Liverpool overcame Cardiff City at Anfield to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup. A goalless first half was quickly forgotten by the time Jota opened the scoring. Minamino made it 2-0 before Harvey Elliott scored a dream goal on his return from injury. Cardiff scored a consolation late on but it is Liverpool who go through.

Read on for player ratings from the encounter:

Kelleher – 5.5

Didn’t have any save to make first half. Second half he was lucky not to see red after a rash tackle on Harris after he came a long way out and missed the ball. Not much he could have done for their goal.

Alexander-Arnold – 7

There were a couple of poor deliveries and attempts from direct free kicks first half. He improved second half and notched another assist with a fantastic delivery for Jota to head home and open the scoring.

Konaté – 5

Thought he looked shaky at times. He was easily spun and then almost gave away a penalty when he seemed to have bundled Harris over in the box. He didn’t cover himself in glory for their goal either as he failed to spot Colwill’s run.

Van Dijk – 7.5

Played well. Had to turn on the afterburners a couple of times to deal with balls in behind. Sensibly calmed the game down straight after they scored. That period of possession he initiated took the sting out of the game and meant Cardiff couldn’t build any momentum after pulling one back.

Tsimikas – 8

Cardiff tried to rough him up a couple of time’s, with NG going in on him at every opportunity. Kostas is a fighter though and gave as good as he got. He was a constant threat down the left flank and was unlucky not to be credited with an assist when his cross was missed by Firmino first half.

Henderson – 7

Had a solid game, kept the ball moving from the base of midfield. Should have done better with a shot at the end of the first half where he seemed caught in two minds. Was better second half. Given a breather late on

Keita – 5.5

Started well with an incisive pass into the box for Jota early on. That was as best as it got though. Didn’t really sizzle like he can. Gave the ball away a few times and also had two sights of goal but sent both shots well away from goal. Subbed before the hour mark.

Jones – 5

Poor today. Didn’t really create anything in possession, and his shooting radar was way off. He had three sighters of goal and blazed all three well over. With all the injury returns, he could drop down the pecking order with a performance like that.

Minamino – 8

Played on the right wing again but looked more dangerous when he picked up little pockets of space in between the lines. Dribbled past a few defenders in those positions and sought to create. Set Jones up for what should have been the opener.

Took his goal well, showed desire to get on the end of Diaz’s cutback to lash it past the keeper. I think his best position may have been unlocked here. The number ten role will suit him down to the ground. A shame Klopp doesn’t often use the 4-2-3-1 formation.

Firmino – 6

Gave the ball away carelessly and Cardiff broke away on the counter and pulled a goal back. Before that he had done okay, dropped deep to link with his teammates.

Jota – 8

Diogo Jota and Minamino celebrate the opening goal

Showed lovely feet to create space in the box for a shot early on but the keeper was equal to it. Opened the game up with an excellent header to give his side the lead. Could have had another when he hooked a corner just wide.

Switched to the right wing when Diaz came on. His touch deteriorated late on but his work rate didn’t. He came back to the right back position to halt a rare Cardiff attack by hooking the ball out for a corner.


Elliott – 8

Illuminated the game when he came on. Replaced Keita and immediately got into the game when his fizzing shot was deflected just wide. Combined well with Trent throughout and got his dream moment when he controlled Robertson’s cross and then rifled it past the keeper on the half volley. Welcome back lad.

Diaz – 7.5

Came on and was immediately involved. He pressed his man well and won the ball back right on the touchline before cutting it back for Minamino to finish. An assist on debut, not bad. Could have been through on goal later on if Firmino’s pass had enough purchase on it.

There was a moment he went down clutching his knee and there was a collective intake of breath at Anfield. Thankfully he got back up and continued. Obvious to see what he’ll bring to the side. Exciting.

Milner – 6.5

Pulled out of a challenge when Firmino gave the ball away for their goal. His lack of pace meant he couldn’t then catch up, as Cardiff broke away to score. Aside that he slotted in well, helped see out the game by keeping the ball. Interestingly played in the holding role even when Thiago came on.

Robertson – 7

Showed signs of rustiness with a terribly overhit pass down the line. Quickly got back in the swing of things and provided the assist for Elliot’s goal.

Thiago – N/A

Another welcome return. How lovely was it seeing those disguised and no look passes?

Jürgen Klopp

Went with a strong XI and was quick to make changes. Utilised the five subs available to give a number of his players minutes. He’ll be pleased with how things went today, no injuries and lovely cameos from Diaz and Elliott especially with both contributing to a goal.



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