A young Liverpool side emerged as 1-0 victors over Everton in the FA Cup, leaving fans plenty to enjoy after the final whistle.
As expected, Jurgen Klopp rung the changes as the Reds took to the field for the third round of the FA Cup – leaving the door ajar for Everton‘s first win at Anfield since 1995.
But regardless of a change in personnel, the result was the same as a second-half beauty from Curtis Jones was enough to see Liverpool pile further misery on their rivals as they progressed to the fourth round of the competition.
The outing was one which was full of swagger and confidence across the park and ensures the Reds remain in the hunt for another piece of silverware this season.
Here, This Is Anfield’s Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) and Matt Ladson (@mattladson) are joined by Jack Gill (@jacklfcgill) to delve into the positives and negatives from the victory and discuss the fourth round plans.
Jack: The atmosphere was superb, as you expect for a Derby. The Kop was fantastic throughout. Singing Big Dunc’s tampon song was my personal favourite of the day.
The good today, where do I start? I came out of that game feeling overwhelmed with pride. Yes, Everton were poor but every single player on that pitch in an LFC shirt put in a fantastic performance and the young players showed how bright the future is at the club.
Jones’ goal was exceptional and I thought Neco Williams, Pedro Chirivella and Harvey Elliott also produced performances to be proud of.
Joe Gomez and Adrian were important defensively and Adam Lallana did well as the leader on the pitch. Good to see Minamino’s debut too, it was a positive performance from him but I wish he’d taken that chance in the first half in front of the Kop, would’ve been brilliant that!
This club deserves a massive amount of respect, from top to bottom everything is perfect at the moment. The job Klopp has done since coming in is absolutely unbelievable.
Was also good to see Ox return from his injury looked bright when he came on.
Matt: Can’t argue with anything Jack’s said there.
I really enjoyed the game; everything about it. To get a cleansheet, so many players to play well, it was – barring Milner’s injury – a perfect day.
I was particularly pleased for Chirivella. Thought he just did his job well, nothing fancy. He seems like a really nice person, never complained, just got on with things despite perhaps some difficulties. Whatever happens in his future, he’ll always have this game to remember.
We’ve not really mentioned Yasser Larouci, but to come on so early and perform was superb for the lad.
Joanna: I can still hardly believed what happened, to be honest – and I’m still laughing.
How the hell did a strong Everton side like that fail to put a glove on us? I know they had their chances in the first but did they even come out for the second?
To a man, every player was simply exceptional for the Reds and played in the same manner that you would expect from our regular first team, with confidence aplenty.
The afternoon started well when Ox was named on the bench, an early return from injury which comes as a major boost for the weeks ahead, and it only got better.
A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and those players are likely to have earned themselves another bite at the cherry in the fourth round.
I love this club.
Jack: As far as I’m concerned, the only negative today was James Milner’s injury, hopefully, he’s not out for too long at all!
Looking at Everton, there are loads of negatives for them, they were awful and have a lot to do in January hahahahahahaha!
Matt: Milner’s injury really is the only negative.
Klopp may not have really wanted another game, but that fourth-round tie will offer another massive opportunity for some of these youngsters.
I thought Phillips improved as the game went on and an uneasy start can be expected given his circumstances.
The only bad was Everton. Honestly, how bad were they! Theo Walcott, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, absolutely shocking performances.
Joanna: As Jack noted, there’s little to really point to in a negative sense aside from the injury to Milner.
We just can’t catch a break in midfield at the moment, but hopefully it is only short-term.
Nat Phillips struggled early doors but that was to be expected, but after a win like that there is no point nitpicking.
And would you field a similar side again in the fourth round, regardless of the opposition?
Jack: Yes, I would play that team in the next round. I’m desperate for the league and CL double and our players have played a lot of games so can be rested on weekends where we have the FA Cup.
I also have faith in that side we put out today, lots of people kicked off hearing the team but not me. The energy in that side is unbelievable and they pressed Everton so, so well.
I’m hoping for an easy draw though, a nice game to play a young side and have faith in going through to the next round.
I bet we have a lot of offers for our youngsters on loan over the next few weeks, looking at the ones that played today, they’re capable of walking into the first team of probably half the teams in the league.
Matt: Yes, but then if we have Lovren, Matip, Shaqiri, Fabinho, Keita etc back fit, then our second XI is even stronger.
I guess much will depend on who we draw. These lads won’t be daunted by any opposition, but a winnable game at home, get another experience for them would be nice.
The game itself might also work well for giving some fitness to those who are/will be returning from injury around that time too.
Joanna: Absolutely. While Klopp will no doubt be eager to give them all another chance it will also likely be out of necessity as well.
The tie is set to sit between the league trips to Wolves and West Ham at the end of the month, a run which will see us play three games in six days – not to mention another Premier League following soon after.
But for me, regardless of the opposition the young guns deserve another chance and they looked at home again on Sunday and it is clear their confidence is rising with every opportunity they are given.
They all showed as individuals and as a unit that they are capable of getting the job done and next time I won’t be so pessimistic heading into the game.
* The FA Cup fourth round draw is at 7.35pm GMT on Monday night.