Liverpool edged Tottenham by 2-1 to advance to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup thanks to a Daniel Sturridge brace.
Reds Manager Jurgen Klopp may have made 11 changes to the team at Anfield, but the players looked just as formidable and confident. In comparison, Spurs made just one less change, and was just unable to do enough as Liverpool proved their creativity in front of goal.
Sturridge – who himself had been experiencing a goal drought this season – had been left out as an unused substitute last weekend against West Brom.
However, the England international needed less than ten minutes to put his name on the scoresheet. He reacted quickly to poke it above keep Michael Vorm from close range in under nine minutes.
After half-time and a couple of wasted chances, Sturridge tried a little feint to put Vorm down. But when the keeper didn’t buy it, Sturridge simply slotted the ball between his legs and into the net, doubling Liverpool’s advantage.
Spurs – who started with eight players aged 23 or under – were by no means overawed but struggled in going forward before Vincent Janssen slammed home a penalty when substitute Erik Lamela was fouled.
The latter stages saw Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino on his knees in frustration as his team put pressure on the Reds but wasted opportunities. It also saw Sturridge curled against the bar with the outside of his left foot, and substitute Danny Ings with one-on-one chance saved as Liverpool moved into Wednesday’s draw.