Home » ARTICLES » Virgil 6, Bradley 8, Diaz ?? | Liverpool Player Ratings vs Fulham | League Cup

Virgil 6, Bradley 8, Diaz ?? | Liverpool Player Ratings vs Fulham | League Cup

Photo of author

By Shrishh Attavar

Liverpool edge out a 2-1 win against Fulham in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final

A far-from-full-strength Liverpool side named a not-so-surprising starting XI for the EFL Cup Semi-Final first-leg encounter against Fulham. Knowing that this game would not feature the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Wataru Endo, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai, the rest of the XI was pretty much predictable.

Alisson, Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Jarell Quansahd dropped to the bench from the XI which was fielded against Mikel Arteta’s men last week. Trent hyperextended his knee against the Gunners at the Emirates and will sit out for a few weeks as per Pep Lijnders in the pre-match press conference. Dominik Szoboszlai closes in on a return from his hamstring injury, apart from that, there were no injury issues to report as we went into this game.

Caoimhin Kelleher started in goal with captain Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate in the heart of the defence. Conor Bradley made his second start for Liverpool this season after impressing off the bench against Arsenal in the FA Cup victory. Superman Joe Gomez started as a left-back. The midfield three included Alexis Mac Allister, Curtis Jones and Ryan Gravenberch. Diogo Jota spearheaded the attack flanked by Luis Diaz and Harvey Elliott on the left and right respectively.

It surely looked like a squad without its core creative forces. With Trent and Mo sitting out, not many people took on that responsibility and that is something which could hurt us as the season progresses. Here are our ratings in whole numbers for the Reds’ players from the 2-1 win against Fulham.

Liverpool edge out a 2-1 win against Fulham in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final.
Caoimhin Kelleher replaced Alisson Becker for Liverpool in the game against Fulham.

Caoimhin Kelleher 6/10

Decent at building play out from the back. Couldn’t do much about Willian’s goal. Caught a shot from Andreas Pereira as the game inched closer to the halfway stage. Made a strong save in the second half as well.

Conor Bradley 8/10

Fabulous defending throughout the game. Was alert to danger whenever either Willian or Antonee Robinson tried to go past him by abusing pace or dropping a shoulder. Not much he could do for Willian’s goal. Above-average attacking display too. Won the foul for Alexis Mac Allister’s free-kick at the edge of the box. Could have had an assist to top it off as well, but Nunez’s shot was saved miraculously by Leno. MOTM performance regardless.

Ibrahima Konate 7/10

Did as per his expectations and beyond. His partner in central defence was uncharacteristically not at his best, so Ibou had to step up and so he did. A mature performance from the player.

Virgil van Dijk © 6/10

Was not his usual self. Could have and should have done way better to avoid Fulham’s goal. Early yellow as well, but considering Van Dijk‘s huge stature, it was natural that Andreas would go to ground with as little contact as possible. Rolled around like a Beyblade, and the ref ate the bait.

Joe Gomez 7/10

Marked his 200th Liverpool appearance across all competitions in this game. As reliable as he’s been in recent weeks. Top top shift from the player.

Liverpool edge out a 2-1 win against Fulham in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final.
Liverpool star Joe Gomez was as impressive as ever against Fulham.

Curtis Jones 7/10

Only growing in stature. Ball magnet of sorts. Helped recycle possession and bridged the gap between attack and defence very well. Took a shot in what was the first big chance of the game, but was caught well by Bernd Leno in the Fulham goal. Did well to take his goal, which deflected in off the shoulder of Tosin Adarabiyo. Involved in the second goal as well. Seemed to be struggling with about five minutes of regulation time left. Hopefully, nothing major.

Alexis Mac Allister 7/10

Shaky start to the game, but found his feet as the game progressed. Only returned from injury recently so cannot expect him to play faultless. Put in a few slide tackles to win back possession. His free-kick that was parried away by Antonee Robinson should have been a penalty but the lack of VAR. Otherwise, did pretty well.

Ryan Gravenberch 6/10

Too lost, uninvolved in most parts of the first half. Has to demand more from himself and those around him and take things into his own hands more often, like he did early in the second half when he almost scored. With time, he will get to his boundless potential. Replaced by Darwin Nunez ten minutes into the second half.

Harvey Elliott 6/10

Good levels of work rate from the youngster leading the right flank. Linked very well with Bradley. Covered ground very well. Was close to equalising moments after Willian’s goal, but his shot went wide. Nevertheless, he was offside. Replaced by Cody Gakpo ten minutes into the second half.

Harvey Elliott linked up well with Conor Bradley.
Harvey Elliott linked up well with Conor Bradley.

Diogo Jota 7/10

Had a few chances that he wanted to take on his own and rightly so considering his seniority in the frontline. However, without any avail. Played a huge part in the Reds’ second goal. Quick feet as the game progressed and grew difficult to handle for the Fulham backline as the game went on.

Luis Diaz 6/10

A winger? Yes. A wide midfielder? Yes. A full-back? YES. Took the responsibility of the entire left wing on his shoulders and dropped very deep at times to help the backline out.


Darwin Nunez 8/10

Brought on a lot of energy off the bench. A few twists and chops around the box to get the fans going. His chaotic nature would have been useful in the early parts of the game. Had a role to play in both of Liverpool’s goals. Hard luck as his free-kick at the edge of the box in the 74th minute did not come down in time. 10 assists this season. Is it too early to say, “Darwin Nunez seems to have acclimated himself to life at Liverpool“?

Liverpool edge out a 2-1 win against Fulham in the first leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final.
These two had Fulham’s backline shaking.

Cody Gakpo 7/10

Found himself in just the right space for Liverpool to take the lead. Amazing flick. Lovely finish. Put a wonderful cross in for Nunez whose header was pushed away by Leno in the 80th minute.

ALL IN ALL! This was surely far from the Reds’ best. Liverpool will unquestionably need to do better and gain control of games. The lack of imagination is alarming. This over-dependence on two players for almost all of the creative output would have eventually caught up with the Reds, but now that it has, Jurgen Klopp and Co. need to do something about it soon. The January transfer window is still open.