Liverpool, the defending Carabao Cup champions, were eliminated from this year’s competition after a 3-2 loss to Manchester City in the Round of 16 at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
The Reds won the competition last year, beating Chelsea in the final, and were hoping to keep the trophy again. But that ambition is over with the loss in Thursday’s five-goal thriller.
Erling Haaland, one superstar missing in action at the just concluded Qatar 2022 World Cup, showed he was well rested and ready to continue from where he stopped before the break for the Mundial.
With his opening goal coming just nine minutes into the game, the Norwegian set the tone for the thrilling encounter.
Kevin De Bruyne swung the ball into the Liverpool box and the City striker got ahead of Joe Gomez to poke the ball home. With that strike, Haaland took his tally in the season to an incredible 24 goals in 19 matches.
Despite falling behind early, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool mustered a comeback and in the 20th minute, they equalised thanks to a calm finish by Fabio Carvalho.
The first half ended even at 1-1, and the second half got off to a frenetic start with African brothers Riyad Mahrez and Mohamed Salah getting a goal for their teams in quick succession.
While Mahrez made it 2-1 in favour of City in the 47th minute, Salah promptly made it 2-2 barely a minute after.
After a couple of missed chances from both teams, Nathan Ake popped up with the fifth goal of the entertaining encounter as City took a 3-2 lead.
With over 30 minutes of action still on the cards, many would have thought there would be more goals from either side, but it was not to be.
City held on for the 3-2 win that took them into the quarter-final. Pep Guardiola’s side are League Cup specialists, having won six of the last nine editions, and they could just be extending their dominance by getting their hands on a seventh title under the Spaniard.
The other quarter-finalists are Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Leicester City, Charlton Athletic, Newcastle, Southampton, and Wolves.
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