Liverpool travelled to Deepdale to meet Preston North End for the Carabao Cup fourth-round fixture. Preston settled well into the game right from the start in full house Deepdale stadium.
Meanwhile, Liverpool came to the game as favourites and changed all 11 players from last Sunday’s Old Trafford trip. Academy players Harvey Blair and Tyler Morton were handed full match debuts.
Liverpool’s Sepp van den Berg on loan to Preston played against his Parent Club and had a decent game.
Liverpool were no way near to best in the first half. On the other hand, Preston worked hard in midfield and during the 28th minute almost went ahead with Adrian made a crucial save. And on the rebound, Neco Williams made a goal-line clearance.
As the game moved on Oxlade Chamberlain and Curtis Jones started to get more joy in midfield but were not able to create meaningful chances for Blair, Origi, or Minamino.
Thereafter, In the second half, Liverpool looked much better as a unit and was rewarded too. As Neco Williams picked up Minamino to chip into the goal.
The build-up of the goal was beautiful and Tyler Morton played a great part in pass to Neco from midfield. The Wales international had an excellent game and looked impressive through the 90 minutes.
Liverpool hardly had a shot on target but opened up the scoreboard in the 62nd minute.
The game was sealed in the 84th minute Tsimikas crosses from the left that deflected off of the bar, which allowed Williams to again divert the ball with Origi. And spectacularly Origi flicked it over Preston Goalkeeper Declan Rudd.
The Lilywhites played bravely and went out against a top-class side.
Thus, Jurgen Klopp’s side scored two goals and grind out a necessary result, as it was a tough evening for the Reds.
Preston North End 0-2 Liverpool : Post match reaction
Klopp on Liverpool’s performance and the result
We started quite OK, but then we lost the structure completely and that was the problem. I saw a lot of nice individual performances; as a team we can play better, but individually I saw a few really nice performances and that’s absolutely OK.
Klopp’s reaction to Tyler Morton’s display on his full debut
Tyler is obviously a real talent, a real smart footballer. You can see this. His natural movements, natural positions, are really good, so he is a real football-smart boy and the technique is really good.
When asked about Minamino’s performance and Origi’s goal
Taki is high quality. Taki’s problem is… actually, there is no problem apart from the other players in his positions are really good and thank God for us they are not injured. That’s it.
Divock’s goal was just Divock Origi; it was obviously not a striker’s game because we didn’t play that well and it is difficult for the strikers, but the goal he scored was quite special.
When asked about his team selection for the remainder of the competition
No idea. It depends really to the specific situations.
Klopp on the substitutions he made during the game
Nat played really well; Joel is not injured. It was just clear we wanted him to play 45 minutes [so] that he can keep the rhythm – Joel needs these kind of things. It was clear as well that Nat Phillips will come on because we just have to let him out because he’s in an incredible shape, is training really well – and I think we could see that. Conor Bradley is a real talent as well, big heart and really football smart.
Who could Liverpool face in quarterfinals
In the quarterfinals of the competition, seven teams of Premier League outfits qualified with Sunderland being the only club from League 1 to get into the last eight.
With defending champions Manchester City knocked out of the competition, Liverpool will surely be one of the favourites.
It will be interesting to watch who Liverpool faces in the quarterfinal. The Carabao Cup quarterfinal draw will take place on Saturday 30th October.