Liverpool drew 0-0 with West Ham in the FA Cup this evening, unable to find the winner despite being the better side with a weakened XI.
Teixeira had two guilt edged chances in the second, but couldn’t make them count to send us into the 5th Round.
Unsurprisingly, Jurgen Klopp rang the changes again for the FA Cup fixture, saving his first-team players for the Premier League tie with Leicester on Tuesday.
That meant youngsters Smith, Stewart, Brannagan and Teixeira started alongside rotation players such as Allen (captaining), Benteke and Ibe.
The game started slowly, with Liverpool’s youngsters holding their own against a strong Hammers XI. There were no clear cut chances for the first half an hour, as the sides sounded each other out. Ibe carved out the game’s best moment early on, finding space on the left – but his cross was cleared with Benteke waiting to bury. Brannagan, interestingly, delivered a few excellent set-pieces as well – the kind we’ve rarely seen in the Premier League so far this term!
The teenager then slammed a left footed drive from 25-yards, but Randolph got his fingertips to the effort. Stewart, Smith and Teixeira were also doing themselves justice in what was a promising start for the youngsters.
Brannagan then had a tame free-kick effort on goal which hit the wall, and the ref blew up with Klopp surely happy with his side’s first-half performance – despite a lack of chances.
The second-half started in similar fashion to the first. Intriguing, but with little action at either end. Liverpool cleared a set-piece delivery from Dimitri Payet, but all in all, our defending from aerial balls was improved this evening.
Allen was keen to get forward, and almost put Benteke in early – as we started shooting towards the Kop.
In the 62nd minute, we came closest, when Teixeira slammed a high, half-volleyed shot at Randolph. The keeper should have saved it, but it was another example of the 23-year-old Portuguese finding a clever pocket of space.
The same player then missed from 6 yards as Liverpool started to completely dominate, with West Ham on the ropes. Our opponents had beaten us twice so far this season, but with a second string XI, we were massively on top – which won’t have gone unnoticed by the manager.
Ibe then laid Benteke through on goal with a superb through-ball, but Man of the Match Randolph denied us twice.
West Ham looked a shadow of the side that had beaten us twice this term, but we lacked the clinical edge to make them pay for it.
The tidy Teixeira was withdrawn late on. He’s technically good, but reminds us a lot of Suso. Does he have the physicality and intensity to properly make it at Anfield…?
Enrique came on and slammed a free-kick straight into the wall, much to the delight of Twitter – and that was that!
A 0-0 which has earned Liverpool another irritating fixture in an already jam-pacled schedule.
But what can we expect if we pick reserve sides?
Still, the backup players did well today – but again – Liverpool lacked the neccesary cutting edge.