London: Takumi Minamino scored twice as Liverpool beat fellow Premier League side Norwich City at Carrow Road to reach the Carabao Cup fourth round.
The visitors led after four minutes as Minamino produced a sharp turn and finish from Divock Origi’s knockdown.
Caoimhin Kelleher denied Norwich an equaliser before half-time, saving Christos Tzolis’ penalty with his foot.
Origi headed in Konstantinos Tsimikas’ cross five minutes after the break and Minamino slotted in a late third.
Both managers made nine changes from the weekend’s Premier League matches, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp handing debuts to teenagers Kaide Gordon and Conor Bradley from the start – plus Tyler Morton as a substitute.
The highly rated 16-year-old Gordon, signed from Championship side Derby County for an initial £1.1m in February, hinted at his potential as he fired narrowly wide after driving inside from the right midway through the first half.
Norwich improved as the opening period wore on but Adam Idah shot directly at Kelleher and Tzolis failed to deliver from the penalty spot after Bradley had fouled Dimitris Giannoulis.
And Liverpool moved out of reach after Pierre Lees-Melou missed a glorious opportunity to equalise early in the second half, with Minamino’s well-taken second from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s through ball sealing a comfortable victory.
Norwich manager Daniel Farke, said, ‘We wanted to win the Carabao Cup and now we can’t. I am disappointed with this.I know how much I measure this cup and I would like to win but we also had to be smart in our team selection and rest some players. Overall I was pleased with our performance. We created so many situations but we were unable to convert our key chances.’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, said, ‘It was not possible to be a perfect day today because we had to make too many changes to have natural solutions for the problems we would have in the game.’
The kids did exceptionally well. All three were physically strong and maybe the biggest surprise was they could all go 90 minutes. I’m really happy for them because it was a big moment.