Liverpool took on Derby County in the third round of the English League cup and comfortably beat the Championship side.
From the off, Liverpool was dominant. Three goals rounded off what was a performance which was refined and professional from the Reds.
Ragnar Klavan scored the opener in the 22nd minute from a Philippe Coutinho corner after a mistake from a Derby Cunty defender. The Estonian was assured in defence and looked comfortable carrying the ball out into midfield on multiple occasions.
The first half an hour of the game was marked by continued link up play between Divock Origi, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino. The three lined up as Liverpool’s attacking trio, which was most identifiable in the beginning of the game, but as the match wore on Coutinho wandered between the lines as is his wont.
In the 37th minute, Origi should’ve made more of a counter-attack but showed his naivety as he failed to do so.
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Just before the interval, Darren Bent was presented with a fine goalscoring opportunity after loose play in midfield by Liverpool, but Loris Karius came flying out of goal to clear the danger. The Reds went into the break with a 1-0 lead and fully deserved the advantage.
A half-time poll run by Rousing the Kop’s Twitter found that fans thought Liverpool weren’t clinical enough in the first half. With the majority of the possession and some brilliant passing moves, more goals were deserved and desired.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Just four minutes into the second half, after some great link-up play between Firmino and Coutinho, the latter found the bottom corner with a simple finish to double Liverpool’s lead.
Another four minutes saw Origi get in on the act. The Belgian was slipped in by Philippe Coutinho and found the back of the net superbly. His goal was reminiscent of the way he scored in the same competition against Southampton last season. with the ball being blasted high into the net.
Emre Can was soon introduced in Jordan Henderson’s stead and the skipper received a decent round of applause, probably in appreciation for his goal against Chelsea on Friday. The 35 minutes that Can received last night was the first contribution he’s made since getting injured against Burton Albion in the second round a few weeks ago.
One thing to take note, on his competitive debut for Liverpool, was that Loris Karius’ presence at the back really contributed to calming down the tempo when needed. His composure on the ball is impressive and there was more than more one situation where he calmly played the ball out where Migs would have smashed it upfield.
After an hour of play, Firmino was gifted a peach of an opportunity but fluffed his lines. Emre Can found Coutinho at the back post and the Brazilian feigned shooting but instead cushioned the ball into Firmino’s path who could do no more than bounce the ball into ‘keeper Mitchell’s body.
The game as a competition was effectively over, but Liverpool’s intensity didn’t drop at all. Right until the last minute, the press was in place and Derby’s players weren’t given any time on the ball.
Danny Ings’ introduction in the 62nd minute helped maintain the level of intensity considerably. Ovie Ejaria was also given game time, with last night his professional debut. Great stuff to see the lad doing so well.
The game wound down without much of note to mention, but the travelling fans were loving every minute of it, singing “Jurgen Klopp! Na, na, na, na!”
With a final score of 3-0, Liverpool progressed to the round of 16 with ease and Klopp (Na, na,na…) will be really pleased with the way his players performed in a game where victory was almost assured.
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