Match reportGakpo, Szoboszlai and Jota seal Liverpool cup comeback against Leicester
Liverpool produced another stirring comeback to move into the Carabao Cup fourth round with a 3-1 victory over Leicester City.
The Reds fell behind to a Kasey McAteer goal before three minutes had elapsed at Anfield on Wednesday night and were then foiled in several good opportunities ahead of the interval.
But Cody Gakpo’s clinical effort brought them level with 48 on the clock and substitute Dominik Szoboszlai lashed a second into the top corner midway through the second period.
Diogo Jota than netted with a late backheel in front of the Kop to ensure Jürgen Klopp’s men progress through to the next stage.
Curtis Jones was the only player to remain in the starting XI from last weekend’s defeat of West Ham United – and he also captained the team from a hybrid right-back role.
Liverpool: Kelleher, Jones (Bajcetic, 79), Konate, Quansah, Tsimikas (Chambers, 90), Endo, Gravenberch (Nunez, 65), Elliott, Doak (Szoboszlai, 65), Jota, Gakpo.
Unused subs: Adrian, Van Dijk, Diaz, Mac Allister, Matip.
The game was not yet three minutes old when Leicester made the opening mark on the scoresheet.
Counter-attacking from a Reds set-piece, the visitors sprung McAteer in behind from Yunus Akgun’s angled pass and the forward made no mistake with a finish slid inside the left post.
Liverpool’s immediate response was good; Ben Doak had appeals for a penalty waved away when he scampered into the area and went down under a challenge from James Justin, before Harry Souttar blocked from Gakpo’s shot on the turn.
Jota was caught between decisions as a Harvey Elliott right-to-left reached him in space yards out, and the home side then clattered the crossbar.
A swirling corner delivery from Kostas Tsimikas was prodded at goal by Jarell Quansah. Foxes goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk parried out and Doak rasped the ball onto the woodwork.
Next, the Reds were denied on the goalline, with Gakpo’s firm downward header from Tsimikas’ left-side free-kick cleared away by Conor Coady when bound for the net.
Gakpo later had a curler deflected out for a corner after Liverpool turned over possession by the opposition box and Doak sliced off target from Ryan Gravenberch’s set-up.
Tsimikas sent a low drive into the gloves of Stolarczyk and the away stopper then plucked in a Doak centre with Gakpo waiting in the middle to convert.
Just like in the first half, there was a goal scored in front of the Kop within three minutes of kick-off.
This one came for Liverpool, with Gravenberch the creator as he held the ball smartly at the edge of the Leicester area before feeding a pass into Gakpo, who sweetly turned and guided a strike into the bottom right corner.
The Dutchman was a whisker away from completing a turnaround soon after, his looping close-range header touching the bar and bouncing away following good work from Doak and Elliott inside the box.
Liverpool’s intent was reflected by the introduction of Darwin Nunez and Szoboszlai from the bench on 65 minutes. And a thunderous strike from the latter just moments later got the hosts in front for the first time on the night.
Nunez battled to keep possession from the Reds’ latest attack and Wataru Endo rolled a pass into Szoboszlai, who unleashed a sensational thump from 20-plus yards that kissed the woodwork en route to the back of the net.
At the other end, Quansah showed composure and timing to snuff out a McAteer foray into the area, and Nunez then dragged a decent effort wide from distance.
But Klopp’s side put the tie to bed a minute from the end, with Quansah brilliantly carrying the ball in the right channel and squaring for Jota to find the bottom left corner with a flick of his heel.