Liverpool sealed qualification for the quarter finals of the League Cup with a 2-0 victory over Championship side Preston North End last night. Jürgen Klopp made eleven changes to the side and gave full debuts to 18 year olds Tyler Morton and Harvey Blair as goals from Minamino and Origi sealed the win. We pick the bones out of the performance and look at what comes next.

Player ratings from the game can be found here:

° MOTM Morton. The 18 year old was our Man of the Match as he put in an assured performance belying his tender years. He barely gave the ball away, with his passing accuracy of 94%, the highest of any player to complete the game. It was his pass that opened up the game, as he put Williams in behind the Preston defence. Till that point, it had been a drab performance by the Reds with no shots on target. Like Klopp said post match, if he can hit the gym, he’ll be some player.

° Great night for the Academy. Alex Inglethorpe and his Academy coaches will be absolutely buzzing after three players made debuts of some sort last night. Morton and Blair made their full debuts whilst Dixon-Bonner came on in added time to make his Liverpool debut. Conor Bradley came on as well for the last half hour in what was his second outing for the senior team. Another Academy graduate in Curtis Jones also started, but Curtis is now a fully fledged senior squad member.

° Captain’s performance. Stand in skipper Joe Gomez was another who enjoyed a strong outing. After a shaky first half, he came out after the break and was imperious, halting almost every attack single handedly. He registered the most touches (138), completed the most passes (119), completed the most long balls (6), won the most duels (9), won the most aeriel duels (8/8) and made the most recoveries (13) on the night. Impressive.

° Adrian saves. The 34 year old came in for his first appearance since February and he didn’t disappoint. He was our joint MOTM as he kept us in the game with a couple of great point blank saves. During the first half, the Reds had all the possession but Preston had all the chances. If not for Adrian, we would have gone behind in the game and possibly been knocked out. He gets a lot of criticism for his past errors, but that was an excellent performance last night.

° Ox disappoints. Oxlade-Chamberlain came on against Atletico Madrid and Manchester United in the past week and was bright as a button. Unfortunately, he couldn’t build on those cameos against Championship opposition last night. He attempted the most shots (3) for Liverpool but didn’t manage to get any on target. He also completed the most dribbles (5) in the game but had no end product as he failed to create a single chance. He was unlucky to see a fierce drive go just past the post though.

° That goal! Divock Origi is an enigma wrapped inside a riddle, enclosed in a puzzle. The 26 year old lives for this competition it seems. He coloured a largely anonymous night (fewest touches of the ball of any player to complete the game) with an extraordinary finish to seal the game for his side. His record in the League Cup now stands at 15 matches, 10 starts, 11 goals. Him and Minamino have scored all five of our goals in the competition this season.

Origi scored a goal of the competition contender

° Last eight awaits. We’ve had luck with the draw this season and we are now into the quarter finals for the first time since Klopp’s debut season. Winners of this trophy only receive £100k but that’s moot. We’re record holders with 8 triumphs and the Champions Wall at the AXA Training ground doesn’t have a column for prize winnings. Success breeds success, and we’re closer to winning this competition than we have been in a long time. Now Sunderland at Anfield next please.



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