Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp hailed the potential of Ben Woodburn after the teenage striker broke Michael Owen’s record as the club’s youngest goalscorer in Tuesday's EFL Cup quarter-final victory over Leeds.
Aged 17 years and 45 days, academy graduate Woodburn, a Wales Under-19 international, eclipsed the previous record set by former England frontman Owen by 98 days.
Woodburn’s strike, in only his second senior appearance, added to Divock Origi’s opener as Liverpool edged past a stubborn and at times threatening Leeds side, who defied their status as Championship fodder.
“The club is nearly 125 years old so I am quite surprised there has not been a younger scorer,” said Klopp. “We all know how young Ben is but he doesn’t show it in training.
“He grows quicker than other players in his skill set so that’s really nice. It’s a nice story and all the boys are really happy for him. Everybody is smiling in the dressing room. It’s a good moment for him and a good moment for us.”
Leeds, currently fifth in the second tier, acquitted themselves well throughout and Liverpool breathed a huge sigh of relief when former Oxford striker Kemar Roofe crashed a curling effort against the post shortly before the hour mark.
Liverpool replied in kind with Georginio Wijnaldum striking the woodwork before the Reds surged into the lead on 76 minutes as Origi poked home a wicked cross from right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The Reds sealed victory with 10 minutes remaining as Woodburn lashed home his maiden Liverpool strike after a sumptuous, flowing move involving Origi, Sadio Mane and Wijnaldum.
Hull joined Liverpool in the last four after defeating Newcastle 3-1 on penalties. Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle and Yoan Gouffran all missed spot-kicks for Championship table-toppers Newcastle after the scores were locked at 1-1 after extra time.