Liverpool booked their spot in the Carabao Cup final on Wednesday evening following their 1-1 draw with Fulham, setting up a date with Chelsea at Wembley Stadium next month.
Liverpool held a 2-1 aggregate lead from the first leg at Anfield and it didn’t take long for Jurgen Klopp’s side to extend their advantage, Luis Diaz opening the scoring on the night with his near-post effort.
Issa Diop did pull a goal back late in the game but the Cottagers ultimately fell to a 3-2 aggregate defeat after being unable to find another goal in west London.
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Despite some early forays forward and threatening crosses into Caoimhin Kelleher’s penalty area, Fulham could only withstand Liverpool‘s forward line for 11 minutes.
Diaz put the visitors in front after cutting in from the left flank following Jarell Quansah’s exquisite switch of play, the Colombian’s deflected strike squeezing past Bernd Leno – the goalkeeper perhaps disappointed with his efforts to rebuff the shot.
Fulham struggled to test Liverpool too often in the first half, with their best moment coming from Raul Jimenez’s long-range strike. But all-in-all it was a pretty tame opening 45 minutes from the Cottagers, with Diaz’s strike having deflated the home crowd.
Fulham were given a wonderful chance to reduce the deficit just after the break, Kelleher misjudging a cross into the box and Andreas Pereira hammering a ferocious effort into the post from a tight angle – much to the relief of Liverpool’s stopper.
While Liverpool almost scored themselves on the counter following the Brazilian’s effort, it was still a golden chance that went begging for the hosts.
Liverpool looked as if they were going to canter to a comfortable victory, but Fulham had other ideas. The hosts rallied and managed to find an equaliser with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, the unlikely Diop converting Harry Wilson’s near-post cross.
Hope for the Cottagers…
However, Fulham couldn’t find a late winner that would have taken the game to extra-time, missing out on a huge opportunity for an incredibly rare Wembley date.
For Liverpool, pure ecstacy as they booked their spot in yet another Carabao Cup final, with Chelsea their opponents…again.