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Football League Cup, 25th October 2016, Anfield Liverpool
Liverpool Kick Off - 19:45pm Tottenham Hotspur

TBP


Half Time 1:0

Match Report

A Daniel Sturridge double helped Liverpool book their place in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Tuesday night.

The striker scored in either half of the fourth-round tie as the Reds controlled much of the game, though the visitors set up a tense finale after Vincent Janssen converted a penalty.

But Jürgen Klopp’s side held onto their lead to move into the final eight of a competition that they came so close to winning under the German last season.

The key points…

Sturridge prodded Reds into deserved lead in the ninth minute

Striker doubled the advantage midway through second half

Janssen scored from the spot after Lucas Leiva fouled Erik Lamela

Liverpool progress to EFL Cup quarter-finals, with draw on Wednesday

The team news…

A complete change to the manager’s line-up was confirmed before kick-off, with Trent Alexander-Arnold handed a maiden appearance for the senior team at right-back and Lucas named captain for the night.

Alexander-Arnold became the 17th player to make his Reds debut under Klopp, while fellow Academy prospect Ovie Ejaria secured his first start for the club.

The first half…

On a bitterly cold evening, Liverpool wasted little time in warming up the home crowd.

Indeed, they were in front on nine minutes as a slip by Georges-Kevin Nkoudou in his own half presented Marko Grujic with a chance to power forward into shooting territory at the edge of the Spurs box.

The midfielder’s blast was quickly charged down but the ball deflected to an unmarked Sturridge yards out and the striker reacted smartly to lift his finish over the goalkeeper.

Only an excellent save on the stretch from Michel Vorm denied the No.15 a second after he curled a shot on course for the top corner, though he was left more disappointed with a weak effort when teed up at the end of a Divock Origi surge and left one-on-one.

Origi and Sturridge operated in front of a diamond formation in the Reds midfield that was ensuring plenty of possession, but Spurs settled more and more as the half wore on.

And Klopp’s side were indebted to Simon Mignolet and Lucas for preserving the lead on 33 minutes.

The ‘keeper first sprawled low to push away a fierce, angled strike from Janssen – and the skipper then blocked a follow-up from Nkoudou when the ball was returned to the back post.

In response, Grujic dragged a shot narrowly wide as Sturridge tried to reciprocate his assist for the opener.

The second half…

Tottenham were the brighter team at the outset of the second half, with Janssen offering a robust and composed focal point at the top of their attack.

One particularly effective piece of hold-up play saw the No.9 draw in several defenders and loft an inviting pass back for Kieran Trippier to hit – though his lob drifted over.

Sturridge should have punished Spurs immediately.

A move forged in simplicity was started by Lucas’ swerving knock behind the Tottenham backline to Origi, who squared for his partner to convert, but the finish was uncharacteristically miscued and the golden chance gone.

Origi – suddenly at the centre of most of the play – had a sumptuous strike from 25 yards tipped over by Vorm, and the second goal seemed near.

It duly arrived in the 64th minute and it was from Sturridge again.

A quick counter involved Origi and was turned into real danger by Georginio Wijnaldum’s through ball to the Englishman, who had timed his run perfectly and produced a cool finish to match.

Back came Spurs, however, and they halved the deficit through Janssen’s spot-kick down the middle – awarded for a foul inside the area by Lucas on substitute Lamela.

Sturridge was agonisingly close to securing a hat-trick – and a more comfortable final few minutes for the Reds – with a clever prod that was deflected up and onto the crossbar via another exceptional Vorm fingertip save.

The Spurs stopper thwarted Danny Ings late on too, but a third ultimately was not needed and Liverpool’s name will be in Wednesday night’s draw for the quarter-finals.