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Player ratings: Fulham 1-1 Liverpool (2-3 on aggregate)

Written by George Rossiter on 25th January 2024

George Rossiter has the ratings for the second leg of the League Cup semi-final.

It was heartbreak for the Whites at Craven Cottage as one of Fulham’s greatest-ever cup runs came to an end at the hands of Premier League leaders Liverpool. Despite a lacklustre first half where Fulham were constantly poor on the ball, Issa Diop’s late goal in the tie gave Silva’s side brief hope. Alas, it was not to be. Not this year, anyway…

Bernd Leno

While not necessarily at fault, Leno definitely won’t be happy to have seen Diaz’s deflected effort squeeze past him at his front post to further Liverpool’s first leg advantage. Went onto make a number of important saves; one came from Harvey Elliott on the end of a dangerous counter attack and the most impressive came from a Darwin Nunez effort an hour in, which was tipped brilliantly round the post. 6.5/10

Timothy Castagne

Really struggled to lay a glove on Luis Diaz all night to be honest. Got caught ball watching massively as the long ball came over to his side of the pitch for Liverpool’s goal, and was beaten far too easily in the air by Diaz who went onto score the opportunity. Didn’t offer anything in an attacking capacity either, rarely crossing the halfway line to help Fulham create anything in the final third. One of the Belgian’s weaker performances this season for sure. 5/10


Considering the pressure Fulham came under in the first half from Liverpool’s constant waves of attacks, Tosin seemed to be the one man with complete composure on the ball in our own half. Made an incredibly impressive challenge half an hour in on Nunez who would’ve been through one-on-one with Leno had Tosin not timed it to perfection. Imperious in the air in both boxes too, which neatly led to an assist for Andreas, whose effort hit the post. 7.5/10 – Man of the match

Issa Diop

The Frenchman made a number of key last-ditch interceptions in his own box early on which was important considering Liverpool’s dominance and his own tendencies to have big lapses in concentration. Was slightly wasteful in possession at times in the first half, which put Fulham on the back foot, but he certainly wasn’t the only one. Proper striker’s finish to get Fulham back into the tie, putting himself in the right place at the right time. 7/10

Antonee Robinson

Robinson looked to be proactive early on, offering overlapping opportunities for Willian going forward and defending proactively, stepping up on Liverpool’s right hand side. Unlike him, however, he seemed to regress in confidence in the game, not busting a gut to join in with our attacks as often. He was another one who started struggling in possession the more Liverpool dominated the ball. 6/10

Joao Palhinha

Had the first big chance of the contest in the seventh minute, where he found himself free in the box but volleyed Pereira’s corner well over the bar. It started to become really frustrating just how many long diagonal passes Palhinha was trying and failing to execute, especially when Liverpool were having enough possession as it was already. Grew into the game slightly as Fulham put up more of a fight in the closing stages but overall it wasn’t the performance you’d have expected from our best player on a big night. 5.5/10

Tom Cairney

I think from a tactical point of view, Cairney was wasted in the first half. His style of play isn’t suited to playing 60-70 yards away from the opposition goal, it’s near impossible for our most creative players to create chances from their own half. We looked our best in possession in the second half when TC advanced further up the pitch and moved the ball a bit quicker, linking up more often with the likes of Willian. If Silva was intent on playing with two deeper midfielders for the majority of the contest, it might’ve been a game for Reed to have started. 6.5/10

Andreas Pereira

Just another really frustrating performance. There can’t be many top division sides across Europe where the player in the number 10 position is so talented and has such an ability to create, but fails to create chances so often in open play. Some of his sloppiness in possession even started to anger himself, including a completely miscued pass late on when Fulham were pressing for an equaliser which went straight out of play. Was unlucky to hit the post from a tight angle but who knows what might’ve been had that found the net. 5/10

Bobby De Cordova-Reid

Hard to find much to say about Bobby’s performance on the night because he wasn’t involved much in an attacking capacity. Whether that be down to Castagne’s lack of attacking support down the right or Fulham’s preference to attack more often down the left, it was just quite an anonymous showing from the Jamaican. Had one chance in the second half which was blocked by Joe Gomez on the right side of the Liverpool box but that’s about as exciting as it got. 5.5/10


Definitely Fulham’s bright spark in an attacking sense on the night. When we looked nervous in the first half, you could tell Willian was the player with big game experience as he tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck and run rings round the Liverpool defence. That probably made it all the more frustrating that the Brazilian didn’t see enough of the ball in the second half to create or score another goal for Fulham. 7/10

Raul Jimenez

Looked energetic in the early stages and to his credit ran for everything that got lumped aimlessly into Liverpool’s half. Started to look frustrated at how often the ball ran away from him instead of coming straight to his feet and by the end of the first half almost looked like giving up in some duels. Forced a good save from Kelleher with a low long range effort that was heading towards the bottom corner around half an hour in, but that’s as much as we saw in terms of chances on goal for the Mexican. 5.5/10


Harry Wilson

Subbed on after 67 minutes for Bobby De Cordova-Reid

Really looked to change the game when he came on. Occupied all sorts of areas in the final third, sometimes centrally and sometimes on the right, injecting more pace and creativity into our side. Did brilliantly to beat his man and create Diop’s goal and then nearly scored himself from range if not for a big save from Kelleher. 7.5/10

Rodrigo Muniz, Kenny Tete and Harrison Reed (subbed on after 83 minutes for Tom Cairney, Timothy Castagne and Andreas Pereira) subbed on too late to be fairly assessed.

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