5 talking points from Liverpool 5-1 West Ham United

Liverpool crushed West Ham United 5-1 at Anfield in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Here are five talking points coming out of the game.

That Liverpool starting XI vs West Ham

Jurgen Klopp made a huge gamble here. He picked a very strong XI from the off, including Virgil van Dijk at centre-back. The Dutchman is almost always rested when possible - but not here.

It's especially notable as Liverpool host Arsenal at the weekend. That's a game where the Reds will want to be at their very best - it's one of the biggest games in the title race this season.

Maybe the strong XI is from Klopp wanting to take the Carabao Cup seriously from this stage. Maybe it's Klopp wanting to find some rhythm. Or maybe it's just a sign of Liverpool's depth this season. The likes of Jarell Quansah no longer feel like kids - he's a proper squad player now.

Nunez doesn't need goals

There's been a lot of pressure on Nunez right now because he hasn't been hitting the net. He somehow didn't do it here either, despite Liverpool scoring five.

But he still played brilliantly. Five tackles won by a forward is quite incredible and it was unsurprisingly a match-high for any player on the pitch. In fact, it was two more tackles than anyone else managed.

Then there was the assist for Jones's first. There's not much more you can ask from a forward who isn't scoring a goal. Liverpool tick over a lot better with Nunez on the pitch.

Jones thrives again

Curtis Jones puts in a performance every now and then that has him tearing a team apart. The Porto game a few years ago comes to mind - they couldn't handle Jones.

And West Ham United couldn't handle him here. Jones made his first happen by picking the ball up from deep, passing it off, then bursting behind the lines to receive it back. His finish was just brilliant.

The second goal was one to remember, though. Jones showed the confidence to run with the ball straight at West Ham and they didn't know how to stop him. When he plays like this, the Scouser looks like a sensational talent and one who can still improve so much.

Alexander-Arnold again influences things

It's getting more and more difficult to keep Trent Alexander-Arnold out of midfield. He didn't start here but entered the game at 2-0 - and instantly influenced the game.

He finished with two assists as Liverpool turned the scoreline into an emphatic one. Alexander-Arnold was a big part of that from his midfield role.

So should he continue there full-time? With Joe Gomez playing so well at right-back, and Alexander-Arnold changing games in the middle, the second half of the season could see a permanent change.

Liverpool want to win this

Liverpool are now into the semi-finals and are comfortably favourites to win the competition. The strength of the XI here - let alone the energy in the side - shows this is a trophy Jurgen Klopp and co. want to win.

And now they can. Anything short of that will feel like a disappointment, in fact, and everyone can expect a proper Liverpool Xi in the semis against Fulham.

Share This Article