Liverpool eased to a 3-0 win over Exeter City in the FA Cup 3rd Round this evening, thanks to goals from Joe Allen, Sheyi Ojo and Joao Teixeira.
The result flattered our League Two opponents, who were out of their depth away from home after putting up a great fight in the draw last time out.
Jurgen Klopp picked the kids again, with Jose Enrique captaining another very inexperienced FA Cup side.
Senior stars such as Allen, Simon Mignolet, Jordon Ibe and Christian Benteke started, but Kevin Stewart, Connor Randall, Brad Smith, Cameron Brannagan and Joao Teixeira all got a start, as did Simon Mingolet in goal following Adam Bogdan’s blunder last time out.
Exeter on the other hand started with a very, very experienced side – with old Liverpool enemy Clinton Morrison up top!
Within the first 15 minutes, Liverpool took the lead through Allen – the Welshman clearly in goalscoring form right now.
Brad Smith played a one-two with Benteke down the left and fed the midfielder, who poked home from six yards out.
Liverpool were purring, and Benteke nodded over twice soon after when he should have scored. That was sadly the story of the night from the £32.5m striker, who again missed an absolute sitter at the death.
We were getting plenty of love down both flanks early on, with the fullbacks and wingers happy to stand up crosses for the big Belgian.
Before half-time, Allen had another chance to score and Ibe, who’d been beating players for fun out on the right, slammed two right-footed efforts just off target.
In truth, it was all too easy, and the score would have been the same after 45 with or without a keeper between the sticks.
At the start of the second Anfield heard its biggest cheer, with Jon Flanagan brought on at right-back to replace Randall. He hasn’t played in over 630 days, but looked composed and assured on the right of defence.
Despite a few longer balls into our box, Liverpool continued their domination, with Ibe causing countless problems down both flanks. He cut in from the right and slammed a left-footed thunderbolt against the bar, and replays proved that it didn’t cross the line despite the Kop initially thinking they’d seen a screamer.
Sheyi Ojo then replaced Allen and went over to the right-wing, with Ibe swapping to the left. And it worked immediately. The slightly more experienced attacker dribbled through the centre and fed Ojo in the penalty area. The 18-year-old then cut inside and slotted a beautiful finish to confirm our passage into the 4th Round.
What a talent!
With the game now won, Benteke finally injected some class of his own. The Belgian held up the ball exceptionally before feeding Teixeira, who’d moved to the left after Ibe was subbed, through on goal.
The young Portuguese gave the keeper the eyes and curled in to put deserved polish on the result.
Amazing assist from Benteke and a brilliant finish from Teixeira! pic.twitter.com/lSMHxEMElz
— Liverpool FC Vines (@LFC_Vines) January 20, 2016
Liverpool now host West Ham in the 4th Round, which is the first time we’ve met the Hammers in the competition since ‘The Gerrard Final’ back in 2005.