Liver­pool cruises be­hind recordse ing young­ster

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LIVER­POOL star­let Ben Woodburn made his­tory as the teenage striker be­came the club’s youngest ever goalscorer in the Novem­ber 29 2-0 win over Leeds in the League Cup quar­ter-fi­nals.

Aged 17 years and 45 days, Woodburn en­joyed a mo­ment to re­mem­ber for­ever in the 81st minute at An­field when he fired home in front of the fa­mous Kop End to eclipse the pre­vi­ous record set by Michael Owen, who was 17 years and 143 days old when he scored against Wim­ble­don in May 1997.

“Another record taken from me!!! Con­grat­u­la­tions BenWood­burn on be­com­ing the youngest ever scorer for LFC at 17yrs and 45 days. #KopEnd,” Owen tweeted.

Woodburn only made his se­nior de­but for Liver­pool on Novem­ber 26 as a late sub­sti­tute in a Premier League win over Sun­der­land – an ap­pear­ance that made him the club’s third youngest ever first­team player.

Cheshire-born Woodburn, who re­cently signed a long-term con­tract with Liver­pool, is a Wales Un­der-19 in­ter­na­tional, but he still re­mains el­i­gi­ble to play for Eng­land at se­nior level.

While it’s far too early to say a star was born this week, Woodburn’s im­pres­sive pedi­gree at youth level and his fairy­tale first goal for the Reds sug­gest he is one to watch.

“Ben, we know how young he is. It’s a nice story and all the boys are re­ally happy for him,” Liver­pool boss Jur­gen Klopp said.

“Ev­ery­one is smil­ing in the dress­ing room. It’s a good mo­ment for him and a good mo­ment for us.”

Klopp’s side are through to the League Cup semi-fi­nals for the third suc­ces­sive year thanks to Woodburn and Divock Origi.

Klopp has now won seven of his nine League Cup games with Liver­pool, who hope to lift the tro­phy for the ninth time af­ter los­ing to Manchester City in the fi­nal last term.

Be­fore kick-off, Liver­pool’s Brazil­ian cap­tain Lu­cas and his team­mates, all wear­ing black arm­bands, stood for a minute’s si­lence fol­low­ing the plane crash that killed 71 peo­ple, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the Brazil­ian Chapecoense team.

With Philippe Coutinho side­lined for five weeks with an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age, Klopp gave starts to teenagers Trent Alexan­der-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria as the Reds boss se­lected a team fea­tur­ing eight changes.

Sec­ond-tier Leeds, whose last League Cup semi-fi­nal ap­pear­ance was in 1996, should have been ahead early on when Hadi Sacko broke the off­side trap and saw his shot saved by Si­mon Mig­no­let.

Liver­pool grad­u­ally took charge and Sa­dio Mane’s pass slipped Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum into the penalty area, but the Dutch­man’s shot struck the far post.

Then, in the 76th minute, Alexan­der-Arnold whipped in a cross from the right and Bel­gian striker Origi stretched to guide the ball home at the near post for his fourth goal of the sea­son and third in the League Cup.

Woodburn came on in the 67th minute and his dream came true when he smashed into the net fol­low­ing a flow­ing move in­volv­ing Origi, Mane and Wi­j­nal­dum.

“He is a bril­liant young player. He did very well. A goal will give him con­fi­dence to keep learn­ing,” Lu­cas added of Woodburn.

In the day’s other quar­ter-fi­nal, Premier League strug­glers Hull beat sec­ond-tier New­cas­tle 3-1 on penal­ties af­ter a 1-1 draw to reach the last four for the first time.

Both sides made a host of changes and a drab game didn’t come to life un­til the 89th minute when Hull’s Dieumerci Mbokani was sent off af­ter lung­ing for­ward with his head at Ja­maal Las­celles.

New­cas­tle took the lead eight min­utes into ex­tra-time when for­mer Hull mid­fielder Mo­hamed Di­ame stabbed in, but Robert Sn­od­grass equalised 60 sec­onds later.

In the shoot-out, Hull goal­keeper El­din Jakupovic saved from Jonjo Shelvey and Dwight Gayle hit the cross­bar be­fore Jakupovic turned away Yoan Gouf­fran’s kick to clinch the win. –

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