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Plymouth Argyle 0, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

Liverpool get a breakthrough from the unlikeliest of sources, Lucas Leiva.

Plymouth Argyle v Liverpool - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Get in, Lucas!
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Plymouth Argyle 0:
Liverpool 1: Lucas (!) 19’

  • Pre-match thoughts: I wasn’t really excited about this match, and then Herr Klopp put out the starting line-up. This could be fun. We have Philippe Coutinho in his first start since his injury, alongside Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi. Additionally, we have young Ben Woodburn helping out in the attack, and Ovie Ejaria in midfield. Finally, we have Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alberto Moreno bombing down the wings. I can’t see this one ending in a scoreless draw.
  • Sturridge wins a free-kick in a dangerous spot, and despite it looking like a good position for Coutinho to have a go, he allowed Moreno to take it. Moreno’s cross into the box was cleared easily, and led to a counter—Plymouth’s first venture into Liverpool territory.
  • Danny, I love ya, but taking pot-shots from outside the box with your right foot? Not a great plan.
  • Penalty shout for Sturridge. The English international was played through into the box, and it looks like he was brought down by the defender. However, you don’t get those calls as the favorites in the FA Cup. Gotta preserve that Magic™, y’all. Regardless, Danny appears to be in the mood for a goal or three tonight.
  • And Liverpool almost concede on the other end on the restart, because of course.
  • Plymouth have actually responded really well to going behind, creating a few half chances in the quarter hour since conceding, and one really big one that was snuffed out by some last ditch defending by Alexander-Arnold.
  • Halftime thoughts: So, a goal from Lucas Leiva. What more could you possibly want? Other than that, today’s match is a lot more exciting than the last, with both teams showing quality in the attack. Liverpool had several chances to extend their lead, but the final pass has routinely let them down. Hopefully they can wrap this up early in the second half and start focusing back on the league.
  • A bit of a nervy moment for Loris Karius. The German goalkeeper appeared to spill a cross right in front of goal, but the ref (correctly) spotted a foul.
  • Harry Wilson gets his Liverpool debut, coming on for Philippe Coutinho. Big move to make with the tie still very much in the balance.
  • And Wilson nearly makes it 2-0! The young Welsh attacker chases down a back pass, and a poor clearance from the Plymouth ‘keeper nearly ricochets off Wilson into the net.
  • Plymouth go close on a couple of efforts with about twenty minutes left to play, including one off the woodwork. Living dangerously, Liverpool. Karius is looking shaky, but then again, his defense is routinely leaving him out to dry. Simply put, Joe Gomez isn’t nearly back to his pre-injury form. I’d bring Lucas into this, but I can’t say anything bad about him tonight.
  • Sheyi Ojo comes on for Sturridge. Despite a bright opening half, the striker couldn’t quite make it happen tonight.
  • PENALTY. Forget what I said earlier about favorites not getting those sorts of calls. Moreno is clattered into after getting away an errant shot, and the ref points to the spot.
  • Missed Pen. Origi steps up and hits a really poor penalty. It was weak, low, and straight down the middle. The keeper easily gathered it, and the home side is still in it. So, just in case you were starting to take James Milner for granted, just keep that moment in mind.
  • Final whistle thoughts: It wasn’t pretty, but it didn’t need to be. Liverpool win their first match of 2017, and are through to the next round, due to host Wolverhampton Wanderers in 10 days.

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.

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