Liverpool Advances in EFL Cup Despite Draw
|Luis Diaz of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg match between Fulham and Liverpool at Craven Cottage on January 24, 2024 in London, England.(Image-Getty)
Liverpool secured their place in the EFL Cup final against Chelsea by drawing 1-1 against Fulham at Craven Cottage and winning 3-2 on aggregate. Luis Diaz opened the scoring for the Reds in the 11th minute, but Issa Diop's 78th-minute equalizer made for a tense ending. Despite the late challenge, Liverpool reached their 14th EFL Cup final, aiming to become the first team to win the competition 10 times.
In terms of lineup changes, Liverpool made four adjustments, bringing in Caoimhin Kelleher, Jarell Quansah, Ryan Gravenberch, and Cody Cakpo. Fulham, on the other hand, made two alterations with Timothy Castagne and Bobby De Cordova-Reid replacing Kenny Tete and Harry Wilson.
The match saw Fulham missing an early chance, allowing Liverpool to capitalize. Diaz scored after receiving a precise long-range pass from Quansah. In the second half, Darwin Nunez had opportunities to extend Liverpool's lead, but Bernd Leno thwarted his first attempt, and the Uruguayan narrowly missed with a subsequent shot.
Fulham had a chance to equalize when Kelleher's clearance fell to Andreas Pereira, who struck the post from a tight angle. Liverpool then had a counter-attack opportunity, but Harvey Elliott's attempt to beat Leno was unsuccessful.
Fulham intensified the drama by equalizing in the 78th minute when Diop finished from Wilson's left-wing cross. However, Liverpool managed to hold off further chances, securing their place in the final against Chelsea on February 25, setting the stage for the most-played English domestic final between the two teams. As a result, Liverpool's Matchweek 26 fixture against Luton Town will be rescheduled.