THE NOTEBOOK: Jurgen Klopp calls out the doom-mongers, Harvey Elliott can replace AFCON-bound Mohamed Salah… and David Moyes’ Anfield hoodoo goes on
- Liverpool 5-1 West Ham: Five-star Reds cruise into Carabao Cup semi-finals
- Szoboszlai scored a brace with Jones, Gakpo and Salah also on target in rout
- Roy Keane is right! Virgil van Dijk is disrespectful. We all thought Man United would get pasted so Erik ten Hag was RIGHT to set up like that – It’s All Kicking Off
Curtis Jones scored twice and Liverpool booked a record 19th appearance in the League Cup semi-finals with a 5-1 thrashing of West Ham United on Wednesday, claiming the last of four berths.
Dominik Szoboszlai, Cody Gakpo and talisman Mohamed Salah, who did not enter the game until it was an hour old, also scored in what unravelled into a rout in the final 20 minutes.
Szoboszlai netted in the 28th minute with a thunderous strike from 20 yards that sailed into the far corner. Jones doubled Liverpool’s lead with his first goal minutes into the second half after a give-and-go with Darwin Nunez, sprinting onto Nunez’s pass to one-time his shot through keeper Alphonse Areola’s legs.
Gakpo scored from the top of the 18-yard box before Jarrod Bowen pulled one back for the Hammers in the 77th minute. Salah put the game away in the 82nd minute and Jones completed his brace two minutes later, slashing through West Ham’s defence with such ease it had manager David Moyes seething with anger.
Mail Sport’s Lewis Steele takes you through the things you might have missed.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was stung by criticism following draw with Manchester United
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Klopp calls out doom-mongers
Jurgen Klopp has taken a swipe at the modern football fan, with many supporters all too keen to focus on the negatives in an era when top clubs such as Liverpool are expected to win every game.
In his programme notes on Wednesday, referring to the reaction after Liverpool’s stalemate against Manchester United on Sunday, Klopp said: ‘The world we live in is one in which clubs like ourselves have to win every game. Even when we do not beat a team like Manchester United, the reaction outside is that it is a setback.
‘As manager, this world is not one I can be part of.
This is why I have spoken about the positives when others wanted to find negatives.’
Good news, Jurgen — even the harshest of critics will have struggled to find fault with the Reds’ rampant win here.
Fans feel the frustration
That wasn’t the only sign of Klopp being irked at this match.
A few minutes after Liverpool took the lead, the manager turned around to a section of the Main Stand and geed them up, with a hint of frustration in his body language.
Klopp walked back to his technical area shaking his head, before offering an apologetic hand to the section of Anfield.
Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott (above) caused all sorts of problems for West Ham
Elliott can replace AFCON-bound Salah
Harvey Elliott was by far the best player on the pitch in the first half, operating on Liverpool’s right flank.
Whether taking his man on and going to the byline or cutting inside, the midfielder, still only 20, caused all sorts of problems for West Ham.
With Mohamed Salah set to be missing for weeks during the Africa Cup of Nations, it offered a window into how Liverpool’s right-hand side could look without him.
Hammers hardly threaten
West Ham barely threatened in a first half when Liverpool enjoyed total control.
The visitors’ lack of ambition was illustrated by their lack of touches in the opposition’s box (right) — Moyes’ men had just one in the first 45 minutes, to Liverpool’s 23.
The Hammers also didn’t have a shot on target until the 77th minute — though that did at least produce Jarrod Bowen’s consolation goal.
West Ham boss David Moyes suffered his 21st defeat at Anfield on Wednesday night
Moyes’ Anfield hoodoo goes on
Happy 21st, David Moyes.
This was the 21st time he had taken a team to Anfield, and the 21st match in which he left without a victory.
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And judging by his team selection, he was pretty much waving the white flag before a ball had been kicked.
An injury-ravaged and heavily rotated Liverpool were there for the taking if West Ham named their best XI. Instead, James Ward-Prowse, captain Kurt Zouma and Lucas Paqueta all started on the bench.
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