“Star in the making” Jones rings Shankly’s legendary quip true – Media on Liverpool 1-0 Everton

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Everything to do with Liverpool’s 1-0 FA Cup win over Everton was praised by the media – with the youngsters, the performance and Jurgen Klopp all lauded.

Never has Bill Shankly’s legendary phrase been more true.

Curtis Jones’ stunning curler earned one of the sweetest derby-day wins of all time to prove Liverpool do indeed have the two best teams in the city.

It was an incredible afternoon at Anfield, and Klopp will never have been more proud of his players during his time in charge.

Here is all the analysis from the media after the remarkable victory.

 

Reporters reflected on an extraordinary result, assessing it Liverpool’s “greatest-ever derby win”…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring the first goal with team-mate Pedro Chirivella during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That was the view of the Liverpool Echo’s Ian Doyle:

In some respects, it was Liverpool’s greatest-ever derby win, achieved with a team that, from nine minutes in, contained three debutants, four teenagers and only one of the side that beat Sheffield United on Thursday.

Everton, full strength, in form, packed with experience and overwhelming favourites, saw opportunity knocking for a first win at Anfield since September 1999 – some 7,405 days ago.

The Telegraph’s Jason Burt labelled the defeat “a humiliation” for Everton, and thought that the cup tie showed the gulf between the arch-rivals currently:

Jones’ brilliant second-half goal gave Liverpool a hugely deserved victory and with Jurgen Klopp fielding a second-string team it exposed the gulf between these two clubs at present.

For Evertonians this felt like new depths of humiliation.

The Guardian’s David Hytner wrote how this victory brings a feeling that it is “a fairytale season” for the Reds:

Liverpool were the more cohesive team throughout and the celebrations at full-time, led by Klopp, provided the latest snapshot in what has come to feel like a fairytale season.

[…]

For the home support, it was an occasion to trot out the old line from Bill Shankly, the one about this city having two great teams – Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.

ESPN’s Mark Ogden pondered whether there is another fan base in world football that suffers as much at the hands of their most bitter rivals, as Evertonians do with the Reds:

It is difficult to imagine a more pained and suffering fan base in world football than Everton‘s at this moment in time.

Not only are they constantly failing to deliver, their local rivals are blowing everyone else away and winning the big trophies, too.

 

The media assessed the Reds worthy winners and explained how victory was special reward for Klopp…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's Curtis Jones (L) shakes hands with manager Jürgen Klopp as he celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The BBC’s Phil McNulty wrote how Liverpool “have forgotten how to lose” and felt Everton simply couldn’t cope with the energy of the young Reds’ performance:

Liverpool are the team who have forgotten how to lose – and they were playing an Everton side who have long forgotten how to win at Anfield.

Klopp took no chances with his big players but the Reds still had too much energy for this laboured Everton team.

Doyle thought Liverpool were superior all over the pitch, noting how the “sheer desire” Klopp instils in every team he picks shone through:

Liverpool’s youth and the sheer desire that courses through every team Klopp fields was simply too much for Everton.

Blues midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin was so late to most things it’s a surprise he made kick-off on time.

ESPN’s James Capps commended Klopp’s courage in selecting such a youthful team, and noted how the performance was repayment for that faith:

It takes a great deal of bravery to field so many youngsters against your fiercest rivals, but Klopp’s courage was met with an excellent Reds display that was full of energy and heart.

Richard Jolly, writing for The National, assessed it was a game which saw “the winning mentality” Klopp has installed throughout the club come to the fore:

It says something about Liverpool’s winning mentality that they can triumph even in a Merseyside derby with a second-string side.

[…]

A glorified reserve team beat a full-strength Everton.

The display of a much-changed side showed how Klopp is “nearing perfection” in the way he has imprinted his philosophy at all levels of the club, wrote David Lynch for Standard Sport:

The German has spent four years imprinting his football philosophy on Liverpool’s first team, and is nearing perfection in that regard as one look at the league table proves. But to see a reserve side show everything that is good about the Reds at the moment, and against Everton’s best? This is new territory.

It says everything about the scrope of Klopp’s influence at Anfield that a combination of youngsters and fringe players produced a performance that had his fingerprints all over it.

And the Mail’s Ian Ladyman was thoroughly impressed with how well the young Reds replicated the first-team game-plan:

But what became apparent as time wore on was that Liverpool’s young midfield was superior to Everton‘s. With that superiority came possession and with that possession eventually came pressure.

