Lucas scored his first goal in almost seven years, which sent Liverpool into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Lucas, who wore the captains armband against Plymouth Argyle, climbed superbly to power home a header from an 18th-minute corner by Philippe Coutinho.
His last goal came back in 2010 in the Europa League, when Ben Woodburn was just ten years old!!
Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Lucas, Moreno; Stewart, Coutinho, Ejaria; Woodburn, Sturridge, Origi
Subs: Mignolet, Klavan, Williams, Wilson, Alves, Ojo, Randall
- Jurgen Klopp making nine changes from Sunday’s team that faced Man Utd, only Alexander-Arnold and Origi retaining their places.
- Matip didn’t play due to not being given cleared by FIFA due to AFCON.
- Home Park was a 17,048 sell-out for the game.
- Lucas’ header put Liverpool ahead after a strong start from the visitors.
- Trent Alexander-Arnold intervened to deny Plymouth an equaliser shortly before half-time.
- Harry Wilson made his first-team debut as a second-half substitute for Coutinho.
- Origi missed a late penalty.
- 2500 Liverpool fans made the near 600 mile round trip, many arriving back home at 5am Thursday morning!
- Liverpool face Wolves on 28th January in 4th round.
In the first game against Plymouth Argyle, Klopp named the youngest-ever Liverpool line-up in the club’s history. That decision came under some criticism as many thought Klopp was devaluing the FA Cup. I was so happy to see youth again being given an opportunity to shine. Although rather interestingly Klopp selected the experience of Coutinho and Sturridge to guide the youngsters into the fourth round.
Liverpool looked in charge of the game pretty much from the start, just as initial thoughts in the buildup suggested. With both Sturridge and Coutinho having attempts on goal before Lucas made the breakthrough.
The stand-in Reds’ skipper made a darting near-post run and nodded Coutinho’s corner past Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick for his first goal in more than six years.
Loris Karius continued his great work from the Southampton Cup game, with a clever palm away from Graham Carey’s long-range shot.
Man of the match Trent Alexander-Arnold denied Paul Garita an opportunity to score, clever block from behind in the penalty area. Moments later he was sending in crosses to the front two of Sturridge and Origi. Alexander-Arnold had an impressive game and energetic and defensively solid. In fact the exact opposite to Alberto Moreno, who again turned in a worryingly poor performance on the opposite side – beaten easily and slow to react to danger.
Sadly, it wasn’t a very memorable Liverpool performance for the final 45 minutes. Liverpool really struggled to put the game out of Plymouth’s reach. Not helped at all by the fact Sturridge’s touch was constantly letting him down, he had a lack of urgency and his sharpness on the ball was also missing.
On the 74th minute Klopp again demonstrated why many consider him the best in the world for youth development as he brought on Harry Wilson.
Wilson has impressed hugely this season for the U23’s, scoring 19 goals and posting 9 assists. He became the 13th academy product to debut under Klopp’s leadership.
The 19-year-old’s energy and enthusiasm was there for all to see. Almost immediately marking the occasion with a goal. Charging down a loose ball, McCormick’s clearance hit him on the legs then the ball went over the bar. McCormick providing a cheeky ruffle of Wilson’s hair.
Wilson’s introduction highlighted more that there was / is something wrong with our front two of Sturridge and Origi. An uninspiring night for both of them, on the fringes of the action for the majority of the night. Origi’s touch was also sloppy and slow. Missing the penalty really wouldn’t have helped his confidence at all.
Despite that all, it made no difference to the final outcome as we progress to the next round.
- Victory and progress.
- Run out for Coutinho.
- Alexander-Arnold again proving to be more than an understudy for Clyne.
- Additional game time for Gomez.
- A rare goal for Lucas to treasure.
Actually, putting it all into perspective, wasn’t a bad night after all!!