Eighteen years after Gerrard’s bow, Woodburn makes his mark for Liverpool

The 17-year-old became the club's youngest-ever scorer after finding the back of the net in the 2-0 League Cup quarter-final victory over Leeds

"And his name didn't even make the back sheet of the programme." On this day in 1998, a teenage Steven Gerrard was introduced to the Anfield crowd with that piece of commentary against Blackburn Rovers.

Eighteen years later, Ben Woodburn became Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer - beating Michael Owen’s record by 98 days - with his name also left off the back of the matchday booklet for Tuesday night’s League Cup quarter-final against Leeds United.

Having made his bow in the final minutes of the 2-0 victory over Sunderland at the weekend, the 17-year-old made his first impact for the Reds against Garry Monk’s men with the symmetry complete as Gerrard and Owen watched on from the Main Stand.

Divock Origi got the first on 76 minutes before Woodburn smashed high into the net in front of the Kop shortly afterwards, as Liverpool progressed to the semi-finals on a night when the youngsters starred.

"We know what Ben is capable of and what he is already able to do," Jurgen Klopp said post-match.

"My first job is to help these boys so that they can be the best. In this case, Ben Woodburn. There’s a lot of things to do, especially to keep the public away as long as possible. That’s quite a difficult thing to do.

"But on the other hand, we only bring him in because we want to use him. So that means when he’s on the pitch he’s absolutely allowed to score goals, to prepare situations, to make crosses.

"So, all good. I’m really happy for him. The only problem is I’m a little bit afraid about you [the media]. That why I’m so quiet on this. Think and do what you want, but don’t write anything – only ‘Goalscorer, Ben Woodburn.’ Done. Quite a challenge!"

Ovie Ejaria and Trent Alexander-Arnold also turned in accomplished displays, with the latter setting up the opener. "All the young boys did very well – 17, 18, 19, they did well in a very important game," added the German. "It’s a quarter-final."

It was a triumphant end for Liverpool following a poignant start to proceedings. The singing of You’ll Never Walk Alone prior to kick off felt particularly emotive, with an amplified a cappella version following when the music cut. The tragic plane crash in Colombia on Tuesday morning may have happened on a different continent, but it hit close to home.

Lucas Leiva, Liverpool captain for the night and the club’s longest-serving player, knew some of the Chapecoense footballers aboard the ill-fated aircraft. He asked Klopp whether he could wear a black armband as a mark of respect, with the 49-year-old informing him that every player would do so to pay tribute to those affected by the heart-wrenching disaster, which claimed 71 lives.

A minute’s silence was also impeccably observed, while Liverpool supporters in the Kop too showed their solidarity by recreating a Brazil flag in red.

On an incredibly bitter night on Merseyside, there was little on-pitch action to distract from the freeze. Simon Mignolet made an early intervention to deny Hadi Sacko early on, before comfortably saving from Kemar Roofe.

Gini Wijnaldum - one of just three players to be retained in the starting line-up as Klopp made eight changes from the win over Sunderland - had Liverpool’s first real opportunity. His side-footed effort was tipped over by Marco Silvestri, who later watched Emre Can stab an underhit backpass wide.

Both sides elevated their attacking play in the second 45. Leeds were denied by the woodwork when Roofe’s curler from 20 yards had Mignolet beaten, but came off the inside of the post.

Kyle Bartley then headed a corner wide, before Mignolet did well to get down and deny Roofe.

It was Liverpool’s turn to be denied by the post, with Wijnaldum beating Silvestri with a low shot after being supplied by Sadio Mane, only to curse the frame of the goal.

The hosts didn’t have to wait much longer after that for the breakthrough, though. Origi, the man who finally smashed Sunderland’s resistance on Saturday, bagged the opener again, smartly sliding in to bury a superb ball in from Alexander-Arnold.

With 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Woodburn doubled the advantage after fine build-up from Mane, Origi and Wijnaldum to make his little bit of history and send Liverpool, now unbeaten in 15 games across all competitions, marching on to a record 17th League Cup semi-final.

Klopp promised "something special" from his side ahead of the season, and they have certainly been delivering - regardless of how many alterations the manager makes to his line-up.

"It’s a good moment for LFC, but it’s difficult too because there’s a lot of work to do and a lot of games to play," he said.

"Four weeks ago we had no clean sheets, now we start getting clean sheets but we don’t anymore score six goals in a game and all that stuff. We have problems, we have injuries, we have strong opponents, but we have wonderful people around us, we have a wonderful crowd, a wonderful stadium, wonderful away supporters.

"We go now to Bournemouth – small stadium, but very intense, good team. We are in a good moment until now, but we have to carry on and that’s how it is. We feel good in the moment and we have to carry on. Hopefully it stays like this."