By SkySports/Evelyne Wareh
Daniel Sturridge scored twice for Liverpool as they beat Tottenham 2-1 at Anfield to reach the EFL Cup quarter-finals.
Liverpool, who made 11 changes for the fourth-round tie, were 1-0 up through Sturridge’s close-range poked finish after nine minutes, and the England striker was kept out twice more by Michel Vorm in the first half. Sturridge made it two just after the hour mark, slotting under Vorm after being played through on goal by Gini Wijnaldum.
Spurs clawed their way back into the game against the run of play on 76 minutes through Vincent Janssen’s penalty after Lucas had brought down Erik Lamela. The result means eight-time winners Liverpool have made the last eight of the EFL Cup for the third season in a row.
The draw for the EFL Cup quarter-finals will be made on Wednesday evening. Spurs themselves made 10 changes after the 0-0 draw with Bournemouth, with Eric Dier the only survivor from the weekend, but struggled to get going in the first half at Anfield. Sturridge put Liverpool ahead early on, getting to the ball ahead of Vorm from six yards after Georges-Kevin Nkoudou slipped in midfield and allowed Marko Grujic’s to put the ball across the face of goal.
Sturridge nearly had another a few minutes later, but his curling effort from the right corner of the area was tipped over acrobatically by Vorm. It should have been 2-0 later in the half through that man Sturridge again, but his weak right-footed effort fell into Vorm’s grateful hands after Divock Origi had handed him the ball in acres of space.Sturridge should have had more on the night, misjudging Origi’s right-wing cross at point-blank range, before Origi himself forced a superb save out of Vorm with a fierce 25-yard effort.
Liverpool and Sturridge had their second on 64 minutes after Wijnaldum’s perfectly timed through ball found the striker through on goal as Spurs pushed up, and he made no mistake, sliding the ball under Vorm at The Kop. Sturridge went close again with a free-kick before Wijnaldum forced a decent save out of Vorm from another set-piece, but Spurs somehow found their way back into the game as Lucas gave away a needlessly penalty, biting at Lamela before the Argentine finally went down. Janssen made no mistake, slotting it down the middle for 2-1.
Liverpool hit the bar through Sturridge, whose effort with the outside of the bar deflected off Cameron Carter-Vickers looped over Vorm, while at the other end Simon Mignolet did well to hold onto Victor Wanyama’s effort from an angle.
Spurs had a chance to level it late on through young Shayon Harrison, who was found in acres of space with just Mignolet to beat by Erik Lamela, but his first touch let him down and the Belgian goalkeeper collected.
Substitute Danny Ings nearly wrapped it up in the final minutes, again forcing Vorm into a superb save.