League Cup round-up: Liverpool and Spurs advance to semi-finals
Liverpool avoided adding another loss on their record this season when they beat Bournemouth 3-1 in the League Cup quarter-finals on Thursday morning (Dec 18, Singapore time).
After the match, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said that they are showing signs of reproducing their scintillating form of last season
They have struggled to recapture the form that propelled them to second place in the Premier League last season.
But Rodgers’ side set up a semi-final against league leaders Chelsea with an impressive performance.
Two goals from Raheem Sterling either side of a Lazar Markovic strike gave Liverpool victory against in-form Championship (second-tier) leaders Bournemouth.
Lazar Markovic's strike
It was an encouraging display for the Anfield boss, whose team have endured an early Champions League exit and are 11th in the league - having accrued their lowest ever points tally in the Premier League after 16 games.
“We’re starting to see signs of getting back to where we were.
"We know there is a way to go but this was a tough game coming here, so for us to come and dominate like we did, and score the goals that we did, was very pleasing.” - Rodgers told a news conference
Bournemouth came into the game on a 12-match unbeaten run and have exceeded all expectations this season, topping their league to become contenders for promotion to the Premier League.
The South Coast club knocked out West Bromwich Albion in the previous round, leading some to predict a shock against a Liverpool side who were beaten 3-0 at bitter rivals Manchester United on Sunday.
“It was an outstanding performance. Even though the result wasn’t ideal at Old Trafford I’d seen moments in our game that was good and we created a lot of chances,” Rodgers said.
“I think slowly we’re getting there. There are a lot of new players adapting. I’m looking to find solutions to make us more creative, because we haven’t been that. I thought tonight was more like what we produced (last season).”
Liverpool, who last won the League Cup in 2012, are aiming to win the trophy for the ninth time and Rodgers is relishing the prospect of facing Chelsea, who have only been beaten once in all competitions this season.
Meanwhile Tottenham Hotspur strolled into the League Cup semi-finals with a 4-0 rout of Premier League rivals Newcastle United on Wednesday a Nabil Bentaleb.
Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado were on target for Spurs against Newcastle, who conceded four times for the second match in succession after they were beaten 4-1 by Arsenal in north London on Saturday.
Tottenham had lost their last two home clashes with Newcastle.
But the threat of a third was eased when a blunder from visiting keeper Jak Alnwick - who made a complete mess of a corner - presented Bentaleb with the chance to hook home from four metres.
Chadli doubled the lead with a measured effort from 25 metres, Kane netted with a slightly scuffed finish and Soldado added his name to the scoresheet when he pounced on a loose ball with 20 minutes to play.
Spurs booked their last four spot with a 4-0 demolition of Newcastle on Wednesday. Draw for the English League Cup semi-finals made on Wednesday: