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  1. And so onto the first domestic trophy of the season, and only the second time the two sides have met at this stage of the competition. The last one didn’t go so well, with a Stevie own goal, a lamed Dudek and Shitcoat shushing the Reds fans turning it into an afternoon to forget. Antonio Nunez actually scored for us in that game! From that team, Stevie is the only one that would get into the current first XI for sure, though from the squad, Xabi is a real possibility. Apart from reaching the final in his first season at the club, it’s not a trophy Klopp has really looked to make a mark in. Games have been used to give squad players a run out and youth players some experience. The manager hasn’t had the resources to put out a second XI stronger than most clubs’ first XIs, unlike Guardiola and City who have dominated the competition in recent years. The club were even forced to field an under-18 line-up for a quarter final at Villa in 2019 because the first team squad were away in Qatar for the Club World Cup and had a game against Monterrey the following day. The EFL knew the Club World Cup is scheduled a week or so before Christmas so they could have easily adjusted the League Cup schedule. Instead they refused to budge and Liverpool were the ones (as usual) to have to take all the shite/bile/bantz [delete as appropriate] from elsewhere about disrespecting the competition and/or English football. Anyway: Motivation. Invention. Luck. Know-how. I don’t ask for much. The last couple of times we’ve beaten the Russian clapping seal’s insurance policy, we’ve gone on to win the competition. The most recent was in 2011/12 when Maxi and Martin Kelly got the goals in a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge just a couple of days after going and winning there in the league. Andre Villas-Boas was the Chelsea manager at the time (not for long), and this is the game where Lucas tore his ACL. He’d probably been in his best form for Liverpool in the month or two prior to this injury. His passing was crisper. His tackling was cleaner. His movement was quicker. He was like a slightly more physical Masch. The previous win against this lot was in the 3rd round at Anfield in November 2000, so before they won the lottery. Murphy got the opener when he hit a low left-footed cross-shot that somehow squirmed under the Chelsea goalkeeper and into the far corner. Zola levelled shortly afterwards with a firm header unchallenged from six yards out past Arphexad, who was making his debut for the club in goal. He was one of those goalkeepers who always wore leggings instead of shorts. I think only the Hungarian Kiraly wore cheapo dirty grey Sports Direct joggers. Anyway, it remained 1-1 so the game entered extra time. Robbie Fowler used to score for fun in this competition, and he it was that bagged the winner with a precise left-footed finish from the edge of the area. The game ended with Heskey shown the red card after a foul that resulted in a bit of handbags. Still, we were through and would go on to claim a trophy treble and turn Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium into Anfield South for a few years. The big box office smash in November 2000 was the flashy movie remake of the hit TV show Charlie’s Angels, directed by the twattishly named McG (remember him? He was even at the helm of one of the Terminator films!), with Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore in the lead roles and Bill Murray as Bosley. It’s all style over substance and too full of itself to even give a nostalgic nod to its small screen predecessor. And it’s soundtracked by one of the worst “girl power” anthems ever - Destiny’s Child’s ‘Independent Women’. So you buy your own diamonds and your own rings? What do you want, a cookie? Buying your own jewellery just means you are into bling, not that you are some modern, independent woman. It’s such a shit song it offends me to even mention it. Now that we’ve come this far in the competition, it’s time to go out and win it and claim Klopp’s maiden League Cup. Chelsea have a few players who miss loads of games but always play (and do quite well) against us. The Big Dunk effect. Tuchel also has them play very pragmatically so while they generally get results, they more often than not do so while being turgid to watch. That doesn’t matter though. What matters is that our players are ready and motivated to deliver the right level of application and mentality. We have the tools, so let’s go out there, grab our own bit of bling, and update the Champion’s Wall.