Cody Gakpo achieves record not seen at Liverpool since the eighties

Cody Gakpo took the headlines on Wednesday night, with the Dutch forward coming off the bench to score the winner in Liverpool's Carabao Cup semi-final win over Fulham.

The Dutchman was left out of the starting lineup for the clash at Anfield and watched on as his teammates went a goal down after Willian's first-half opener.

However, the introduction of Gakpo alongside Darwin Nuñez after the break changed the game, with the two forwards combining to turn things around.

Curtis Jones's deflected equaliser on 68 minutes was followed by Gakpo's winner just three minutes later – with Nuñez assisting both.

After the game, Klopp hailed the quality of his subs, saying: "That you can bring Cody and Darwin from the bench, that’s a proper change."

Gakpo's strike is his fourth in the Carabao Cup so far this season – with the former PSV forward also netting in each of the previous rounds against Leicester, Bournemouth and West Ham.

Liverpool's number 18 is the joint-top scorer in the competition so far in 2023/24 (along with Middlesbrough's Morgan Rogers), while he is the most consistent goal threat the Reds have had in the League Cup for some time.

As noted by Opta editor Michael Reid on X, Gakpo is the first Liverpool player to score in four consecutive rounds of the League Cup since Ian Rush way back on 1983/84.

That record extends further back when excluding replays, with Kenny Dalglish achieving the feat in 1980/81.

More recently, Vladimir Smicer managed four goals in four consecutive appearances in the same competition during the 2000/01 season (as noted by Squawka). However, two of those goals came in either leg of the semi final, rather than in separate rounds.

In perhaps a good omen for this campaign, in each of the 1980/81, 1983/84 and 2000/01 seasons, Liverpool went on to lift the League Cup.

While his impact in the Premier League has been somewhat muted so far this season (three goals, one assist), Gakpo's cup prominence has shades of Takumi Minamino's impact during the 2021/22 campaign.

The Japan international also scored four times (in five games) to help the Reds to their most recent Carabao Cup triumph.

Takumi Minamino - Liverpool League Cup Trophy Celebrations

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Gakpo said of his impressive strike rate: “I love it! I think I’ve scored four, that’s good no? That’s pretty good.

“I love just to play with the guys, we showed really good mentality.

“We have to keep going, because it’s only the first leg of this game.”

Liverpool play the second leg of the semi-final at Craven Cottage on Wednesday, 24 January.

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