Derby 0-3 LIVERPOOL

Liverpool progress to the next round of the English League Cup after a comfortable win against Derby County.

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Cup competitions often see different squads used than those of league fixtures and there was some noticeable changes made here by our manager for this game.

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Karius has fully recovered now from a broken arm which saw him miss earlier fixtures. His first start would see him keep a clean sheet. Alberto Moreno would get to start at left back, which hasn’t been the standard for most games since he played awful at the start of the season (giving away a penalty to Arsenal etc) and was replaced by James Milner. Milner was on the substitute bench. Klavan was in central defence and contributed well to this game, he was a welcome addition to the starting 11. Marko Grujic would have a role to play from the first whistle of the game too. Divock Origi was chosen to be a starting striker. The substitute bench would see Emre Can and Danny Ings who had been injured previously and made their way back to full fitness so they could appear in this squad.

So fortunately, even with all these changes to the squad travelling Liverpool fans would see their team score three times in this game and get the win that is required for progression in the competition.

The first goal came in the first half, when around the 24th minute Coutinho crossed over a corner. Ragnar Klavan would be in just the right position to power home a well placed shot from within the penalty area to get Liverpool’s first goal of the game and his own personal first goal for the club. Well done and congratulations, Klavan. Derby 0-1 Liverpool

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Ragnar Klavan scores his first goal for Liverpool [photo credit: Reuters]

May your success continue for a very long time. No great expectations have been placed on him for goalscoring, since he’s a defender. We mostly just want him to help us stop conceding goals and the more offensive players can deal with the attacking options and go after the goals. It’s still nice when defensive players score though.

most fans enjoyed hearing of Balotelli's arrival at Liverpool FC.

most fans enjoyed hearing of Balotelli’s arrival at Liverpool FC.

Unless you came directly from a rival club (which fans may dislike you for before you even start playing), you’ll usually get a clean slate and fresh start with reasonable expectation for your contribution to the club. Nothing that’s impossible to achieve will be expected of the players, you just have to fulfill your potential. Players like Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert had far more expectation and pressure placed on them for the reason that they are strikers and were expected to score (many) goals for Liverpool. They failed to truly live up to these expectations and eventually left the club, with fans not really missing them as much as they would have been if they’d achieved their full potential. Some fans still talk about wanting Luis Suarez back at the club again because they miss him so much. Very few or maybe nobody will ever miss the players that failed to live up to their expectations for Liverpool. These are the high standards for a world class football club.

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Klavan’s goal would be the only one of the first half and Liverpool led at the break. Derby were faced with the challenge of scoring in the second half if they were going to even get a draw and a replay or possibly a win for staying in the competition.

It wouldn’t take Liverpool long in the second half to get another goal though. Around the 50th minute, a well worked set up as Firmino played a “1-2” pass with Coutinho saw Derby’s defence torn apart and the lead that was already there increased.

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It seemed like Derby wouldn’t even get a chance to equalise from this point onwards. Liverpool were dominating and our new goalkeeper (Karius) was doing well when it was time for him to have to prove himself incoming against attacks, though he was tested less than five times.

Liverpool weren’t done getting goals yet and by the 54th minute, Coutinho would help improve the scoreline once again as his assist to Divock Origi saw the Belgian striker get Liverpool’s third goal of the game and “finshed off” Derby, even with half an hour to go.

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Other than goals and the eventual win, some noteable things would still happen. Ovie Ejaria made his debut for Liverpool.

Ovie Ejaira makes his debut for Liverpool's first team

Ovie Ejaria makes his debut for Liverpool’s first team

Ejaria is officially English, born in London to Nigerian parents. Though he started his career as a youth player for his local London side Arsenal, Ejaria was a Liverpool (youth) player by 2014 and has spent the last two years working hard for our younger age squads. This game was his first senior appearance. His natural position is a midfielder. Not always the easiest place to find yourself a spot in the senior side for big clubs like Liverpool. With squads of up to 50 players and for fixtures only 11 starting players and 7 substitutes can be named, many roles are often taken before being available to younger and less experienced players. He did well, though. Ovie was a class above all the Championship side’s players. I wish him all the best and hope for more chances to see him prove himself and gain more experience for Liverpool at a senior level. As Liverpool progress through the English League Cup rounds, we may yet see more of him in this competition even if he doesn’t get to feature in Premier League fixtures.

Man of the Match?

Coutinho was my Man Of The Match

Coutinho was my Man Of The Match

Coutinho scored once and assisted the two goals he didn’t score, being involved heavily in Liverpool’s efforts to victory over Derby. The Brazilian “magician” showed us all his magic football and without him playing, it’d likely have been a less high scoring game. Liverpool progress to the 4th round of the League Cup largely thanks to Coutinho’s magic performance.

What’s next?

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Liverpool had an unfortunate Premier League defeat to Hull on a rainy night earlier this season. We play them again at Anfield soon, hopefully with better weather than we saw in Hull. They’re not undefeatable. Liverpool’s form and winning streak may continue if we play to our peak performances, I’m sure of it. Could be a little “revenge” for Liverpool on the way.

We’ll be with you all the way Anfield Family, as You’ll Never Walk Alone.

[written by] Stuart Drewery.

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I’m an Englishman (born and raised in Liverpool in the 80s). My whole family including my parents and grandparents were Liverpool fans so I was born into being a red.

I’ve seen Liverpool win the league (more than 25 years ago) and I’ve been 100% loyal and committed while supporting the Reds through all the good times AND the bad times since the 80s.

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