Liverpool FC 0 - 0 Derby County
Klopp sends out a completely changed lineup from the weekend, filled to the brim with youths. Of note, Calvin Ramsey finally gets his first start as a Red, so that’s exciting! Joe Gomez gets the captain’s armband, and he’ll be starting alongside Nat Phillips. Aside from Fabio Carvalho, there’s not many players on the pitch who you’d expect much of an attacking threat from. However, Klopp has Firmino and Darwin Nunez to call upon off the bench.
Despite the highly changed and largely inexperienced side, the Reds start off well and on the front foot. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just misses wide with a well-hit volley from the edge of the area, and it’s a shame because it would’ve been a hell of a goal.
Layton Stewart very nearly opens his Liverpool account after he cuts out an errant pass out of the back, lays it off for Carvalho, who then returns it to Stewart. The pass is a bit behind him, and he can’t quite turn it on target. Unlucky!
Liverpool generally have the better of it in the first half, without creating loads of chances. I’m sure Darwin is licking his lips, hoping to get a run at these League 1 defenders.
Liverpool appear to be a bit more direct to start the second half, and have created a few half chances in the early going. That said, the game is just a bit more open in general, and Derby have also nearly got in on a couple of occasions.
On the hour mark, Klopp brings on Roberto Firmino, Darwin Nunez, and Harvey Elliott for Fraudendorf, Stewart, and Bobby Clark. The subs have an immediate impact, and Liverpool are very much now in control and on the front foot. Nat Phillips just won a ball back at the edge of the opposition’s penalty area.
With 10 minutes to go, Elliott very nearly opened the scoring after a brilliant chip over the top of the defense from Ox put him in. Liverpool might not be banging the door down, but they are at least knocking very loudly.
No one could break the deadlock, so we go to pens.
Derby: McGoldrick O, Hourihane X, Forsyth X, Sibley O, Dobbin X
Liverpool: Bajcetic X, Oxlade-Chamberlain O, Firmino X, Nunez O, Elliott O
The Reds did just enough to get through. Kelleher is once again the man of the hour, saving three penalties in the shootout. And Elliott took his winning penalty with James Milner levels of coolness under pressure. The Reds go marching on!