Liverpool 1-0 Everton
Curtis Jones’ wonder strike saw a much-changed Liverpool side beat Everton 1-0 at Anfield in the third round of the FA Cup.
The 18-year-old academy graduate and local lad, who scored the winning penalty when Liverpool knocked Arsenal out of the Carabao Cup earlier in the season, shot right-footed from the edge of the box and beyond the outstretched Jordan Pickford into the top corner to seal the hosts’ place in the fourth round.
Jones was one of nine changes the Premier League leaders made with new signing Takumi Minamino making his debut, while counterpart Carlo Ancelotti opted for a largely full-strength Everton line-up.
Others to start included youngsters Nathaniel Phillips, Jordan Williams, Pedro Chirivella, Harvey Elliott and there was another change after nine minutes when James Milner limped off injured and was replaced by Yasser Larouci.
“I just go out there and try and play my game,” Jones told BBC Sport postmatch. “It’s been frustrating at times being on the bench and then getting a taste on the pitch and then being back on the bench.
“I’ve been basically begging to come on but hopefully I’ve topped it off with a good goal. I can’t sum up my emotions. For me it’s huge just being around this team every day and learning from this group of players. There are world-class players all over this team but I think I went out and showed what I could do on the pitch.”
Liverpool looked more impressive in the first half, with Adam Lallana, who took the captain’s armband following Milner’s exit, particularly impressive, but it was Everton who created the better with Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate guilty of wasting the best chances.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his return from injury in the second half, replacing Minamino on 70 minutes and soon after Jones delivered the decisive moment with a superb curling effort into the top corner, leaving Everton without a win against their rivals since October, 2010.
“The ball came to me and I only had one thing in mind — to shoot,” Jones added. “Luckily enough it led to the matchwinner and a great goal.
“It’s massive for me and the rest of the young boys. At times it’s frustrating thinking you might get a chance but then having to sit on the bench and watch. We proved that we’re learning every day and trying to push for a place in the team.”
Rhian Brewster came on for Elliott as Liverpool changed things around but Everton, rocked by the goal, could not find a response.