Liverpool sees past Championship side Cardiff City in their Anfield turf to book a place in the Round of 16 of the FA Cup.
The Reds rose to the occasion against a resolute Cardiff City. But in the first half, the home side were kept quiet by the Bluebirds. As Jota and Jones, both went close, they just couldn’t find the breakthrough goal, so it remained goalless.
Meanwhile, Cardiff tried to break forward on the counter when they can, but those opportunities have been few and far between, as the Premier League side were camped inside the visitors’ final third.
But after the break, Liverpool moved into the Kop end and their quality took over the Wales side. It took the hosts just eight minutes to open the scoring after the interval, through Diogo Jota. And after that they never looked back, dominating and controlling the game.
Minamino found the back of the net in the 68th minute after a superb play from the debutant Luis Diaz. Meanwhile, Harvey Elliot marked his return from injury and scored the third goal in the 76th minute. The goal was Eliott’s first Liverpool goal.
What an incredible story for the teenager, after he dislocated his ankle five months back, went through the pain of the operation, lonely months in the rehab, all the hard work behind the scene, and then on his return scored his first senior goal for Liverpool in front of the Kop.
A moment that will always be cherished in the red side of Merseyside.
Meanwhile, in the 80th minute, Cardiff managed to pull one back late on through Colwill, which was merely a consolation strike.
At full time, it ended Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City in the FA Cup fourth-round tie.
Liverpool vs Cardiff City: Post match reaction
Klopp speaks about being happy for Elliott.
I am! I am, absolutely. With the goal it became obviously a proper fairy tale, to be honest.
Klopp reacts to Elliott paying tribute to physio Joe Lewis and the work they did during his rehabilitation.
You have to ask Harvey and Joe, I am not standing next to the bed when they work with each other! Joe is obviously our rehab physio, he works a lot together with the boys.
The rehab process is led by Dr Andreas Schlumberger, there are so many things to do in this long period and you can do a lot of wrong things. Happily, or luckily, we did the right stuff so he is back, that’s good.
Klopp speaks about how Diaz is after his debut, which included an assist and a knock on his knee.
Good, thank God! It was a scary moment, that’s true. The goal he set up for Taki was absolutely incredible: high press, counter-press, I love it, and then Taki finished it off
When asked about Minamino’s performance and sharpness after playing twice for Japan in the international break
Taki obviously was very successful with Japan. Before he left he was successful with us, so he is in a really good moment. Played today a really good game, scored a wonderful goal.
Klopp’s reaction when finally asked about the quality of the squad available to him
We had exactly the same squad before, as well. Luis came in and Nat and Neco left, Harvey came back as well, so when they are all fit we have a really good squad, but we’ve never said anything different.
Let’s hope tonight nothing happens in the game in Africa and stuff like this and the two boys come back [fit] as well. We were never in doubt about the quality of our squad, that’s it.
What’s next for Liverpool?
Next up for the Reds is a Premier League clash against Leicester City at Anfield on Thursday. Liverpool will look to exploit the Foxes and take vengeance this time having suffered a loss in the away fixture in the last game of the 2021 calendar year.