Liverpool 3 – 1 Leicester – EFL Cup 3rd Round Man of the Match

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Liverpool 3 – 1 Leicester – EFL Cup 3rd Round Man of the Match

Cody Gakpo

The importance of the domestic cup competitions has probably been elevated for (hopefully) just this season, as failure to qualify for the Champions League has reduced the requirement to continually field the top tier group of players. With the 3rd round draw pitting the Premier League’s 2nd placed team against Leicester, it saw a reunion with last years relegated side, who currently sit comfortably top of the Championship. There is a very clear split in the first team group that participates in the Premier League fixtures and those that are chosen to undertake this season’s varying cup battles. Each scenario brings differing pressures and expectations, which will gradually define who is part of the regimentation of this squad.

Within a positive result there were some bright performances this evening. Jarell Quansah was a delight at centre back and produced a superb run for Diogo Jota’s goal, his age and inexperience defies what we are seeing on the pitch and he may now solidify himself into the club’s long-term plans. Dominik Szoboszlai nearly broke the net with his equaliser, with his breathtaking ability once again having the fanbase compare him to the legendary Steven Gerrard. Overall, everyone did their job with maturity, despite a disappointing start to the game. In a match where no one player was match winning levels of outstanding, I thought Cody Gakpo had a splendid game and took his equalising goal with confidence and finesse. For a young man that has been continually moved around the pitch (so far this season), this was the kind of strong display that was required from the huge talent. Amongst a plethora of brilliant players, the level will continually raise through Liverpool 2.0, therefore, these types of games must be where the 6ft 4inch Dutchman excels. Though Darwin is currently in possession of that central striker’s position (for the first team elite), there is clearly a healthy amount of competition within a tight knit community of players.

The result really was all that mattered and if not for some bad luck in front of goal, Cody and his teammates would have been celebrating far more goals. Many of Klopp’s current assets are a work in progress, which very much includes Cody Gakpo. Tonight, the versatile forward shone bright and helped get his team into the next round of the cup, which is why I have chosen him as my man of the match. The weekend game against Tottenham at least gives the manager something to think about, with so many players fulfilling their requirements so admirably. Cody may not start on Saturday evening; however, I would guess that he is now the first option if one of the starting three forwards falters their lines.

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