Minamino double sees much-changed Liverpool ease past Norwich in Carabao Cup

Date published: Tuesday 21st September 2021 9:36 - Rob McCarthy

Takumi Minamino celebrates scoring for Liverpool at Norwich in the Carabao Cup

Takumi Minamino scored twice as a much-changed Liverpool side progressed to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after a comfortable 3-0 win at Premier League rivals Norwich.

The Reds attacker scored a goal in either half, while Divock Origi was also on the scoresheet for a Liverpool side that included two debutants but won at a canter – despite the Canaries missing a first-half penalty.

The two sides made wholesale changes for the game at Carrow Road, with the hosts also switching formation.

Only Canaries captain Grant Hanley and Chelsea loanee Billy Gilmour remained in the XI that lost to Watford last weekend and manager Daniel Farke ditched his usual 4-3-3 formation for three at the back.

Jurgen Klopp also made nine changes to the Liverpool side which beat Crystal Palace 3-0 on Saturday, with only summer signing Ibrahima Konate and left-back Kostas Tsimikas retaining their places.

Joe Gomez wore the captain’s armband while Curtis Jones made his 50th time appearance for the club and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was recalled. Kaide Gordon, 16, and fellow teenager Conor Bradley were handed debuts by the Reds boss.

Japan international Minamino fired the visitors into an early lead at Carrow Road.

The Reds forced a corner inside two minutes and while that was cleared, their second in the fourth minute produced the opener.

Minamino strikes to break deadlock

Kostas Tsimikas picked out Divock Origi, who headed down for Minamino to drill home on the turn to put the visitors in front.

Norwich squandered the chance to level before half-time when Christos Tzolis had a penalty saved.

Liverpool debutant Conor Bradley was the guilty party initially, failing to win the ball after challenging Dimitris Giannoulis.

Tzolis took responsibility but saw goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher save with his legs before Joe Gomez blocked Adam Idah’s follow-up effort to ensure it remained 1-0 to the visitors.

Missed opportunity costs Canaries

The Canaries squandered a great chance to draw level just after the break when Pierre Lees Melou blazed over from 10 yards.

And they were made to pay for that miss when Divock Origi grabbed Liverpool’s second minutes later.

An excellent cross from Konstantinos Tsimikas was met by a fine glancing header from the Reds forward to give Liverpool a comfortable cushion.

Origi almost grabbed a second in as many minutes when he flashed an effort wide of an open end-to-end encounter.

Any thoughts Norwich had of mounting a fightback were ended with 10 minutes to go when Minamino worked himself some space in the area before poking past Angus Gunn in the home goal.

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