Liverpool booted out of FA Cup

09 January 2019 | Sports

A makeshift Liverpool team containing three teenagers making their senior debuts were beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 in the third round of the FA Cup, with a 30-metre strike by Ruben Neves sealing the win on Monday.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp showed where the competition ranked on the current English Premier League leaders' list of priorities by leaving star forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench until the 70th minute, and they failed to have an impact after coming on.

“I changed a lot because I thought we had to, not because I wanted to,” said Klopp, who justified fielding a weakened team by saying some of key players were absent because of illness or “little problems”.

Klopp, who also used the wind as a reason for his team's below-par display at Molineux, has yet to progress beyond the fourth round of the FA Cup in his four seasons in charge of Liverpool.

Wolves went in front through striker Raul Jimenez in the 38th minute after James Milner lost possession in central midfield, but Liverpool equalised when Divock Origi scored from the edge of the area in the 51st.

Neves regained the lead for Wolves four minutes later, striking a low and fierce shot inside the near-post past the initially unsighted Simon Mignolet.

Klopp started midfielders Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones - aged 18 and 17 respectively - and sent on another debutant, 16-year-old Dutchman Ki-Jana Hoever in the sixth minute, after centre-back Dejan Lovren sustained a hamstring injury.

Hoever, at 16 years and 354 days, became the youngest Liverpool player in FA Cup history and the third-youngest player to make a senior appearance for the team.

His introduction meant Liverpool played the majority of the match with the 16-year-old debutant and Brazil midfielder Fabinho as its central-defensive partnership.

NAMPA/AP

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