky with pen call but been immense throughout, as has MOTM Romeu. Saints never lie down— Adam Gray (@AdamGray1250) January 25, 2017
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