Liverpool 3-1 Leicester
League Cup 3rd Round, Anfield
September 27, 2023
Goals: McAteer 2′; Gakpo 48′, Szoboszlai 70′, Jota 89′
Caoimhin Kelleher (out of 10) – 7
Kelleher came in for Alisson, which made perfect sense, and he will feel pleased with his night between the sticks.
He could do nothing about the opening goal, but from then on, his handling was immaculate and his distribution helped start attacks.
Curtis Jones – 9 (Man of the Match)
Jones has been in excellent form and this was a proud occasion for him, as he captained his boyhood club.
Playing in the hybrid role that Trent Alexander-Arnold has been used in recently, the 22-year-old was fantastic, linking well with the likes of Harvey Elliott and Ben Doak, and showcasing his versatility.
Growing as a footballer by the week and deserved his standing ovation.
Ibrahima Konate – 7
Konate’s season has been injury-plagued to date, but he was back against Leicester, producing a largely reliable performance.
Liverpool’s dominance meant that he wasn’t called in action too often, but he did all that was asked of him and got valuable minutes in his legs.
Jarell Quansah – 8
After some impressive Premier League form when drafted into the side, this was another great chance for Quansah to outline his worth as a squad player.
The youngster made an important early clearance to prevent Leicester from going 2-0 up, and didn’t look out of place, partnering Konate with aplomb.
We’re giving him an extra mark for his excellent assist for Diogo Jota‘s late strike.
Kostas Tsimikas – 6
Fresh off the back of a new Liverpool contract, Tsimikas unsurprisingly started at Anfield.
The Greek claimed to have been fouled in the lead up to Kasey McAteer’s early opener – he dawdled in possession a little too long – but nothing was given and it was indicative of an average performance.
There were moments of good, including some precise corners, but he remains a huge downgrade on Andy Robertson.
Wataru Endo – 7
Endo has made a slow start to life at Liverpool, and while he wasn’t necessarily anything special on Wednesday evening, he did well.
The Japanese fired wide early on, and tackled and pressed with venom, and he feels like someone who could become a cult hero over time.
His influence still wasn’t anything special at the base of the midfield, though, and he is very much a squad player.
Harvey Elliott – 8
Elliott feels increasingly like an established squad player these days and this was an influential showing from him.
A lively presence who always looked to make things happen, the 20-year-old found pockets of space and kept moves flowing,
Wasteful a few times, shooting when he needed to build the pressure, but another cultured night.
Ryan Gravenberch – 7
After a promising display against LASK last week, Gravenberch made his full home debut, looking to put himself in contention for the weekend action.
In truth, the Dutchman was relatively quiet overall, not stamping his authority on proceedings, but he was neat and tidy on the ball, including a fine assist for Cody Gakpo‘s equaliser.
Ben Doak – 7
Doak is one of the most exciting young Liverpool players in years and he showed both his vast potential and rawness here.
The young Scot’s pace was devastating at times and he could have had a penalty, and he was also denied from close range and then hit the crossbar with the goal gaping.
End product is still patchy, but what do you expect from a 17-year-old?
Diogo Jota – 8
Jota is having to play second fiddle to others at the moment, but he started at Anfield and put in a strong shift.
There was the usual endeavour from the Liverpool forward, as he worked hard and looked to be a pest, and Leicester defenders will have found it tough facing him.
Finished off a productive evening with a superb back-heeled finish to complete the scoring.
Cody Gakpo – 8
Gakpo was used in his preferred central attacking role, and while he was on the periphery of things in the first half, he got far better as the minutes passed.
The Dutchman finished expertly to equalise early in the second half, as he linked brilliantly with others, and was somehow denied a second goal after having a header cleared off the line before the break.
Such a lovely player to watch when he is in full flow.
Dominik Szoboszlai (on for Doak, 65′) – 9
This fella’s better than Lionel Messi!
Stunning strike that Steven Gerrard would have been proud of, and nearly did it again soon after. What a footballer.
Darwin Nunez (on for Gravenberch, 65′) – 7
Troubled Leicester‘s defence and made a difference with fresh legs and power. Shot wide late on.
Stefan Bajcetic (on for Jones, 79′) – 6
Solid but unspectacular in the hybrid role.
Luke Chambers (on for Tsimikas, 90′) – 6
A Liverpool debut for the 19-year-old – something we all dream of.
Subs not used: Adrian, Van Dijk, Matip, Mac Allister, Diaz
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Klopp feels in a good place at the moment, overcoming last season’s woes after starting what looks like a mouthwatering 2.0 era at Anfield.
This was an opportunity to make serene progress into round four of the League Cup, and while Liverpool fell behind again, their performance was a joy to watch in its intensity.
There could be no complaints about Klopp’s starting lineup, with rotation essential ahead of the trip to Spurs, and it paid off, with numerous fringe players shining.
Onto Spurs, which is the biggest test of this new-look Liverpool to date.