Football: Liverpool fight back to beat Fulham in English League Cup semi-final

Cody Gakpo celebrates his goal for Liverpool.
Cody Gakpo celebrates his goal for Liverpool. Photo credit: Getty Images

Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo scored three minutes apart as Liverpool fought back from a goal down to beat Fulham 2-1 in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at a chilly Anfield on Thursday (NZ time).

Fulham threatened to hand the record nine-time League Cup winners their first home defeat across all competitions this season after Willian scored in the 19th minute. Capitalising on Virgil van Dijk's poor clearance, the Brazilian slotted home from the edge of the six-yard box between keeper Caoimhin Kelleher's legs.

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez contests a ball.
Liverpool's Darwin Nunez contests a ball. Photo credit: Getty Images

Premier League-leading Liverpool dominated possession and finally got the better of Fulham's well-organised back line when Jones netted in the 68th minute, his shot from 25 metres out taking a big deflection off the back of Tosin Adarabioyo.

Substitute Gakpo fired Liverpool in front in the 71st, tapping in Darwin Nunez's cross at the near post.

Liverpool were missing Mohamed Salah, the Premier League's joint top scorer this season who is with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who injured his knee in Sunday's FA Cup third-round win over Arsenal.

Liverpool will travel to Craven Cottage for the second leg on January 24. Chelsea suffered a surprise 1-0 loss at second-tier Middlesbrough in the first leg of the other semi-final on Wednesday.