Liverpool eased their frustration from their Premier League stalemate against Manchester United over the weekend by crushing West Ham 5-1 on Wednesday and securing a spot in the League Cup semi-final against Fulham.
Curtis Jones notched two goals, while Mohamed Salah, Dominik Szoboszlai, and Cody Gakpo also scored for Jurgen Klopp’s formidable club, who finished the previous season without a trophy.
When Liverpool collected the cup for the ninth time in the 2021–2022 season, no team had won more League Cups.
The Reds were extremely frustrated that they were unable to win at home this season despite having 34 shots against United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Once again, against West Ham, manager Jurgen Klopp expressed his excitement with his team’s “joyful football” as they found success in front of goal.
“We were brave in our positioning, our second ball game was exceptional,” he stated.
“The entire concert was exceptionally well-done.
“It is really tough for all of us, there’s a lot of games and the boys played a lot of football already.”
With Alisson Becker fully rested with Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench, the drastically altered home team launched wave after wave of raids that made it difficult for West Ham to stop their rivals.
In the 14th minute, Harvey Elliott struck the crossbar, and Szoboszlai missed the target, but just before the half-hour mark, the midfielder from Hungary handed Liverpool the lead they deserved.
It happened after Said Benrahma mishandled the ball in midfield and let a rare West Ham break go awry.
Liverpool’s dominant team scored a goal from outside the box into the far corner after Jarell Quansah feed Szoboszlai on the right side of the attack, leaving goalkeeper Alphonse Areola with little chance.
The match followed the same pattern, with West Ham having to survive off the leftovers, a feeling that is all too familiar for a team that hasn’t won at Anfield since 1963.
In the closing seconds of the first half, the home team had a chance to extend their lead, but Gakpo missed the target with a well-placed cross from Elliott.
In the opening forty-five minutes, Liverpool had 11 shots while West Ham had none.
The talented Lucas Paqueta and James Ward-Prowse were left off of the starting lineup, while the London team also included a number of well-known players on the substitutes’ bench.
Similar to the first half, Liverpool probed and David Moyes’ team appeared toothless as the second half played out.
Darwin Nunez, who had not scored in his previous ten appearances for Liverpool, wriggled clear in the area and attempted a shot, but Areola was up to the challenge.
But in the 56th minute, Jones handed Liverpool a lead when he fired the ball at the near post, going past Areola’s knees.
After Klopp substituted Salah, Alexander-Arnold, and Ibrahima Konate, Moyes substituted Paqueta.
Gakpo’s low shot from the edge of the area inside Areola’s right-hand post gave Liverpool a 3-0 lead after Konate’s strong forward run.
Even worse was to come for the unfortunate guests as Jarrod Bowen pulled one back, cutting inside Quansah and unleashing a lovely curling finish around Caoimhin Kelleher.
Alexander-Arnold’s assist set up Salah for a breakaway goal, and Jones finished the night strong with his second goal after slicing through the Hammers defense.
The opening leg of the two-game League Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Fulham will take place the week starting on January 8. Liverpool will play Premier League leaders Arsenal on Saturday with the opportunity to overtake the London team.
The other semifinal matchup pits Chelsea against Middlesbrough.