Champions League expert Takumi Minamino continued Liverpool’s quest for an unprecedented brace with both goals in a 2-1 win over Norwich as Jurgen Klopp reached his first FA Cup quarter-final.
The Japan international has started largely in the knockouts and in a team that registered 10 changes from the team that won the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday, he is an influencer.
Minamino has now had seven goals and one assist in eight national cup games this season and since the start of 2020, the 27-year-old has scored twice as many goals in domestic leagues ( nine) than any other Liverpool player.
Lukas Rupp’s goal in the 14th minute saved the visitors’ lives but even Liverpool’s second-placed team were too experienced to handle the pressure of late as they claimed a place in the sixth round for the first time since 2015.
Despite playing a key role in guiding his side to the League Cup final, Minamino didn’t even get to play at Wembley but he used that disappointment to his advantage by taking Take your chance before the Canaries.
He was a threat all night cutting the right wing and he instigated the final moves that resulted in both of his goals extending Liverpool’s winning streak to 11 games, its best since May. August 2007.
After Curtis Jones was inches away from replicating his FA Cup win here against Everton in January 2020 and Teemu Pukki unleashed a long shot, Minamino stepped up.
He started the attack in the 27th minute on the right and when the ball was moved to the left, Kostas Tsimikas passed it to Divock Origi, another cup specialist, whose tight control allowed him to play. the ball up Minamino, who continued to run towards the far post.
It was the 750th goal scored in Klopp’s 360th game.
He doubled his score 11 minutes later as he drove in the field leading to Liverpool, where the players signed and donated their match jerseys in support of the Crisis Call of Ukrainian Red Cross, won a corner.
Tsimikas’ serve was caught by Norwich defender Ben Gibson and Minamino’s shot from the corner narrowly missed the post.
First-half substitute Josh Sargent missed two good chances, shot wide on goal and then missed aimlessly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot from just outside Tim Krul’s right flank. .
The Premier League’s bottom-leg team made seven changes to their starting lineup and head coach Dean Smith made one final roll of the dice with a 61-minute three-man substitution of Billy Gilmour, Kieran and Billy Gilmour. Dowell and Jonathan Rowe.
Norwich, who are more concerned about their league position than their ability to get out of the cup, looked like they spent the last 20 minutes chasing the ball as Liverpool kept possession until Rupp hit a low shot to knock Alisson Becker down.
Klopp’s response was to send in Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz to increase their threat level and although Rowe forced Alisson to make a good one-handed save late in the game, the hosts had enough know-how to see the game.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/liverpool-march-on-into-fa-cup-quarter-final-as-minamino-double-helps-down-norwich-41404884.html Liverpool advance to FA Cup quarter-finals as Minamino double helps defeat Norwich