Liverpool 3 - 1 Cardiff City
Liverpool: Jota 52’, Minamino 67’, Elliott 75’
Cardiff City: Colwill 80’
Klopp plays a very strong team against Cardiff City, including the captain Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, and the returning Naby Keïta. New signing Luis Diaz is on the bench, along with Harvey Elliott.
Despite the strong team, Liverpool seem rusty as they attempt to deal with Cardiff City and the early kick-off. Minamino gets a goal in the eighth minute that’s called offside. There’s a nervy moment in the 15th minute when Ibrahima Konaté put in a very dangerous challenge in the box. The Cardiff fans scream for a penalty, but Liverpool get away with one.
On the other end, Liverpool want a penalty for a handball in the box by a Cardiff player, but again VAR gives it a no go, and they play on. 30 minutes in, and this game very much feels like a fourth round FA Cup tie at noon after an international break.
Liverpool players try several long range shots in a row, all wildly unsuccessful. Though Liverpool have had the lions share of the possession, but they’ve failed to click in the final third, and Cardiff look at though they’ll get to halftime on even ground.
Indeed, the halftime whistle blows with the score 0-0 at Anfield.
The second half starts in the same slow way that the first half ended. However, in the 52nd minute, Liverpool finally breaks open the scoring. They earn a set piece, which Trent Alexander-Arnold delivers into the box. Diogo Jota gets a head on it and guides it straight into the bottom right corner.
A few minutes later, Anfield erupts in cheers as both Harvey Elliott and Luis Diaz get subbed on for Keïta and Curtis Jones. Diaz makes his debut for the club after joining in the January transfer window. Elliott, meanwhile, makes his return after his ankle injury in September.
It only takes several a few minutes for Diaz to start making his mark, thanks in no small part to a shocking mistake from the Cardiff defense. A terrible attempt to shepherd the ball out of play leads to Diaz snatching it off a defender’s foot on the goal line. He sends it calmly in front of the goal and Takumi Minamino races to meet it and tuck it into the net for Liverpool’s second.
That ends up being Minamino’s last touch of the game, as he’s replaced by James Milner in the 69th minute. Konstantinos Tsimikas is next off the pitch, relinquishing the left-back spot back to Andy Robertson.
Elliott celebrates his return to fitness with a stunning goal in the 75th minute. He gets a bit of an assist from the slippery surface of the grass that causes the Cardiff defender to lose his footing. Elliott gets the ball with the goal at his back. He has the room and space to turn and get a perfect shot off into the goal.
The Bluebirds get one back in the 80th minute. Roberto Firmino gives away the ball, and Colwill storms past Milner and fires in a shot that Kelleher had no chance to defend.
Scary moments in the 83rd minute as Diaz goes down clutching his thigh. It looks, at first glance, like a hamstring injury. However, replays show that a fight for the ball ended with a Cardiff player accidentally stomping on his thigh with his studs. Eventually he is able to stand up and continue playing. That one’s going to bruise though.
Final Thoughts and Man of the Match
After a sleepy first half, the Reds woke up at scored three to advance into the fifth round of the FA Cup.
Who was Liverpool’s man of the match against Cardiff City?
This poll is closed