Liverpool 1-0 Everton: 3 Talking Points as young Reds steal the show in Merseyside Derby | FA Cup 2019-20
Liverpool hosted Everton at Anfield in the third round of the FA Cup for the second Merseyside Derby of the season, as they looked to register another famous victory over their cross-town rivals. Jurgen Klopp opted to name a much-changed starting XI as the German had one eye on the Reds' Premier League encounter against Tottenham Hotspur, but the young guns were at their brilliant best as they recorded a 1-0 victory after a stunning all-round performance.
The history of the fixture played on the mind of the Toffees as they were outclassed by a second-string Liverpool side. 18-year-old Curtis Jones produced the decisive moment on the night, as the young Scouser announced himself to the Anfield faithful with a screamer from the edge of the box for the solitary goal of the game.
New signing Takumi Minamino made his first start for the club since arriving from Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg and the Japanese international produced a lively performance, before being substituted to a standing ovation for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The side from the red half of Merseyside dominated proceedings right from the get-go but strangely, Everton had the better chances in the opening exchanges as Adrian produced a string of top drawer saves to ensure parity. The Toffees were below par on the day and went behind in the 71st minute, as Jones' curling effort sailed into the top corner of the net past the despairing dive of Jordan Pickford.
As the young Reds etched their names in Liverpool folklore after a famous victory against their arch-rivals, let's look at some of the talking points from the game.
3. Everton showed no mental fortitude
Coming up against a much-changed Liverpool side, Everton were presented with the perfect opportunity to get one over their local rivals but the Toffees' long wait to register a victory in the fixture is set to continue well into the new year, after they fell flat at Anfield once again. The young Reds took control of the game in the second half and produced a memorable performance in front of the home fans, as they dominated what was seemingly Everton's first-choice starting XI.
While Klopp's side were clearly the better side in the grand scheme of things, Everton didn't show enough heart to win a fixture of such magnitude and failed to make their opportunity count considering the circumstances. Liverpool topped every possible statistic, right from possession to chances created and capped off a fine performance with a stunning goal in the second half, but the fact that the Toffees were beaten so convincingly by a second-string side proves that Carlo Ancelotti has his work cut out for him.
Speaking after the game, the Italian pulled no punches, as he lashed into his players for their lacklustre performance.
"That was not good enough and I will tell them that."
Everton have turned a corner under the former Napoli boss but serious questions need to be asked of their mental fortitude, as their deficiencies were exploited expertly by a fearless Liverpool side. The Reds outplayed what was seemingly a Premier League quality starting lineup from the Blues and the gulf of class between the two sides was brought to the forefront, as the home side registered yet another convincing victory at Anfield.