> Striker’s brace helps guide Klopp’s men past Spurs, who left their fightback far too late
Anfield was full, regardless, and the game at least gave opportunities for a raft of youngsters to make their mark.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, the Liverpool teenager highlighted by Steven Gerrard as a star of the future, began at rightback, with Pochettino handing starts to Harry Winks, Josh Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vickers, all of whom impressed.
But beyond Daniel Sturridge’s ninth minute opener, when the England forward scored from close range after Marko Grujic had pounced on a slip by Spurs defender Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, the first-half was a frustrating one.
Sturridge should have added to his goal within nine minutes of his opener, but instead scuffed a rightfoot shot into the arms of goalkeeper Michel Vorm from 10 yards.
And at the other end, the hapless Vincent Janssen continued his miserable form since arriving from AZ Alkmaar in the summer.
Janssen has scored just once in a Spurs shirt, against Colchester in the last round, and he appeared bereft of confidence on this occasion – failing to take opportunities and giving a decent impression of Roberto Soldado whenever he was in sight of goal.
Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, was fortunate to stay on the pitch after earning just a yellow card for a wild challenge on Ben Davies in front of referee Jon Moss.
Liverpool began the second-half strongly, with Klopp’s team creating a flurry of chances through Sturridge, Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Inside the opening 15 minutes of the second period, Liverpool carved out five clear goalscoring opportunities, but could not convert any of them.
Sturridge was the first to fall short when he allowed Origi’s cross to get caught beneath his feet as he stood six yards from goal. Wijnaldum then had a close range effort blocked before Vorm raced off his line to deny Sturridge.
Wijnaldum was teed up by Sturridge following a penetrating run by the forward, only for the Dutch midfielder to scuff his shot goalwards.
A goal appeared inevitable, but Vorm then produced the save of the game on 59 minutes when he tipped Origi’s 25 yard shot over the bar and into the Kop.
Pochettino had now seen enough of his team being overrun and he threw on Erik Lamela on the hour mark in a bid to test Liverpool’s defensive resolve.
But the move backfired as, within three minutes, Sturridge raced onto Wijnaldum’s throughball before calmly scoring past Vorm. At 2-0, the game was now in the bag for Liverpool.
Or so it seemed. Lucas Leiva’s clumsy foul on Lamela on 76 minutes gifting Spurs the penalty from which they halved the deficit with Janssen scoring from 12 yards.
And from that point on, the two teams traded blows, desperate to score the goal which would either win the game or send it into extratime.
Sturridge struck the crossbar and both Wijnaldum and Danny Ings forced stunning saves from Vorm. At the other end, Lamela was denied another penalty when he appeared to be pulled down by Alberto Moreno before Onomah’s miscontrol cost him the opportunity to convert Lamela’s crossfield pass from six yards.
Liverpool, having had the game won, ended the game by hanging on, but hang on they did and Klopp’s team did enough to secure their place in the next round. Just. – The Independent
Tottenham Hotspur’s goalkeeper Michel Vorm (right) saves under pressure from Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge during their EFL (English Football League) Cup fourth round match at Anfield in Liverpool yesterday. –