Cody Gakpo and Curtis Jones found the back of the net as Liverpool came from behind to beat Fulham 2-1 in the first leg of a hard-fought League Cup semi-final at Anfield.
The visitors frustrated the Reds for long spells and got off to a flyer when Willian took advantage of Virgil van Dijk’s error to drill a low shot home on 19 minutes.
Liverpool were missing the creative force of the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold and struggled to test Bernd Leno throughout a lacklustre first half.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid had a chance to double The Cottagers’ lead following the interval and it proved to be a significant moment as Jurgen Klopp’s men turned the contest in their favour.
A two-goal blast in just three minutes saw Jones fortuitously level through a deflected 20-yard strike before substitutes Darwin Nunez and Gakpo combined for the Dutchman to steer in an excellent first-time finish.
Leno then made a wonderful save to keep out Nunez late on as the Reds came close to increasing their advantage heading into the second leg at Craven Cottage on January 24.
Liverpool are next in action on January 21 when they visit Bournemouth in the Premier League. Fulham visit Chelsea this Saturday lunch time.
The Reds have made a habit of turning around deficits and recovering from adversity on various occasion this season and they were at it once again.
For long spells Fulham frustrated the Merseysiders and looked the more likely on the counter attack.
However, a double change that saw Gakpo and Nunez introduced, as well as a slice of luck with Jones’s equaliser, completely transformed the contest and in the end Marco Silva may well be relieved to have come away with just the one-goal deficit.
Much has been made of Liverpool’s injury list and players missing on international duty and that could yet hamper their targets in a busy couple of weeks, but key attackers again stepped up in the absence of Mohamed Salah to keep them on the path towards another Wembley final and the chance to fight for a record-extending 10th EFL Cup triumph.