MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones (c) celebrates with team-mates Cody Gakpo (L) and Dominik Szoboszlai (R) after scoring the second goal, the club's 500th in the competition. during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool 5-1 West Ham: Into semi-finals on confidence-boosting night

It was an almost-perfect night for Liverpool, as they put weekend frustrations behind them to thrash West Ham 5-1 and reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Liverpool 5-1 West Ham

Carabao Cup Quarter-Final, Anfield
December 20, 2023

Goals

Szoboszlai 28′ (assist – Quansah)
Jones 56′ (assist – Nunez)
Gakpo 71′ (assist – Konate)
Bowen 77′
Salah 82′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)
Jones 85′ (assist – Alexander-Arnold)


With six changes to the side and a tweaked attack, Liverpool started strongly against a rotated West Ham, with Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott threats on the wing.

Elliott twice went close in the opening quarter-hour as he cut onto his stronger left foot, firing just wide of the right-hand post with efforts from either channel.

For a while, it looked as though Liverpool were resorting to desperate pot-shots after a similar problem against Man United, until Dominik Szoboszlai stepped up with a stunner.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Dominik Szoboszlai scores the first goal during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Hungary captain picked the ball up from Jarell Quansah towards the right of midfield, setting himself and hitting a brilliant strike which swerved at the last minute into the bottom corner for 1-0.

Cody Gakpo should have done better as he nodded an Elliott cross off target, but Liverpool still took the lead into the break after a half they entirely dominated.

HT: Liverpool 1-0 West Ham

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones (L) celebrates with team-mate Harvey Elliott after scoring the second goal, the club's 500th in the competition. during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neither manager made a change at half-time, with David Moyes instead hoping his team talk will have inspired a side that offered little resistance in the opening 45 minutes.

Nunez, desperate to stop a goal drought stretching into 11 games, drew a save from Alphonse Areola with a smart turn and left-footed shot that was destined for the top corner.

The Uruguayan added another assist to his tally for Liverpool’s second, though, playing a sharp one-two with Curtis Jones who, spotting no one in the six-yard box, fired in from a very tight angle to make it 2-0.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones scores the second goal, the club's 500th in the competition, during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That prompted a triple change, and it was three key players who came on, with Ibrahima Konate, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah replacing Virgil van Dijk, Wataru Endo and Szoboszlai in a clearly pre-planned move.

It summed up a perfect night for Liverpool, that saw West Ham register their first shot in the 71st minute and Gakpo fire in at the other end immediately after.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo scores the third goal during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

West Ham‘s second shot ended up going in, with Jarrod Bowen – who Jurgen Klopp described as his “favourite player” before kickoff – drifted past Quansah and arrowed it in.

There was still time for a goal from Salah, who had missed on the rebound minutes earlier when Nunez hit the post, as he raced onto Alexander-Arnold’s ball and finished beyond Areola.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And then a second for Jones, picking the ball up from deep, driving forward and dancing through challenges into the box, then sending the ball beyond a hopeless goalkeeper.

Liverpool are emphatically into the Carabao Cup semi-finals, then, as they chase their first trophy of the season.


TIA Man of the Match: Curtis Jones

Referee: Tim Robinson

Liverpool: Kelleher; Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk (Konate 60′), Tsimikas (Bradley 68′); Endo (Alexander-Arnold 60′), Szoboszlai (Salah 60′), Jones; Elliott, Nunez, Gakpo (Diaz 78′)

Subs not used: Adrian, McConnell, Clark, Gordon

West Ham: Areola; Coufal (Kehrer 72′), Ogbonna, Mavropanos, Johnson; Alvarez (Ings 81′), Soucek; Kudus (Ward-Prowse 72′), Fornals, Benrahma (Paqueta 72′); Bowen

Subs not used: Fabianski, Cresswell, Zouma, Emerson, Mubama

Next match: Arsenal (H) – Premier League – Saturday, December 23, 5.30pm (GMT)