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Liverpool 0, Plymouth Argyle 0: First Thoughts

Liverpool will have to wait to advance as Plymouth earn themselves the right to a replay.

Liverpool v Plymouth Argyle - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Liverpool 0
Plymouth Argyle 0

  • Pre-match thoughts: It’s time once again for the oldest cup competition in football, and other descriptions of the FA Cup which you’ve heard several hundred times before. One thing that’s not the oldest: Liverpool’s starting XI, which is apparently the youngest in the club’s history. Everyone suspected a few kids might play today, but Jürgen Klopp does not do half measures. Positive vibes surround the return of Joe Gomez, who plays his first match for the Reds since appearing against FC Sion in October 2015. Oh, and it’s a first senior team start for young Ben Woodburn, a.k.a the next Welsh Messi. Gareth who?
  • More pre-match thoughts: Two minutes before kickoff and Anfield is buzzing. How must those young lads feel as they take the pitch?
  • And we’re off! Liverpool get things started by lofting the ball out of play in Plymouth’s half. All part of the plan.
  • Good early start by Alexander-Arnold, going forward very early. Liverpool win a corner from the ensuing attack, and two shooting opportunities materialize for Stewart and Ejaria respectively, but it all comes to nought. The hosts are well in control during the initial exchanges.
  • Foot race between Jake Jervis and Alberto Moreno in the Pilgrims’ first real attack of note. Moreno just about wins it.
  • Shot from Kevin Stewart after Liverpool spend an eternity pinging it around just outside the Plymouth box, waiting for an opening. It’s not on target. Still, good patience from the young side.
  • Free kick conceded just outside the Plymouth box for a high foot by Carey. Emre Can takes it, it comes off a defender’s head, and Ojo can’t quite finish off the ensuing pinball.
  • Chance for Woodburn! Can bulldozes his way up the pitch and lays it off for Next Welsh Messi in the Plymouth box, but McCormick is just about able to snuff out the danger.
  • It’s in the net from Origi, but the Belgian forward is adjudged to have manhandled his marker prior to the shot.
  • Not for the first time, Can finds Alexander-Arnold surging in from the right past the back line, and Plymouth, thanks to McCormick, are juuuust about able to hold firm. Have I mentioned Liverpool are in control? That said, McCormick hasn’t had that much to dol. At some point, this needs to be converted into a goal. Please?
  • Another free kick just outside the box with half time about ten minutes away. It’s into the wall again. Plymouth lump it langorously towards Karius when they can, but you feel they need to spring the counter more quickly if they want to catch Liverpool.
  • Corner for Plymouth on the stroke of half-time. It’s wasted and that is the end of the first half.
  • Halftime thoughts: If Liverpool had more control of that first half, it would be a Janet Jackson album. Still, it’s all square in the most important stat. By which I mean goals. Of which there are, somehow, none. Highlight so far is a Plymouth player unable to restrain himself and reaching out to touch Can’s ear. We’ve all wanted to, Plymouth guy, but you can’t just do that.
  • Plymouth start the second half because that’s how the rules work. They emulate Liverpool by immediately punting the ball out of play.
  • A little bit more threat going forward from Plymouth now, with Garita making a nuisance of himself with his strength and some nifty footwork. The visitors are also committing a few more players forward, which could play into Liverpool’s hands.
  • Chance for Ojo! Woodburn lifts a cross towards Ojo but the young forward can’t quite direct it with any force.
  • Free kick taken by Carey outside the Liverpool box. It’s on target and delivered with some venom, but Karius saves comfortably.
  • Daniel Sturridge comes on for Emre Can. Under half an hour left in this one. Sturridge has a shot at the end of a nice move up the pitch by the hosts and it’s inches wide.
  • Garita, who seems to have picked up a knock, makes way for Greg Tanner.
  • Gary Miller seems to be in some distress, unfortunately, and out comes the stretcher. Not a good sign. Connor Smith will replace him. Elsewhere, Lallana and Firmino come on for Ejaria and Woodburn in an effort to avoid the replay.
  • Lallana twists and turns on the right to make room for a cross. It finds Origi who is just about able to get a forehead on it but nah. A minute later Sturridge does his thing unleashing a shot while drifting from the right and it’s just off target.
  • Six minutes of added time. A few nervy moments for Plymouth but nothing materializes.
  • Final whistle thoughts: The traveling supporters are ecstatic and have every right to be, as their team put on a gritty and disciplined defensive performance. Liverpool’s kids acquitted themselves well in the first half but lacked a cutting edge. A replay it is.

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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