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The satisfaction, Ox shines & the two-legs ahead – Last word on thrilling win vs. Leicester

Liverpool did not opt for the easy route but they certainly chose the entertaining one as they came from behind to knock Leicester out of the League Cup.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side gave the Foxes a head start thanks to a number of sloppy errors and by eradicating them in the second half, the game rightly swung in Liverpool’s favour.

And while it may have taken until one of the last opportune moments, the Reds got back on level terms thanks to Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and a fervent Anfield.

The penalty shootout was won by Liverpool at the Leicester end and glorious scenes were to follow as Reds thoroughly enjoyed sticking it to the visitors.

Here, This Is Anfield’s Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) is joined by Ben Kelly (@bkelly776), who was at Anfield, to revel in the good feelings of the win and how the Reds may approach the semi-final.

 

Just how enjoyable was that win considering the circumstances?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Liverpool players react as Diogo Jota scores the decisive penalty in the shoot-out after the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

BEN: Those are the best types of wins.

When you stand there for two hours and have to watch the opposition try and drain every single second out of the clock while you’re pushing for a goal and their fans begin to let themselves believe they might have done it, and *then* you go and snatch it away from them – they’re the best ones.

I took my sister to her first game at Anfield last night and she absolutely loved it. I’ve been to all of the big Klopp Anfield nights and while its significance may not go down on the same level as Barcelona and Man City in the CL (those two nights stand alone in terms of atmosphere), it was certainly right up there for the most satisfying and enjoyable evenings under this manager.

JOANNA: Agree with you there Ben on sticking it to them when they’ve tried to waste time for most of the game! It’s a different kind of satisfaction.

And what I will say is that the noise, can’t define it chants or songs, from the Leicester end was tasteless, crass and pathetic and for Liverpool to shut them up was glorious.

At the start of the game, I was thinking it’s okay if this doesn’t end with a place in the semi-final and more so when it was 2-0, but Liverpool quickly changed that and suddenly it meant the world. This team continue to deliver moments to cherish.

 

There were a number of positives, but who stood out for you?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

BEN: Even first half, I thought Oxlade-Chamberlain was superb. It felt like he was the only one capable of picking the ball up and it felt like something was going to happen, and that continued into the second.

JOANNA: He was my man of the match. Consistently making those runs forward and trying to make things happen all game long. A figure who took control in what was a young and much-changed side.

BEN: At half-time, on came the cavalry and I thought all three subs Klopp made were excellent.

Milner, as determined as ever to force something into existence. Jota looks a level above almost everybody at the moment, Salah aside. Konate was an absolute rock and possibly my MOTM despite only playing a half. And when Keita came on, he added another level of creativity and intensity.

It was a rough night for the kids, to be honest, but the pros came on and performed when we needed them to most. That’s good leadership.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates as his goalkeeper makes a save in the penalty shoot-out during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 3-3 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

JOANNA: I too thought Keita was superb and it just hurts to think he’ll be leaving in just over a week for AFCON.

On the whole, though, I was impressed by the ferociousness and desire from the team to turn it around and to stick it to Leicester at every stage, shoutout to Milner and Jota for playing their part!

And I think Klopp summed it up brilliantly when he said, “These boys, I loved them before but I fell again in love.”

 

How should the Reds approach the two-legged semi-final?

Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Leicester (Mike Egerton/PA)

JOANNA: First of all, it’s crazy that this competition still has two games for the semi-final, especially when it comes immediately after the festive period.

The games are to see Liverpool play five games in a 13-day period after the New Year and so you can’t see anything but carefully managed rotation, and I’d be content with something akin to the XI who played in the second half.

We’ll, of course, be without Salah, Keita and Mane anyways but being this close to the final you have to give yourself the best chance to make it.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Liverpool's Tyler Morton during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

BEN: I agree, Joanna. The team in the semi-finals should be the team we started the second half with last night, but maybe with Tyler Morton in the mix.

Konate has proven his worth in terms of leading a back four, for me. He looks an absolute monster at the back. The Neco Williams on the right-wing experiment didn’t work for me, but he’s a fantastic athlete who can basically do the running from right-back anyway.

When you get this far, you might as well try and win it.

I feel almost certain we won’t be in the ground for the semi-final games, but we might all be back by the time the final rolls around, and who wouldn’t want that to look forward to?

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