Kids Earn Replay At Kop
|Image via skysports.com|
Fielding a team with a grand total of 34 appearances so far this season was perhaps a questionable decision made by Jurgen Klopp on Friday evening but despite their weakened line up, Liverpool still managed to collect a draw at St James' Park. A spirited Exeter side took the lead in the fixture which looked extremely tentative at times for the Reds but goals from Brad Smith and Jerome Sinclair ensured a stay in the FA Cup.
The home side found the back of the net after just nine minutes when Josh Read whipped in a lovely cross and Tom Nichols at full stretch managed to connect and convert. I can't say it was a shock really because the Reds had got off to a shaky start to say the least. This was a team that had never played together, apparently in the warm up Jurgen Klopp was running through technique and link up play with Benteke and Sinclair because they quite possibly didn't even know who each other were. It was crazy.
Despite the inexperienced team Liverpool quickly found themselves an equaliser when Sinclair scored just three minutes later. A right footed shot into the bottom right hand corner was enough to put the Reds back into the game but it truly was guesswork as to whether they would be able to hold on.
As the first half continued Liverpool maintained a struggle in defence and this may sound harsh but if Ilori is our only centre back available, I really do worry for the next few games. It can't be a coincidence that you can't even get a game for stone cold bottom of the table Villa can it? Who knows.
Right on the stroke of half time, to add insult to an unrivalled injury list, Adam Bogdan decided to put another one of his disastrous decisions on show. It truly was shocking from the keeper as a corner from Lee Holmes somehow found its way into goal. Bogdan utterly failed to deal with the danger, I have no idea what he was doing and I just don't feel confident at all with him between the sticks, especially for corners and set pieces.
No changes were made by Jurgen Klopp for the second half, he waited until 56 minutes to make his first substitution of the game. Pedro Chirivella entered play replacing Ryan Kent. It was the second substitution though that made a difference for Liverpool when Sheyi Ojo came on at 70 minutes.
Undoubtedly Ojo made a difference in the game. After just two minutes he put a cross into the danger area, a deflection saw the ball splay out to Brad Smith who finished well. Whilst Ojo's impact was evident as a lass from Wolverhampton I've seen/heard a lot about the youngster lately and he just hasn't been cutting it so I'm not going to start getting carried away with a good 20 minute performance at Exeter. He's got plenty of time on his side though and I'm sure he'll convince me to jump off the fence at some point.
After some late scares eventually the final whistle blew at 94 minutes and Liverpool, thankfully had managed to earn a replay at Anfield. Exeter no doubt deserved to remain in the cup, it's easy to say that Liverpool were not at full strength and therefore it was easier for Exeter to perform but overall they outplayed us. To concede in the way we did, we can blame nobody but ourselves I just hope that we can put on a better show in the home game!