Liverpool took on Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Tuesday night in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.
The last three meetings between the two sides had ended in a draw, but Jurgen Klopp finally got one over on Premier League title rival Mauricio Pochettino – though it must be said that both sides made a multitude of changes for tonight’s game.
Daniel Sturridge celebrated a rare start by opening the scoring with less than ten minutes on the clock, reacting quickly to a deflected shot from Marko Grujic.
The home side had a number of chances to score a second, which finally came (via Sturridge again) with less than half an hour remaining.
However, this being Liverpool, a defensive mistake of some kind is always a possibility, and Lucas duly obliged when he clumsily brought down Erik Lamela in the box with fifteen minutes remaining. Vincent Janssen converted to halve the deficit.
Both sides had chances as the game wore on, but in the end it was Klopp and Liverpool that booked their place in the quarter-finals.
Liverpool Player Ratings:
Simon Mignolet – 6.5: Solid performance from Liverpool’s number two goalkeeper. Made several good saves.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8: As debuts go, the youngster can be delighted with his fearless and physical performance.
Ragnar Klavan – 6.5: Grew into the game, slowly shifting from nervous to competent over the course of the first half.
Lucas Leiva – 6.5: As soft as the penalty may have been, Lucas shouldn’t have attempted that tackle. Otherwise put in a decent performance.
Alberto Moreno – 6: Usual effort and energy going forward from Moreno, but looks terrified when defending. James Milner has nothing to worry about.
Kevin Stewart – 7: Klopp’s go-to man for closing out tight games was given his chance from the start against his former club, and Stewart gave a great account of himself – especially in his passing and composure.
Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: Wijnaldum is almost impossible to rate at times, because what he does so well can largely go unnoticed until its not there. Fantastic assist for Sturridge’s second.
Ovie Ejaria – 6: Started brightly and showed good initial energy but the game caught up with him. Highly-rated and will get more chances to impress this season.
Marko Grujic – 7.5: The early signs for Grujic at Anfield are very promising. Drove forward from midfield throughout the 90 minutes and was definitely a handful. Will be pushing for league time soon enough.
Daniel Sturridge – 9: Could have had about five, but the two will more than do. The goals will give Sturridge some much-needed confidence, but Klopp will still need some convincing that he can be part of the first-choice forward line.
Divock Origi – 7: Spent much of the match setting up chances for Sturridge, but Origi was still a threat in his own right – especially in the second half.
Nathaniel Clyne (Alexander-Arnold 68) – 6: Introduced for the last 20 minutes, solid if not spectacular in that time.
Danny Ings (Origi 68) – 6.5: Given a fantastic reception, and was lively as he desperately looked for a goal. Knocking on the door for a league recall.
Emre Can (Grujic 89) – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact
Tottenham Player Ratings
Michel Vorm – 7.5: Needed to be at his best and he delivered. Could possibly have reacted quicker to Sturridge’s opener but made up for it with a string of saves.
Kieran Trippier – 7.5: A huge threat at times, Trippier played in some dangerous crosses and bombed up and down the right flank as if Alberto Moreno wasn’t there at times.
Kevin Wimmer – 4.5: Struggled badly with the pace of Sturridge and Origi, who both rang rings around him.
Cameron Carter-Vickers – 5: Poor in the tackle and another who struggled with pace, but his aerial ability was solid.
Ben Davies – 5: Almost a carbon copy of Moreno, insofar as Davies was better in attack than defence. The problem was, he didn’t offer much in attack either.
Eric Dier – 6: Tried to impose himself on the game against the Liverpool midfield, but Grujic in particular shut that down quickly enough.
Harry Winks – 6.5: Tottenham’s best midfielder on the night. Broke up Liverpool’s play once or twice and kept the ball well, but could do nothing against a home side dictating play.
Josh Onomah – 5: Tried to get himself involved and show some physicality at times, but it didn’t come off for him. A quiet evening for the youngster.
Tom Carroll – 5: Carroll was a bystander at times, had little in the way of end product and was lucky to last an hour before being replaced.
Georges-Kévin Nkoudou – 6: Nighmare start as he slipped for Sturridge’s opener, the summer signing grew into the game somewhat but the early mistake still lingered over him.
Vincent Janssen – 6: Well-taken penalty with 15 minutes remaining, but otherwise Janssen cut a somewhat isolated figure up front.
Erik Lamela (Carroll 61) – 6: Won a penalty, tried to win a second, but otherwise struggled to get into the game.
Victor Wanyama (Dier 67) – 6: Improved on Dier’s performance, but could have had a bigger say had he started and therefore had a greater measure of the game and opposition.
Shayon Harrison (Nkoudou 83) – N/A: Had a decent chance to score on his debut but overall not enough time to make an impact.
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