Football News

Not even Jürgen Klopp’s favourite player could end David Moyes’ Anfield curse…

By James Amey

Published: 21:52, 20 December 2023

Liverpool booked their place in the EFL Cup semi-finals with a five star showing at Anfield.  

The Reds, who failed to score against Man Utd at the weekend despite having 34 shots, found their shooting boots as they made it into the final four of the Carabao Cup for just the second time in the last seven seasons after their triumphant campaign in 2021/22.

It took just 28 minutes for Dominik Szoboszlai to fire in his fourth goal of the season with a trademark long-range strike that flew past Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal. Jürgen Klopp’s side then continued to control the game and were rewarded for being on top with their second goal of the game thanks to Curtis Jones, who slotted the ball home from a tight angle after being found by Darwin Nunez. His goal was a milestone for Liverpool, their 500th in the history of the League Cup.

Cody Gakpo ensured the game was over with Liverpool’s third in the 71st minute, before Mo Salah, who made up for an earlier miss, and Curtis Jones, who scored his second of the game late on, completed the 5-1 rout after Jarrod Bowen had scored a consolation for the away side.

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Another huge part of their victory, along with their dominance with the ball, was keeping the Hammers’ top goalscorer and talisman Jarrod Bowen quiet (for the most part). The forward, who started the game through the middle, had just seven touches in the first half; the only player on the field not to reach double figures as he struggled to get involved, being isolated up front. The 27-year-old had been in fine form so far this season, scoring 11 goals in 17 appearances before this evening, including the goal that put Arsenal to bed in the previous round and slowly found his way into the game.

Away from home he has been near unstoppable, with seven goals in just eight games on the road in the league, setting a new competition record as the only player to score in the first six games (which he later made seven) of a Premier League campaign. Despite the game being beyond the Hammers, Jarrod Bowen popped up in the second half to score a consolation goal and improve his away record to eight goals in in nine appearances domestically, showing exactly why Jürgen Klopp was signing his praises before the game.

“He’s one of my favourite players… aside from my players.” he told Sky Sports.

The Liverpool manager had previously been linked to the West Ham forward in previous transfer windows and Bowen was even chosen at the start of 2022, as the wildcard replacement for Mohamed Salah if he ever leaves the Reds by Squawka. Just like Salah, Bowen also manages to find a way to score, even when his side is struggling. He has now scored against four of the top five sides in the Premier League across all competitions this season, scoring against Arsenal, Liverpool (twice), Tottenham and Aston Villa.

Pundit Izzy Christiansen, who was sat alongside Harry and Jamie Redknapp in the Sky studio, was also in agreeance that Bowen would be perfect at Anfield.

“There’s attributes about Jarrod Bowen that I absolute love. Against Brighton, his goal, he ran the full length of the pitch, he took the ball on the move at full pelt and just slotted it.  That is a Klopp player.” she purred.

The result means that West Ham have now won just one of their 56 games at Anfield across all competitions, conceding 117 and finding the back of the net just 30 times. Even worse than that for David Moyes, is it now means that the former Everton manager still hasn’t won away at Liverpool in any of his 21 attempts, losing 14 and drawing seven.

Liverpool will go on to face Fulham in the semi-finals with the first leg at home, while Middlesbrough will face Chelsea. The first legs will be played in the week commencing January 8th 2024.

The Carabao Cup semi-final draw in full:

  • Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea
  • Liverpool vs. Fulham