Home Sports Football Liverpool edge out Fulham in Carabao semi-final’s first leg

Liverpool edge out Fulham in Carabao semi-final’s first leg

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 10: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Luis Diaz of Liverpool in action during the Carabao Cup Semi Final First Leg match between Liverpool and Fulham at Anfield on January 10, 2024 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool survived an early scare, as they came from behind to edge out a stubborn Fulham 2-1; in the first leg of the Carabao semi-finals played at Anfield.

Willian opened the scoring for the visitors in the 18th minute as a Virgil Van Dijk’s error gifted the Cottagers a surprise lead, stunning the Liverpool faithful. The Netherlands captain was named in the side after missing the trip to Arsenal, but his headed ball around the Liverpool’s box proved costly, as Andreas Perreira nicked the ball to set Willian up for the first goal.

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Liverpool appeared to struggle for creativity in the first half, perhaps missing the mercurial Trent Alexander Arnold who was injured in the weekend’s FA clash at the Emirates. His absence meant 20 year old Connor Bradley was called in deputize in right back, in only his second appearance for the Reds.

It would take the introduction of Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez from the bench to overturn the deficit with the duo adding much-needed composure in Liverpool’s midfield. It didn’t take long for the two to combine for the second goal after Curtis Jones’ deflected shot leveled it for Liverpool.

Fulham were on the cusp of being the only team to secure a win against Liverpool since Leeds in October 2022, but the performance shows the Cottagers will offer a challenge to the Merseyside club in the second-leg slated for next week at Craven Cottage.

The winner of the tie will face the winner of the other semi-final clash between Chelsea and Middlesborough. Boro go into the second leg with one goal advantage.

John Njuguna
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