Home News Liverpool 2-1 Fulham: Klopp’s subs inspire Carabao Cup comeback

Liverpool 2-1 Fulham: Klopp’s subs inspire Carabao Cup comeback

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Liverpool were dealt an early blow but, thanks to intervention from the bench, fought back for a 2-1 win over Fulham in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Liverpool 2-1 Fulham

Carabao Cup Semi-Final First Leg, Anfield
January 10, 2024

Goals

Willian 19′
Jones 68′ (assist – Nunez)
Gakpo 71′ (assist – Nunez)


Though they were without 10 players including new absentee Trent Alexander-Arnold, a Liverpool side including the game Conor Bradley presided over a comfortable start to their semi-final.

An early flash across goal from Diogo Jota, making his first start since overcoming a hamstring injury, earned warm applause from Jurgen Klopp in the dugout, as Fulham struggled to break out of their half.

But an error from Virgil van Dijk gave Fulham then opening that mattered, his header seeing Andreas Pereira through to cut back for Willian, who beat one challenge and two half-arsed blocks to fire beyond Caoimhin Kelleher.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk (R) looks dejected as Fulham score the opening goal during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The goal gave Fulham a new outlook on the game, having likely been happy to settle for a 0-0 at kickoff, and they looked to frustrate Liverpool whenever possible.

For the hosts’ part, they lost all fluency as they struggled to create chances, while Van Dijk appeared to be struggling to shake off the illness that ruled him out against Arsenal at the weekend

HT: Liverpool 0-1 Fulham

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After a shocking first half that saw him win just one of his 11 duels, Ryan Gravenberch looked to make amends early on with a bright and aggressive approach, firing two efforts just wide.

Within eight minutes of the restart, Klopp seemed to have seen enough, with Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez prepared and soon replacing Gravenberch and Harvey Elliott.

Gakpo slotted into midfield, with Nunez up front, Jota on the right and Luis Diaz on the left, in a surprising rejig of the successful setup in the second half against Arsenal.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo (L) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the second goal during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was dogged play from Jota, winning three chances he wasn’t backed to win, that allowed Nunez to tee up Curtis Jones for a strike that deflected past Bernd Leno via Tosin Adarabioyo.

Then it was 2-1, with Jota again linking up with Nunez, this time on the left, before the No. 9 cut it back for Gakpo to divert in.

Another night where Klopp’s in-game changes earned the result, then, with Liverpool taking a valuable lead in the first leg of their semi-final, before heading to Craven Cottage on January 24.


TIA Man of the Match: Darwin Nunez

Referee: David Coote

Liverpool: Kelleher; Bradley, Konate, Van Dijk, Gomez; Mac Allister, Gravenberch (Gakpo 56′), Jones; Elliott (Nunez 56′), Diaz, Jota

Subs not used: Alisson, Quansah, Beck, McConnell, Nyoni, Clark, Gordon

Fulham: Leno; Castagne, Adarabioyo, Diop, Robinson; Palhinha, Reed (Lukic 83′); Decordova-Reid, Pereira (Cairney 72′), Willian (Wilson 72′); Jimenez

Subs not used: Rodak, Tete, Ream, Francois, Muniz, Vinicius

Next match: Bournemouth (A) – Premier League – Sunday, January 14, 4.30pm (GMT)