Teenager Ben Woodburn eclipsed Michael Owen as Liverpool’s youngest goalscorer as the Reds edged past Championship side Leeds United in the EFL Cup quarter-finals at Anfield.
The Premier League hosts huffed and puffed before Divock Origi stole behind the Leeds defence to sweep in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right-wing cross from close range.
They secured a place in the last four when Wales Under-19 international Woodburn, aged 17 years and 45 days, fired in the second.
Relive Woodburn’s moment of history
Liverpool hit a post through Georginio Wijnaldum shortly before the opener, but the scoreline was somewhat harsh on the Yorkshire side.
Leeds winger Kemar Roofe curled against the inside of a post shortly after half-time.
Hadi Sacko spurned a good opportunity for the visitors in the opening 10 minutes, and Kyle Bartley nodded a free header wide after the break.
Liverpool will find out who they play in the semi-finals when the draw is made after Wednesday’s matches.
Woodburn’s bright in Liverpool struggle
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp might have claimed his team has “unfinished business” in the EFL Cup, but this competition is clearly not the German’s priority this season as the Reds chase the Premier League title and a Champions League return.
And that has been clear by his team selections.
Klopp, like he did in the earlier rounds, rotated his team by bringing in fringe players and a handful of youngsters, though that was forced in part by the absence of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana through injury.
Without that attacking threat, the home side lacked fluency and potency in the final third until they clicked in the final 15 minutes to reach a record 17th League Cup semi-final.
However, a laboured night was capped when Woodburn – on as a second-half substitute having made his debut on Saturday against Sunderland – beat Owen’s record by 98 days.
It was a special moment for the youngster in front of the Kop and former England striker Owen, who was watching from the main stand.
Every one of Woodburn’s outfield team-mates came to celebrate the historic moment as Anfield saluted their latest star.
Leeds’ taste of the past
Matches between these two clubs may be rare in the modern era – but this is a fixture steeped in history.
A rivalry born in the days of Bill Shankly and Don Revie, resurrected in the eras of Kenny Dalglish and Howard Wilkinson, consigned to longer memories post-Gerard Houllier and David O’Leary.
And it attracted the imagination of both sets of fans, Leeds bringing almost 5,500 to a capacity crowd of 53,000.
While this tie did not have the allure of a title-swinging league match or Wembley cup final of previous eras, it did provide an opportunity for Leeds to test themselves again at the highest level.
Following a turbulent few seasons under Italian owner Massimo Cellino, there is a cautious optimism among Whites fans that their club may – finally – push for promotion back to the Premier League this season.
Manager Garry Monk has provided a calm guidance rarely seen – or allowed – under Cellino’s control, moving the club up to fifth in the Championship after four wins in their past five matches.
The odds were stacked heavily in favour of the home side prior to kick-off, but the visitors created several decent opportunities against a casual Reds defence.
Ultimately, they lost with a fight. But the reception given by the away fans to their players at the final whistle suggests they are optimistic a 13-year absence from the Premier League may be coming to an end in the near future.
Man of the match – Kemar Roofe (Leeds)
What they said:
Leeds United manager Garry Monk:
“I asked them to play in slightly different way to what we have been doing tactically, which we had to do against a very good side
“We followed it to a tee. It just lacked us taking one of quite a few opportunities. We had the best chances of the game.
“It needed a bit more composure, that’s the only negative. Better decision-making in the final third and we would have had a couple of goals. Overall I was gutted for the players.
“As a performance for a young, inexperienced team these type of nights set a marker for you. We’re growing. We are disappointed but they will look back in time and think we have put on a good performance
“I’m not going to criticise my team – they were excellent.”
Back to a Premier League title push for Liverpool. The Reds, who are a point behind leaders Chelsea, travel to 12th-placed Bournemouth on Sunday at 13:30 GMT.
Leeds also return to league action, hosting a resurgent Aston Villa at Elland Road on Saturday (17:30 GMT).
Match ends, Liverpool 2, Leeds United 0.
Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, Leeds United 0.
Offside, Leeds United. Charlie Taylor tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.
Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).
Hadi Sacko (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Attempt missed. Souleymane Doukara (Leeds United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by Chris Wood with a headed pass.
Substitution, Liverpool. Marko Grujic replaces Divock Origi.
Divock Origi (Liverpool) is shown the yellow card.
Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Souleymane Doukara (Leeds United).
Attempt missed. Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Foul by Lucas Leiva (Liverpool).
Hadi Sacko (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United).
Attempt saved. Chris Wood (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Charlie Taylor with a cross.
Offside, Liverpool. Simon Mignolet tries a through ball, but Divock Origi is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Hadi Sacko (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Souleymane Doukara.
Offside, Leeds United. Kalvin Phillips tries a through ball, but Souleymane Doukara is caught offside.
Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Ovie Ejaria.
Goal! Liverpool 2, Leeds United 0. Ben Woodburn (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Divock Origi (Liverpool) because of an injury.
Goal! Liverpool 1, Leeds United 0. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross.
Attempt missed. Ben Woodburn (Liverpool) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Divock Origi.
Attempt blocked. Ben Woodburn (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sadio Mané.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) hits the left post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Sadio Mané with a through ball.
Corner, Liverpool. Conceded by Luke Ayling.
Sadio Mané (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United).
Attempt blocked. Souleymane Doukara (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kemar Roofe.
Substitution, Liverpool. Ben Woodburn replaces Kevin Stewart because of an injury.
Attempt saved. Kemar Roofe (Leeds United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Ronaldo Vieira.
Attempt missed. Kyle Bartley (Leeds United) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Charlie Taylor with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Ragnar Klavan.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Kevin Stewart (Liverpool) because of an injury.
Substitution, Leeds United. Chris Wood replaces Stuart Dallas.
Attempt saved. Emre Can (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas Leiva.
Kevin Stewart (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38059968