Takumi Minamino struck twice as Liverpool eased into round four of the League Cup courtesy of a 3-0 win at Norwich City.
The Canaries had hoped to put their woeful Premier League start to one side and joined the Merseysiders in making wholesale changes that included a switch in formation to include a back three. However, it failed to pay off as the visitors struck the opener inside four minutes.
Ad
Minamino turned brilliantly to squeeze home Divock Origi’s knock-down from a left-wing corner to net his first Reds goal since December 2020.
Premier League
The time has come for Man Utd to cut Solskjaer loose - The Warm-Up
YESTERDAY AT 07:06
Norwich grew as the half wore on but Christos Tzolis wasted a glorious chance to level when he saw a penalty well saved by Caoimhin Kelleher. Pierre Lees-Melou then squandered another opportunity just after the restart and Norwich were duly made to pay for their profligacy on 50 minutes.
Origi nodded a smart header into the far corner from Kostas Tsimikas’ left-wing cross to become just the ninth Reds player to net 10 times in the competition in what was his 14th appearance.
Minamino then rounded off victory 10 minutes from time when he prodded home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pass.
Next up, Norwich return to Premier League duty at Everton on Saturday while Liverpool visit Brentford.

TALKING POINT

Much-changed Liverpool cruise through. Jurgen Klopp so often uses this competition to blood youngsters and it was no surprise to see him once again opt for a mix of youth and experienced fringe players.
Many of the supporting cast in the Reds' squad got some much-needed minutes under their belts with the likes of Minamino, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Origi all impressing. The German also handed full debuts to teenagers Kaide Gordon and Conor Bradley and they enjoyed mixed fortunes at times. Gordon was lively down the right and offered a cameo of why he’s so highly regarded with a surging run and shot while Bradley conceded the penalty that handed the Canaries a lifeline just prior to half time. Tyler Morton also made his bow as a second half substitute in a holding midfield role on a night of several positives for the Merseysiders.
In contrast, it was another day to forget for Norwich and Daniel Farke with a few boos greeting the full-time whistle. It’s stating the obvious that they need a positive result soon but it’s currently looking bleak with goals hard to come by while they continue to concede all too easily.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Takumi Minamino (Liverpool). The Japanese forward has had to wait for his chance after injury. He had enjoyed a promising pre-season and was given a big build up by Liverpool’s coaching staff coming into this game. He duly delivered with a hard-working display that was capped by two clinical strikes on what was his first start of the campaign.

PLAYER RATINGS

NORWICH: Gunn 6, Omobamidele 6, Hanley 6, Gibson 6, Mumba 6, Rupp 6, Giannoulis 7, Gilmour 6, Lees-Melou 6, Idah 6, Tzolis 6. Subs: Pukki 6, Rashica 6, Dowell 6.

LIVERPOOL: Kelleher 7, Bradley 6, Konate 8, Gomez 8, Tsimikas 8, Keita 6, Jones 7, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Gordon 7, Minamino 8, Origi 8. Subs: Morton 7, Robertson 6, Henderson n/a.

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

KEY MOMENTS

04’ - GOAL! – Norwich 0-1 Liverpool. Minamino swivels on to Origi's knockdown and drills the ball through Gunn's legs after Norwich failed to deal with a left-wing corner.
24’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Gordon jinks in from the right and rifles a low drive just wide of the near post. That's a cameo of his exciting potential right there.
33’ – NORWICH CHANCE! Dimitrios Giannoulis motors down the left dangerously. His cut back is touched to Adam Idah who hits a tame shot from 16 yards straight at Kelleher.
43’ – NORWICH PENALTY SAVED! Kelleher keeps out Tzolis's spot kick down the middle with his feet and Norwich fail to convert a couple of chances on the rebound. The penalty was awarded when Dimitrios Giannoulis was brought down by Bradley after Kelleher could only parry Tzolis' fizzing drive.
48’ – NORWICH CHANCE! It should be 1-1. Bradley gets caught out on the right. Norwich pounce but Lees-Melou steers over the top from a central position 15 yards out.
50’ - GOAL! – Norwich 0-2 Liverpool. Origi flicks a header into the far corner from Tsimikas' lovely left-wing cross.
80’ - GOAL! – Norwich 0-3 Liverpool. Minamino sneaks home his second of the night at the near post after latching on to Oxlade-Chamberlain's touch through.

KEY STATS

Norwich are now winless in 16 matches against Liverpool (D2 L14)
Kaide Gordon become the fifth-youngest player in Liverpool’s history at the age of 16 years and 351 days.
Premier League
'It won’t happen again in a long time' - Klopp revels in Liverpool's 'insane' win
24/10/2021 AT 19:46
Premier League
'It's the darkest day' - Solskjaer at low ebb but not planning to quit
24/10/2021 AT 18:59