Shrewsbury City had their second, a valuable lead at Anfield that lasted all of seven minutes, however an inexperienced Liverpool discovered a mature response. Jürgen Klopp’s crew ruined any fleeting hopes Steve Cotterill had of an upset as younger Kaide Gordon, and the not-so-young Brazilian duo of Fabinho and Roberto Firmino, eased the Premier League hosts into spherical 4, the place they may host Cardiff.
“I don’t assume it was a 4-1 sport, extra of a 2-1,” the Shrewsbury supervisor stated. “I’m very happy with our lads and really grateful for the way Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp have been with us all day. Virgil van Dijk introduced his shirt into our dressing room after the sport, congratulated our gamers and shook palms with each one in all them. He’s high drawer and an absolute gentleman.
“We’d have preferred to have had extra of a go at them however it was very troublesome to get the ball off that triangle of [Ibrahima] Konaté, Van Dijk and Fabinho. We had them fearful for six or seven minutes however that was it.”
A testing week ended with one other sophisticated project for Liverpool, though it was one they finally navigated comfortably.
Klopp was free to lead the crew once more having been in isolation with Covid since earlier than the draw at Chelsea. The Liverpool supervisor rejoined the group at their lodge on the morning of the sport and with constructive checks persevering with to have an effect on the squad, together with accidents and the Africa Cup of Nations, he was required to improvise together with his crew choice. 4 youngsters – the total debutant Max Woltman, Gordon, Conor Bradley and Tyler Morton – began in a aspect that included the expertise of Van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Fabinho. That insurance coverage coverage was severely examined within the first half by Shrewsbury’s disciplined and supremely well-organised sport plan.
The Liverpool supervisor admitted: “It’s been very troublesome for various causes. This was the crew we may line-up immediately and the boys did rather well. That they had to put in a correct shift. We had a correct outbreak final week and it confirmed up that we had quite a lot of false positives however the guidelines are there and a few gamers couldn’t play immediately. The one further constructive was Trent Alexander-Arnold. All the remainder have been false positives however we had to shut down the coaching floor till you may have two further testing rounds.”
Liverpool dominated possession towards the League One aspect however struggled initially to break via a five-man visiting rearguard protected by a compact three-man midfield. Gordon compelled Shrewsbury’s goalkeeper, Marko Marosi, right into a low save from the sting of the world and Van Dijk headed over from a Robertson free-kick. In any other case it was a laboured opening till the guests surprised Anfield by scoring from their first try on Caoimhin Kelleher’s purpose.
Nathanael Ogbeta, Shrewsbury’s left wing-back, served discover of the risk he posed a minute earlier than the breakthrough when skirting spherical Bradley and sweeping an inviting cross via the Liverpool space. No teammate was available to capitalise. Seconds later, having managed a crossfield ball from Ethan Ebanks-Landell expertly on his chest, Ogbeta once more attacked Bradley earlier than curling one other pleasant cross behind Konaté. This time Daniel Udoh was alert to the wing-back’s intentions and, arriving unmarked within the six-yard field, steered the ball past Kelleher to the wild delight of a 6,000-strong away crowd.
Klopp regarded surprised on the ease with which Shrewsbury sliced via his crew. Liverpool responded sharply, nevertheless, and rapidly drew stage with a purpose made of their academy. Morton and Elijah Dixon-Bonner mixed to launch Bradley in area on the precise. The Northern Eire worldwide picked out Gordon inside a crowded penalty space and the gifted ahead’s fast toes enabled him to open up area for a cool end past Marosi. At 17 years and 96 days Gordon overtook Michael Owen to turn out to be the second youngest goalscorer in Liverpool’s historical past behind Ben Woodburn.
The hosts overturned the deficit to lead at half-time via a Fabinho penalty. Given how nicely their crew had defended for 44 minutes, it was a galling method for Shrewsbury to concede. Ebanks-Landell had Van Dijk on his again because the pair challenged for Robertson’s free-kick inside the world however no convincing motive to meet the ball with a raised arm. David Coote instantly pointed to the spot and Fabinho despatched Marosi the flawed method from it. Shrewsbury maintained their form and technique all through the second half however a scarcity of composure in entrance of purpose value them a number of alternatives to capitalise on the counterattack.
The clearest risk arrived persistently from Liverpool. Marosi denied Dixon-Bonner at shut vary moments after the restart however was crushed for a 3rd time by a cheeky end from the substitute Firmino. Bradley claimed his second help of the match when he hooked the ball again from the byline for Konaté. The defender’s tried shot was deflected on to Firmino through a Shrewsbury boot and, going through away from purpose, the Brazilian backheeled previous the uncovered Shrewsbury keeper.
Fabinho claimed his second of the sport, and Liverpool’s fourth, with an emphatic end into the roof of the web from Kostas Tsimikas’s harm‑time free-kick.