Liverpool progressed into the last four of the EFL Cup for the third year in a row by beating Leeds at Anfield. It was a hotly contested match with the visitors having numerous chances to take the lead. Jurgen Klopp’s men left it late but secured the win to set up a potential visit to Wembley.
Here are my player ratings for the night…
Simon Mignolet – 7
Mignolet continued as Liverpool’s cup keeper with Loris Karius taking his place on the bench and the Belgian put in a solid’s night work. He made a smart save early on from Hadi Sakho but the majority of shots were easy pickings for the ex-Sunderland stopper. His distribution from the back was much better which would have pleased Klopp.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
Klopp also opted to rest Nathaniel Clyne, giving young Alexander-Arnold the chance to impress at right-back again. After an average first-half, Arnold looked a threat down the right and found more of the ball. His delivery for Liverpool’s first goal was exceptional in a good night for the teenager.
Lucas Leiva – 8
Captaining the side in the wake of the tragic news emerging from Brazil, Lucas put in an assured performance at centre-back. He was composed on the ball and nulified the majority of the Leeds attacks. The Brazilian led the team from the back and is growing in confidence in his new position.
Ragnar Klavan – 7
Similar to Lucas, Klavan was solid at the back for the Reds. He was rarely threatened but showed a good range of passing as the Reds attempted to break the Leeds defence down. Dominant in the air, the Estonian Player of the Year remains valuable cover in the centre back department.
Alberto Moreno – 5
James Milner can sleep easy after another woeful performance from Moreno. Caught out of position on multiple occasions, the Spaniard is a liability at the back. His pace means he can recover from some of his errors but lacks the discipline to be a regular in defence.
Kevin Stewart – 6
Stewart operated in the holding midfield role usually occupied by Jordan Henderson and had an average night. Made some solid tackles in the middle but slowed the game down on occasions which hindered the Liverpool attack. Almost gifted Leeds the opener in the second half before being substituted due to injury.
Emre Can – 5
A poor showing from the German who was starting to find his feet this season. His good work on the ball was undone by some sloppy passing and poor decisions. Improved when moved back in place of Stewart and kept the ball moving. Needed a big performance with Adam Lallana nearing full fitness in the hopes of retaining his place in the starting XI.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 6
Wijnaldum struggled to impose himself on the game in the first-half playing in a more advanced midfield role. Showed some nice touches and kept the ball moving and improved vastly when dropped deeper in the second-half. Hit the post before finding Ben Woodburn for Liverpool’s opener.
Ovie Ejaria – 7
Another youngster given the nod again was Ejaria, who impressed in the centre of the park. Showed great technical ability using both feet and helped Liverpool turn defence into attack with some clever turns. Almost grabbed an assist with a sumptous pass to Wijnaldum. Had a quiet second half.
Sadio Mane – 5
Another lacklustre performance in what proved to be a frustrating night for the £34m man. Started the game centrally meaning the game passed him by. Found more of the ball when moved back to the right but was careless in possession all game. Seemed reluctant to take his man on and did little to trouble the Leeds defence. Improvement is needed.
Divock Origi – 8
A huge night for Origi after scoring from the bench against Sunderland. The Belgian is likely to replace the injured Coutinho in the Liverpool XI and found the net again beating his man at the front post to divert home. Used his pace and strength well but held the ball for too long at times.
Ben Woodburn – 9
Replaced the injured Stewart just past the hour mark. Scored Liverpool’s second goal to become the club’s youngster ever goal scorer. He kept his composure before hammering home in front of the Kop. The 17-year-old has been tipped to be an Anfield great and will be delighted to get off the mark for the senior side. What a night for the youngster!
James Milner – N/A
Replaced Ejaria with eight minutes to go. Will be glad to have got some minutes against his former side but will be focusing on a return to action against Bournemouth at the weekend.
Marko Grujic – N/A
Replaced Origi in the dying stages of the game. The Serbian will have hoped to get more minutes in this game after starting against Tottenham but will have other opportunities throughout the season.
Who was YOUR man of the match? Comment below!