No goals for either side in the Third Round FA Cup matchup between Liverpool Football Club and Plymouth Argyle F.C. It was the eleventh meeting in all competitions between the two clubs, and a golden opportunity for the League Two side to make a mark against their more illustrious opponents at Anfield. Manager Jürgen Klopp, as expected, named a much-changed side featuring several younger faces.
The youngsters gave a good account of themselves, particularly in the first half, but Plymouth were compact and well-organized. Even after the big guns Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino were brought on part way through the second half, Liverpool were unable to make a breakthrough, in part due to the heroic efforts of Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick. The manager’s immediate post-match reactions summed up the good and the bad.
“We tried,” said Klopp. “It’s not the result that we wished for but it’s not frustrating. We started pretty well. We did what we had to do, we played football.”
“That’s not a fine-tuned side, what we had today,” added Klopp in reference to his starting lineup, “which means we lost patience too early, tried to force this or that, and didn’t see the right play in the right moment.”
“We were a little bit unlucky in one or two situations, good goalkeeper saves and then it’s 0-0. So, not too cool but not the worst thing in the world. And, of course, deserved for Plymouth.”
When asked whether or not the new look side displayed the customary pace and aggression of a Klopp-managed Liverpool, the manager indicated that while pace might have helped, being able to dial things up to eleven is not always the best solution when facing a side determined above all else not to concede.
“That’s the biggest challenge in football, to play against a deep defending side,” noted Klopp. “The smaller they can make the spaces, the less obvious the difference in quality. That’s how it is.”
“We’ll go to Plymouth for the first time in my life,” he added wryly. “The whole of Plymouth, I don’t know exactly how big Plymouth is, but it was in their 18-yard box.”
So a replay is on the cards, but can we expect to see a youthful side once again in what will be a buzzing and hostile environment?
“We are looking forward to it. I tried something today and maybe I will try it again, we will see.”