[…]

The essence of Liverpool’s football – the hard running, the press, the sheer bloody-mindedness of it – was being played by different faces but was nonetheless entirely recognisable.

 

The kids are alright – especially match-winner Jones…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

First of all, Doyle reflected on what will have been an immensely proud day for Liverpool’s academy staff:

What a strike. What a moment. And what vindication for the Academy set-up at Kirkby, and Klopp’s faith in the talent it produces.

Jolly labelled Jones “a star in the making” and assessed that the youngster proved he has both “the temperament and talent” for the biggest stage:

At 18, the Liverpudlian had already shown he has the temperament and the talent for the big occasion.

He scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Arsenal. This felt proof that Liverpool have a star in the making.

The Mirror’s Alex Richards eulogised on Jones’ “breakout” performance, and stated that he should now be considered for first-team selection:

That changed here. Overall he was extremely diligent in midfield, where he offered athleticism and movement, backing up the front three and showing the kind of responsibility with mature use of the ball that I’ve felt has lacked in previous first-team showings.

Then came his goal, a magnificent curling strike; when the ball came back to him from Origi, he knew exactly what he wanted to do, and did just that. In many ways, this was his coming out party.

McNulty labelled Jones’ goal “a moment of genius” and was also mightily impressed by the maturity and composure the young Reds showed in seeing out the game:

It was a moment of genius from Jones that made the difference before Liverpool closed out the victory with maturity and without problems from a bitterly disappointing Everton.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's Neco Williams during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Discussing the other young Reds, Neil Jones, writing for Goal.com, was impressed by young full-backs Yasser Larouci and Neco Williams:

Yasser Larouci, a Frenchman signed from Le Havre as flying winger, since converted into a rough and ready full-back by Barry Lewtas, the under-18 coach.

Larouci, like fellow teen Neco Williams on the opposite flank, was outstanding, so confident, and oh so fearless. Remember those names, whatever you do.

Lynch was particularly impressed with Williams, and thinks that the right-back showed his readiness to be the back-up option needed to support Trent Alexander-Arnold:

Whether it was putting in a dangerous cross or getting back on the cover to put in a crucial tackle, Williams did everything Klopp would have asked on both sides of the ball.

Should Alexander-Arnold face a spell on the sidelines any time soon, his replacement has surely become a little clearer.

The Mirror’s Andy Dunn believes Klopp will have full confidence in this young team to take on anyone in the next round:

Whoever Liverpool draw in the fourth round, Klopp can, if he wishes, field a similar outfit to the one who simply outpassed and outfought a woeful Everton.

 

Senior figures were also praised, while journalists discussed Takumi Minamino’s debut…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2020: Liverpool's new signing Japan international Takumi Minamino during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 235th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Richards praised Adrian’s fine shot-stopping display and stated how the Spaniard has proven to be an inspired piece of business:

Ever since, whenever he has been called upon, the 33 year-old has been pretty damn good for the Reds, and he kept them in the game with a number of fine stops in the first half here.

The Echo’s Paul Gorst applauded Adam Lallana’s work in guiding the young Reds, and wrote that Klopp should tie the experienced midfielder down to a new deal:

The former Southampton skipper took responsibility and turned in an excellent performance befitting of the armband. On this evidence, sign him up for another year.

The 31-year-old was an inspiration in midfield combining an indefatigable work ethic with some silk and style in the engine room.
James Milner’s new deal is proof that age is no barrier to furthering an Anfield career and Lallana must go into the same category.

Lynch reflected on an “exciting start” for Takumi Minamino, particularly noting how the new No.18 showed glimpses of why he is perfect for Klopp’s team:

The Japan international didn’t look like someone playing Klopp’s system for the first time as he pressed expertly and showed his threat both on the break and in tight areas.

[…]

Of course, there is much, much more to come from Minamino, but this is just the start – and an exciting one at that.

The Independent’s Mark Critchley was impressed by how Minamino already “looked up to speed” and feels he showed signs of being the ideal deputy for Roberto Firmino:

Most importantly of all, he looked up to speed with the specific demands that Klopp makes of his players and able to carry those duties out.

[…]

You would struggle to find a more diligent and hard-working centre-forward than Firmino but Liverpool believe they may now have just that.

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