A place in the Carabao Cup was at stake for both sides on Wednesday evening at Anfield. Liverpool needed a massive comeback from a disappointing 0-0 draw with rivals Manchester United on Sunday, while West Ham arrived on Merseyside on a high; having convincingly seen off Wolves that same afternoon.
LIV: Kelleher; Gomez, Quansah, van Dijk, Tsimikas; Jones, Szoboszlai, Endo; Elliott, Gakpo, Nunez
WHU: Areola; Coufal, Mavropanos, Ogbonna, Johnson; Fornals, Alvarez, Soucek; Benrahma, Kudus, Bowen
A fairly quiet start at Anfield was eventually brought to life by the first half-chance of the game, as Dominik Szoboszlai took aim from just outside the box, but his effort was blocked well by West Ham’s Angelo Ogbonna. Darwin Nunez was also sent through on goal by Cody Gakpo, but the linesman flagged the Uruguayan offside.
Harvey Elliott then tested his luck with a low effort which had Areola panicked for a moment, but the England U21 international saw the effort travel just wide of the bottom corner. The midfielder then saw his long-range strike fly just over the bar, before seeing another shot on goal collected comfortably by the West Ham goalkeeper.
Dominik Szoboszlai then took aim from range again, but again saw his shot ebb just wide of the far corner. Curtis Jones then saw his effort from just outside the box saved comfortably by Areola.
Liverpool’s dominance was rewarded when the Reds took the lead with 28 minutes gone. Said Benrahma lost the ball in the centre circle, and Jarell Quansah got forward with the ball. Quansah then laid the ball off to Szoboszlai, who fired a superb effort into the far corner past Alphonse Areola to give the Reds a deserved lead.Embed from Getty Images
Cody Gakpo had a golden chance just before half-time to add to Jurgen Klopp’s side’s lead, but his header somehow flew past the other side of the post.
The Reds almost started the second half in style as Darwin Nunez brilliantly turned past Konstantinos Mavropanos and fired towards the near post, only for Alphonse Areola to keep the shot out well. Curtis Jones also saw an early effort bobble just wide of the far corner, which left the West Ham goalkeeper untroubled.
However, with the scoreline still 1-0, West Ham were still in this game. Jarrod Bowen got forward past Virgil van Dijk and fired a ball across goal for Pablo Fornals to tap in at the far corner, but Kostas Tsimikas was there to put the ball out of play.
Up the other end just moments later, Liverpool doubled their lead in fascinating style as Darwin Nunez played the ball through to an on-running Curtis Jones. The midfielder then ran through on goal before squeezing the ball home from an incredibly narrow angle to put Jurgen Klopp’s side on the verge of a place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.Embed from Getty Images
Mohammed Kudus had a reasonably quiet night on Merseyside, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying, as the Ghanian saw his long-range effort travel just over the bar.
However, in front of the Kop in the 72nd minute, Liverpool sealed their place in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, as they made it three. Ibrahima Konate powered through a couple of challenges and looked up to find Cody Gakpo. The Dutch forward then took the ball away from the Hammers backline before firing a ruthless effort past Alphonse Areola to send West Ham packing from the Carabao Cup.
David Moyes wouldn’t have been impressed with what he saw from his side in this clash, but Jarrod Bowen did provide a consolation effort for the Hammers, as the England international pounced on a loose ball before cutting inside and curling a beautiful strike into the far corner.Embed from Getty Images
Darwin Nunez had a golden chance to restore Liverpool’s three-goal lead, but the Uruguayan’s long-range effort crashed back off the post before Mo Salah’s rebound somehow drifted wide of what was an open goal.
But the Egyptian made amends a few moments later as he slotted home Liverpool’s fourth of the evening. It was a case of substitutes combining as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long ball forward found Salah through on goal, and he made no mistake as he kept his composure and steered the ball home.
Liverpool continued to look ruthless as the game neared its end, and it got even better for the Reds as they added a fifth. Curtis Jones already had one goal to his name, and the midfielder made it a brace as he ran through the Hammers backline without being challenged once, and simply smashed the ball home past a helpless Alphonse Areola.
It’s back to Premier League action on Saturday for both sides, as Liverpool welcome fellow title-chasers Arsenal to Anfield at 5:30pm, while West Ham host Manchester United a few hours earlier at 12:30pm.