The Reds made light work of David Moyes’ side to set up a two-legged encounter with Fulham as they took another big step towards Wembley at the end of February.
Jones was on target twice at Anfield and was enthusiastically congratulated by Gakpo – who also got on the scoresheet himself – after the final whistle.
During a post-match interview with the pair on Sky Sports, the Dutchman said: “Santa’s come early!
“A quick word, very proud of you.
“You’re working very hard, nobody sees it obviously because it’s behind closed doors, but you deserve all the best. Keep going, brother!”
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) December 20, 2023
Liverpool’s No. 17 then gratefully responded: “I appreciate you as always brother, thank you so much.”
In the Sky Sports studio, presenter Mark Chapman was taken aback by the display, claiming he had never seen a player deliver a “speech” as they give the Man of the Match award to a team-mate.
Alongside Chapman, ex-Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp joked that it should become a regular feature.
While it was out of the norm, it was a personal touch from Gakpo that shows not only his friendship with Jones, but also the closeness of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad.
The pair are clearly close off the pitch – in a recent video for the club’s official channels, Jones revealed he would be spending Christmas Eve at Gakpo’s house – and this reflects on the pitch.
Both players played a crucial role in helping Liverpool progress to the last four of the competition, with the first major piece of silverware of 2023/24 now well within their sights.
Attention first turns to the title race, however, with a huge top-of-the-table clash with Arsenal awaiting on Saturday evening from which the winner will spend Christmas Day at the top of the Premier League table.