Liverpool face a tricky FA Cup Third Round replay away at Plymouth Argyle after they were held to a goalless draw at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
It was the first time that the two clubs had met in any competition since April 1962 – when both were in the old Second Division and although Jürgen Klopp’s team saw more of the ball and had the cream of the chances, the ball just wouldn’t go in for them. Plymouth, who sit second in League Two, will now entertain the seven-time winners at their 17,000-seater Home Park ground later this month.
It’s a replay which will only add to what was already a congested month of fixtures for Liverpool, who also have both legs of their EFL Cup semi-final against Southampton to get through.
Woodburn in the XI
This afternoon at Anfield, Klopp decided to rest many of his first-choice players as he made 10 changes to the side which was held by Sunderland on Tuesday. He ended up naming the youngest team in Liverpool's history, with an average age of 21 years and 296 days, and included a much-anticipated first start for promising teenage striker Ben Woodburn. The 17-year-old became Liverpool's youngster ever goal scorer in the EFL Cup victory over Leeds at the end of November.
He drew the first save out of Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick with a low toe-poke from close range then Divock Origi had the ball in the net for the Reds but was adjudged to have fouled Plymouth defender Gary Miller. Liverpool controlled the play against a side 68 places below them in the English football pyramid, but the visitors were organised and reached the break on level terms.
Plymouth finally managed a shot on target 10 minutes into the second half - Graham Carey's speculative free-kick however, was easily saved by Loris Karius.
Wearing the captain’s armband for the day, Lucas Leiva, forced a save from McCormick with an ambitious effort from outside the box soon after. But Anfield was starting to grow restless and Klopp responded by bringing on Daniel Sturridge for the last half hour. The striker's first action was to fizz a low shot just wide of the post at the end of a Liverpool counter-attack. Klopp introduced Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana with 15 minutes remaining in a bid to snatch a late winner but it wasn’t to be.
Thanks to all for your support: especially the 8,600 strong Green Army at Anfield. You're always good on the road. But that was special.— Plymouth Argyle FC (@Only1Argyle) 8 January 2017