Liverpool 2-0 Leeds United: Reds through to EFL Cup semi-finals

Divock Origi and Ben Woodburn scored as Liverpool saw off the challenge of Championship opposition in the League Cup quarter-finals

Liverpool 2-0 Leeds United: Reds through to EFL Cup semi-finals
Ben Woodburn scores Liverpool's second goal of the night | Photo: Paul Ellis/Getty Images
Liverpool
2 0
Leeds United
Liverpool: Mignolet, Moreno, Klavan, Lucas, Alexander-Arnold, Stewart (Woodburn, min. 67), Ejaria (Milner, min. 82), Wijnaldum, Can, Mane, Origi (Grujic, min. 90).
Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi, Cooper (Ayling, min. 45), Bartley, Taylor, Vieira, O'Kane (Phillips, min. 28), Sacko, Dallas (Wood, min. 62), Roofe, Doukara.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 76, Origi. 2-0, min. 81, Woodburn.
REFEREE: Andre Marriner (ENG). Booked: Doukara (min. 58).

Two late goals were enough to see Liverpool through to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup at the expense of Championship side Leeds United.

Each side had hit the woodwork before Divock Origi poked home with a quarter of an hour to play, before Ben Woodburn, making his second appearance for the club, smashed home from close range five minutes later.

The traditional pre-match rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone was followed by an impeccably observed minute's silence for the victims of the Chapecoense plane crash in Colombia. 

Early Leeds chance blocked by Mignolet

With their travelling fans in typically good voice, the visitors should have been ahead with less than three minutes on the clock. Haidi Sacko was put clean through on goal by a clever ball over the top, but Simon Mignolet was alert enough to get down and save his near-post shot.

Liverpool had to wait ten minutes for their first real chance, but it almost brought a sublime goal as Marco Silvestri just managed to tip Georginio Wijnaldum's curling first-time effort around the post after Ovie Ejaria's probing pass.

Ragnar Klavan was presented with a half-chance for a rare goal soon after, but his shot from the edge of the area curled well wide and out towards the corner flag, much to the amusement of the Leeds fans in the stand behind the goal.

The Leeds goal was threatened in equally comical fashion 20 minutes later, but this time it was the away fans with cause for concern. A backpass from a seemingly regulation throw-in caused a breakdown in communications between goalkeeper and defender, but Emre Can's stab towards goal dribbled just wide.

The first half had been a fairly uneventful affair for the most part, but Liverpool applied a spell of pressure as the clock ticked on toward half-time.

Wijnaldum seemed to be involved in every passage of play as he orchestrated the game from the centre of the park, but he could not quite find the killer ball to open up the Championship promotion-chasers' defence.

Liverpool press forward after half-time

The Reds did come out of the blocks more quickly in the second half. Alberto Moreno blazed over from range while Origi couldn't quite get the ball out of his feet quickly enough to get a shot away at the edge of the six-yard box.

However, it was Leeds who almost struck six minutes into the half. Liverpool looked to have played their way out of a dangerous situation at the back but Kemar Roofe robbed the ball at the edge of the area and looped a delicious effort over and around Mignolet, but onto the inside of the post.

Can was crowded out inside the area before his shot was deflected into the hands of Silvestri and Sadio Mane just lost a foot race into the area as the home side continued to press towards the hour mark.

Leeds hit back, though, with captain Kyle Bartley going close with a headed effort from a corner and Roofe testing Mignolet from a tight angle inside the penalty area.

Two goals in five minutes for buoyant Reds

With 20 minutes to play, Wijnaldum broke clear down the left flank and drove inside before side-footing a shot across goal and against the far post. It bounced back into play but Mane couldn't control the rebound and substitute Woodburn's shot was charged down.

When the opening goal finally did come, it was somewhat out of nothing as young full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold found himself with time and space deep on the right wing. He killed the ball and set himself before delivering an inch-perfect cross to the near post where Origi was on hand to flick the ball home.

Five minutes later, the game was killed, as a flowing attack down the right eventually fell to youngster Woodburn at the back post after unselfish work from Can. He slammed the ball home with glee before sprinting to the corner of the pitch below the stadium's scoreboard, which attributed the goal to James Milner.

Chris Wood had a goal correctly disallowed soon after and Sacko should have done better after being put clear on goal down the wing, but he lifted his shot far over the crossbar.

Leeds continued to press for a goal back in the closing stages of the game but Liverpool saw the game out with little drama to make their way into the semi-finals.