Five things we learned from Liverpool’s 2-2 FA Cup draw, including Tiago Ilori analysis

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Here’s our analysis from Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Exeter City.

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Tiago Ilori is real person, but he’s woefully lacking in match fitness…

Ilori made his first Liverpool appearance after arriving at the club two and a half years ago last night. How many times have you seen a centre-back withdrawn with fatigue? In the second-half, the young Portuguese’s legs had totally gone and he was subbed before the end of the game as a result. Jurgen Klopp didn’t look too pleased on the sidelines as the 22-year-old left the boggy field, but Ilori had done ok beforehand. He’s composed on the ball, and it’s excusable that he lacked an understanding with Jose Enrique alongside him – with the Spaniard a natural left-back and not having played in a year.

The three senior pros let themselves and their younger team-mates down, and it won’t have gone unnoticed…

Adam Bogdan’s blunder proves we’ve not replaced Brad Jones with a capable understudy. The Hungarian was beaten by a corner; unforgivable for a Premier League goalkeeper. The suggestions that he should replace Simon Mignolet earlier on this season were stupid. Jose Enrique played at centre-back and was positionally awful. He’s out of contract in the summer and would be largely surprised if he played for the club again. Christian Benteke is a £32.5m striker, but Exeter had him in their back-pockets. Lacked fight, attacking movement or anything of note. His performance will only reaffirm Klopp’s belief that he isn’t up to scratch.

The kids are alright…

Largely, Liverpool’s youthful XI did themselves proud. Ryan Kent and Cameron Brannagan were especially impressive, while Jerome Sinclair scored his first professional goal. Sheyi Ojo injected pace and power into the side off the bench, while Brad Smith needs a pat on the back for his goal as well. On that pitch, Liverpool did well – and the youngsters deserve another chance on Anfield’s carpet to show Jurgen Klopp what they can do.

Klopp’s risk paid off…

The manager risked a humiliation with the side he selected, but it paid off. We’re still in the cup, no players were injured and the usual first-team will be rested ahead of the Arsenal tie. That’s not until Wednesday, meaning the elder pros will have had an eight day break from the Stoke win. Only Benteke could have been considered for the Gunners clash, but we reckon Roberto Firmino will start as no.9 due to the Belgian’s uninspiring FA Cup outing.

We need reinforcements this January…

Liverpool need to buy players capable of doing an immediate job in the first-team this January. We’ve still got 12 out injured and have six games left this month including the replay! The fact Ilori couldn’t last the 90 shows a senior centre-back is desperately needed. Neven Subotic has been strongly linked (via the Mirror for example), and if we can snare the Borussia Dortmund defender that’d be perfect.



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