Liverpool secured a berth to the League Cup semi-final by beating Championship tablet-toppers Bournemouth 3-1.
Liverpool received two goals by Raheem Sterling and a solo effort from Lazar Markovic before Dan Gosling scored for Bournemouth. It was a match that many a pundit forecasted a victory for Bournemouth given Liverpool’s current struggles both domestically and abroad. But Bournemouth simply couldn’t find the victory away that would have extended their best ever run in the League Cup and now must settle for keeping their focus on securing promotion to the top flight.
The Reds took the lead twenty minutes in as Markovic crossed a lofted ball to the back post following a tidy exchange down the left. Jordan Henderson did well to nod the ball back across the middle where Sterling beat his defender guide an excellent header into the corner of the goal.
Just seven minutes later and Liverpool’s lead was doubled through the lively Markovic. The Serb linked up with Phillipe Coutinho, playing Markovic through down the left side. It looked like it could have been offside and the Bournemouth defense completely stopped to make the appeal. Markovic kept going, however, receiving the ball 16 yards out and placing a slick sidefooter into the bottom corner.
To their credit, Bournemouth missed two sitters in the first half that could’ve resulted in a very different match but five minutes into the second stanza Liverpool put the game out of reach. After a Bournemouth attack was broken up by Kolo Toure, the Ivorian nailed a long ball to Lallana, who helped it on to Sterling, who weaved past the last defender before firing low and hard for his brace.
Despite the 3-0 scoreline, Bournemouth still had some fight in them and in the 57th minute, Matt Ritchie found Dan Gosling in the box where the former Everton man fired under Brad Jones.
With the victory, Liverpool join Chelsea, Sheffield United and Tottenham in the League Cup semi-finals.