Liverpool 5 - 1 Wet Hams
Reds: Szoboszlai 28’, Jones 56’ 85’, Gakpo 71’, Salah 82’
Wets: Bowen 77’
Klopp puts out a fairly strong lineup, but then again a trip to the semifinals is on the line for the first trophy of the season. Let’s wet these hams!
Darwin getting involved early, getting his first touch in the box within the opening few minutes. Unfortunately that touch was blocking a goal-bound shot from Dominik Szoboszlai.
Speaking of Dom, he’s come out of the gate with an extra spring in his step. Maybe Klopp was right in trying to play the young Hungarian midfielder into form.
The Reds have seemingly fallen in love with shots from range after a spate of absolute bangers in recent weeks. Unfortunately, as we found out against United, when the bangers dry up, it’s sort of difficult to remember how to work a good team goal again. And yet, here we are, watching any number of Liverpool players blaze shots well into the upper deck of the new Annie Road stand...
...and then Big Dom steps up and shows me what an absolute know-nothing tit I am with an absolute worldie from distance. Go ‘head then.
OK! But! To be fair! Liverpool have only created an xG of 0.54 from 11 shots. That’s...not great. On the other hand, Wet Hams have yet to record a single shot. So, it’s not all bad news.
The second half starts a bit more open than the first, and even the visitors get in on the action, pushing forward and winning their first corner of the match.
Curtis Jones doubles the lead after Nunez plays him in on goal, and he goes 5-hole, right through the keeper’s legs from a tight angle.
Shortly after the goal, Klopp responds by bringing on Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Ibou Konate for Van Dijk, Szoboszlai, and Endo. About 10 minutes later he brings on Connor Bradley for Tsimikas. Bradley plays at right back, and Gomez goes over to fill in at left back.
And Gakpo makes it 3-0 with a rocket from just inside the D. That should probably settle the affair.
Bowen pulls one back for the visitors. It looks like he was just offside, but we are sans VAR today. Either way, it doesn’t look like it’ll matter.
Aaaand Mo makes it 4. As he does. The Reds are well and truly through to the semifinals.
Jones makes it 5 with a solo effort of his own.
Did Liverpool do the thing? Did Liverpool not do the thing? And are we happy or (at least temporarily) furious about some aspect of the thing?