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Match Report: Fulham edged out at Liverpool

last updated Wednesday 10th January 2024, 10:50 PM

Match Report

Liverpool (0) 2-1 (1) Fulham

League Cup Semi Final 1st Leg at Anfield

Wednesday 10th January 2024    KO: 20:00

David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Live on SkySports

Fulham Winger Willian
Fulham Winger
His Wiki page
Fulham fell to a 2-1 defeat at Anfield on Wednesday in our Carabao Cup Semi-Final first leg.

Willian fired us ahead in the first half, but a deflected Curtis Jones strike got the hosts level before Cody Gakpo added a second from close range just a couple of minutes later.

Having featured in the previous round at Merseyside neighbours Everton, Bernd Leno was brought back into the line-up, while Antonee Robinson was also reintroduced.

Raúl was given the nod up top for this one, with Joao Palhinha and Willian replacing Sasa Lukic and Harry Wilson, who both started on the substitutes bench.

The hosts were enjoying most of the ball in the early stages, and Leno needed to be on his toes five minutes in to get down and smother Curtis Jones’ stinging low effort.

Our stopper was called into action again soon after, collecting young Connor Bradley’s low cross from the right-hand side.

We found ourselves under some pressure again as the clock ticked past the 15-minute mark. Diogo Jota flashed a dangerous ball across our six-yard box and thankfully, away from danger.

Match Stats Liverpool Fulham
Goals (0)2 1 (1)
Scorers Jones 68 Willian 19
Gakpo 71 -
Goal attempts 21 6
On target 7 4
Shooting Accuracy 33% 66%
Possession 67% 33%
Passes Success 88% 71%
Corners 8 2
Tackles Success 80% 34%
Saves 3 5
Fouls 10 10
Offsides 1 1
Yellows 1 2
Reds 0 0
source: SkySports
Despite our difficult start under the Anfield lights, we went ahead courtesy of Willian. The Brazilian received the ball from Andreas before rounding a couple of players and slotting past Caoimhin Kelleher at his near post.

Jedi did brilliantly for us on 37 minutes, powering forward before aiming an inch-perfect cross towards De Cordova-Reid. The delivery was pinged in with power and Bobby’s heavy touch meant the chance went begging.

We kept the Reds at bay for the remainder of the half, with Joe Gomez coming closest just before the break when his half-volley bounced just wide.

The first decent chance after the interval went to Liverpool, when Ryan Gravenberch cut the ball onto his right on the edge of the area before drilling wide. A decent opportunity for the Dutchman.

Leno stayed calm a couple of minutes later to catch a fairly tame Jones effort from range.

After a quieter spell, we broke away via Bobby down the right-hand side. He had Andreas for company in the middle but opted to go for goal and his strike was well saved.

The hosts got themselves level with a stroke of luck as we approached the 70th minute. Jones’ attempt from range cannoned off Tosin before wrong-footing Leno and bouncing into the top right corner.

The goal gave Liverpool the boost they needed and they added a second just a few minutes later. The two substitutes combined, as Gakpo poked in from close-range after latching onto a Darwin Nunez cross.

Nunez was making an impact and forced Leno into an excellent diving save to punch away his decent header, which was travelling towards the top corner.

Leno made an even better save to deny Nunez with three minutes of normal time remaining. Our 'keeper came rushing off his line to block his venomous effort from a Bradley cross.

The result means it'll all be to play for in the second leg at the Cottage in a couple of weeks.

Fulham boss Marco Silva told Sky Sports: "We knew it was going to be a tough one to take. No one can play at this stage of the competition, going for a final, thinking that it is not going to be really hard.

"Even three days ago, Liverpool were able to go through in the FA Cup away against Arsenal, they are top of the league as well.

"I think it went really well first half. Our block was lower than normal, but we controlled almost everything from them. We know that, without space behind us, we could control it much better because every time they have space, with the pace of the attacking players, they can punish you.

"The second half was slightly different as they started to push out a bit more. When you have the capacity to go to the bench and put Darwin and Gakpo on, from that moment, they started to create more problems for us.

"We are losing 2-1, but we are going to go for it [in the second leg], for sure."

Liverpool : Kelleher, Bradley, Konate, van Dijk, Gomez, Gravenberch (Nunez 56'), Mac Allister, Jones, Elliott (Gakpo 56'), Jota, Díaz

Unused substitutes: Alisson Becker, Clark, Gordon, McConnell, Beck, Quansah, Nyoni

Jones 68 (Diogo Jota moves the ball forward through several bodies, riding the tackle of Joao Palhinha, with Darwin Nunez teeing up Curtis Jones, whose strike from the edge of the box takes a wicked deflection off Tosin and flies into the back of the net!)
Gakpo 71 (It's slick stuff. Diogo Jota runs with the ball down the left and finds Darwin Nunez, who stays onside and pulls the ball back for fellow sub Cody Gakpo, who guides the ball in first time!)

Booked: van Dijk (24,f),

Fulham: Leno, Castagne, Adarabioyo, Diop, Robinson, Reed (Lukic 83), Palhinha, De Cordova-Reid, Pereira (Cairney 72), Willian (Wilson 72), Jimenez

Unused substitutes: Rodak, Tete, Ream, Muniz, Vinicius, Francois

Willian 19 (Well that has come against the run of play... I said Fulham might have to wait for a slip - and a rare error from Virgil van Dijk has helped Fulham take the lead in this tie with their first attack! The Dutchman misjudges a header, presenting the ball to Andreas Pereira, who cuts the ball back to Willian. The Brazilian has so much to do, but he rides a tackle before showing some neat footwork and then striking beyond Caoimhin Kelleher!)

Booked: Lukic (88,f), Wilson (91,f)

Referee: David Coote (Nottinghamshire)

Attendance: N/A

Next up for Fulham is a visit to Chelsea in a West London derby on Saturday lunchtime in the Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm, live on TNT Sports 1.

Source Ethan Georgiou at Fulham FC
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