Liverpool's Spanish defender Alberto Moreno (R) celebrates with Liverpool's English midfielder Jordon Ibe (L) after the final whistle of the English League Cup semi-final first leg football match at Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, on January 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / AFP / OLI SCARFF (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool have moved closer to their first major cup final since 2012 with a League Cup semi-final first-leg win away over Stoke.

The Reds had the better of the first half and substitute Jordan Ibe gave them the deserved lead from close range thanks to a sneaky pass from Joe Allen.

Liverpool, who lost Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren to hamstring injuries early on, survived a penalty shout from Glen Whelan after the break.

Bojan then slipped and miscued Stoke's best chance of the match in the first half.

Liverpool's Joe Allen had his own penalty shout rejected later on but the visitors have the advantage going into the second leg.

The Reds, who had Kolo Toure struggling late on with what looked like their third hamstring of the night, won a record eighth League Cup in 2012 by beating Cardiff on penalties, and will be looking to replicate that effort in this year's edition of the tournament.

Stoke will travel to Anfield on the 27th of January for the second-leg of the semi-final tie.

League Cup action will continue tomorrow morning with Everton hosting three-time winners Manchester City with kick off at 7:00am AEST.