Liverpool’s League Cup adventure continues into the last eight after they saw off Preston by a couple of second-half goals, with a totally rotated team.
Preston North End 0-2 Liverpool
Deepdale, League Cup Fourth Round
October 27, 2021
Goals: Minamino 62′, Origi 84′
Adrian – 8 (out of 10)
Stood up well to save a one-on-one, then made a great stop flying across his line when it looked easier for the attacker to score.
Had absolutely nothing to do second half which is just as it should be, and his throwing out, in particular, was nice and quick. Well played.
Neco Williams – 8 (Man of the Match)
Face? Hand? Shoulder? You decide – but big credit to Neco all the same for getting back into position and on the line to make the block irrespective of what with.
Moved into the forward line after the break and his driving run and clipped cross assisted the opener. Also involved in the second, seeing a shot blocked before Origi notched.
Should have squared for Taki late on!
Joel Matip – 6
Not the finest 45 minutes he’ll have all season – this was Matip at half-pace, half-concentration and half-match.
Only played the first half as a pre-planned change but he was caught 15 yards behind play, playing two forwards onside, during Preston’s triple chance – then couldn’t cut out the low ball into the box.
A few decent passes out and one good interception, but basically this was a fitness exercise.
Joe Gomez – 6
That triple chance came as a result of Gomez losing the ball, trying to take on his man and being unable to, and it wasn’t his first error of judgement.
Earlier he had failed to react quick enough to turn and track an onrushing midfielder; he did just about get back to put him off in the shot, but it looked a struggle for Gomez to hit top gear anywhere near as quickly as he did previously.
Improved after the break on the ball and won a few aerials.
Kostas Tsimikas – 7
Not as rampaging as he was at the start of the campaign, which is perhaps a consequence of barely playing since the international break.
Didn’t really do too much wrong, but not able to pick out too many good deliveries either. That was a cross, right?!
Tyler Morton – 7
Grew into the match on his first senior start and looked more assured as the 90 went on.
Some really smart passes fired into feet between the lines and covered well in front of the defence. One or two very strong tackles in the centre of the park.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6
A very domestic cup mix: some moments of excitement and twice he went close with spectacular efforts, but more frequently it was a case of overplaying and being inaccurate.
Several passes seeking the overlap run went straight out of play and he clearly lacked rhythm after not a whole lot of involvement of late.
Curtis Jones – 7
Decent for the most part, if a little individualistic once or twice when he probably wouldn’t do so in the Premier League.
Carried the ball well, worked back plenty, played neat combinations and got minutes under his belt. Will be needed in the next few line-ups no doubt.
Harvey Blair – 6
A surprise starter, the assumption is that he had impressed in training perhaps across the international break – as he certainly hasn’t had the chance to do so in U23 games.
A few instances where his pace got him into good areas but wasn’t able to make the ball stick too much – what an experience, though!
Divock Origi – 7
It’s hard to pick out too much Origi did in the first 80 minutes of the game…but on this occasion, it’s also hard to pinpoint the blame at his feet.
He did certainly make plenty of runs on this occasion, offering himself up off the ball, but the volume of centre-backs and the shoddy passing from the lines behind him simply gave Origi no service.
Until, obviously, he produced a moment of body-bending brilliance to scorpion one into the net.
Takumi Minamino – 7
Similar to a few others in that some of his touches belied the fact he hasn’t played an awful lot – he’s yet to play a minute in the league this season.
Even so, Taki remains good at finding little spaces in crowded areas and that’s what got him his goal, running across the defender to cleverly hook one in. Wanted another late on but the pass didn’t come his way.
Nat Phillips (on for Matip, 46′) – 7 – His first minutes of the season and defended well throughout.
Conor Bradley (on for Blair, 54′) – 6 – Nothing to complain about, helped shore up play down that flank.
Elija Dixon-Bonner (on for Jones, 90′) – N/A
Owen Beck (on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 90′) – N/A
Subs not used: Hughes, Pitaluga, Konate, Jota, Firmino
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Other than merely play the first team again, there’s not really much more Jurgen Klopp could have done here – injuries and unavailability mean this was what he was left with.
He wasn’t a happy bunny in the first half as the Reds were loose and sloppy off the ball, slow and uninspired on it, but he made a good change pushing Neco onto the right wing which made a huge difference.
Subs thereafter were to rest one or two, which is fine, so it’s job done and out the way – and onto bigger challenges.