Sport Soccer

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Liverpool have a new Kop star as 17-year-old Ben Woodburn seals semi-final place

Liverpool 2 Leeds United 0

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring their second goal
Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring their second goal

Carl Markham

Liverpool prodigy Ben Woodburn enhanced his burgeoning reputation by becoming the club's youngest ever goalscorer in the 2-0 EFL Cup quarter-final win over Leeds.

The academy graduate, at 17 years and 45 days, beat Michael Owen's record by 98 days to write his name into Anfield history books with an emphatic 81st-minute finish.

Divock Origi scored five minutes before having previously laboured against an industrious Leeds side who took the game to their hosts.

With playmaker Philippe Coutinho ruled out for at least five weeks with ankle ligament damage and striker Daniel Sturridge missing again with a calf injury, Woodburn - and Origi with a second goal in as many matches - offered a welcome positive after a difficult few days for the Reds.

It put Liverpool into a record 17th League Cup semi-final and their fourth in the last six years, having lost the final to Manchester City last season and won the trophy in 2012.

Considering most Premier League teams who come to Anfield now look to suffocate their opponents Leeds manager Garry Monk took the opposite view.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after Ben Woodburn scores their second
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates after Ben Woodburn scores their second

He was rewarded for it as the Sky Bet Championship side dominated the game and the better chances and should have been ahead long before Liverpool finally made the breakthrough.

Hadi Sacko set the tone in only the third minute when he sprang the offside trap only to be denied by Simon Mignolet, one of eight changes from Saturday's win over Sunderland which may have accounted for the lack of rhythm in Liverpool's game.

Aside from Marco Silvestri's save from Georginio Wijnaldum's volley - set up by a sublime defence-splitting pass from 19-year-old Ovie Ejaria - Liverpool barely created anything.

Emre Can almost capitalised on substitute Kalvin Phillips' errant backpass but poked past the far post, and otherwise the Leeds defence were finding it relatively comfortable.

Early in the second half Kemar Roofe, the visitors' chief threat, saw his curling shot rebound off the post after beating Mignolet, who then denied the Leeds attacker's angled shot.

Another chance went begging when Kyle Bartley headed wide at a corner and there was a growing sense that Leeds would pay for missing so many chances against one of the highest-scoring sides in the Premier League.

Wijnaldum crashed a shot against the post before Origi, who had been guilty of wanting too many chances in the penalty area, finally decided to keep it simple and slid in at the near post to convert Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross.

But the biggest roar of the night came nine minutes from time when substitute Woodburn joyously blasted into the roof of the net in front of the Kop to cap a memorable few days for the teenager.


Michael Owen @themichaelowen: "Another record taken from me!!! Congratulations @BenWoodburn on becoming the youngest ever scorer for @LFC at 17yrs and 45days. #KopEnd."


Divock Origi. Certainly not his best performance ever, but - as on Saturday against Sunderland after he came on for the injured Philippe Coutinho - the Belgian made a contribution that really counted, prodding home his side's first goal and playing a key role in the second.


Ben Woodburn's goal. A truly special moment for the teenage substitute as he made history in style, finishing off a fine move with a powerful strike in front of the Kop. It must have brought some memories back for Steven Gerrard, who was watching from the stands.


This was Leeds' first visit to Anfield since their 3-1 top-flight defeat at the ground on October 25, 2003. At that time, Woodburn had just turned four years old.



Simon Mignolet 6 (out of 10)

Trent Alexander-Arnold 7

Lucas Leiva 6

Ragnar Klavan 6

Alberto Moreno 6

Ovie Ejaria 6

Kevin Stewart 6

Emre Can 6

Sadio Mane 6

Divock Origi 7

Georginio Wijnaldum 7


Ben Woodburn (for Stewart, 67) 7

James Milner (for Ejaria, 82) 6

Marko Grujic (for Origi, 90) 5


Marco Silvestri 6

Gaetano Berardi 6

Kyle Bartley 6

Liam Cooper 6

Charlie Taylor 7

Ronaldo Vieira 6

Eunan O'Kane 5

Hadi Sacko 6

Kemar Roofe 7

Stuart Dallas 6

Souleymane Doukara 6


Kalvin Phillips (for O'Kane, 28) 6

Luke Ayling (for Cooper, HT) 6

Chris Wood (for Dallas, 62) 6


Bournemouth v Liverpool v Leeds (Premier League, December 4)

Leeds v Aston Villa (Championship, December 3)

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