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How Jurgen Klopp’s experimental side rated as Leicester knocked Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup

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Leicester City withstood some immense Liverpool pressure before two second-half goals proved enough to see off Jurgen Klopp’s side and secure their place in the fourth-round of the Carabao Cup.

In a re-match of the fixture that saw Craig Shakespeare begin his remarkable turnaround as caretaker manager of the Foxes, Liverpool dominated the first-half and were unlucky not to score.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain nearly capped his first start with a goal, only to be denied by a last-ditch Ben Chilwell challenge, before Philippe Coutinho and Dominic Solanke went close before the break.

Yet despite Liverpool’s dominance it was the hosts that took a shock lead, with substitute Shinji Okazaki pouncing on a loose ball in the penalty area to tuck into the corner against the run of play.

And Islam Slimani secured Leicester City’s spot in the fourth-round draw when he picked up on Okazaki’s pass and produced a stunning strike into the top corner, leaving Danny Ward helpless.

The Merseyside outfit won’t have to wait long to try and get revenge over the 2015-16 Premier League title winners though, with the two sides set to meet at the King Power on Saturday evening in the league.

See below for how The Boot Room rated Jurgen Klopp’s side as they exited at the third-round stage.

Danny Ward – After helping Huddersfield reach the Premier League during his loan spell last season, he made his first Liverpool appearance since May 2016 but he was only called upon to pick the ball out of his own net twice. Made a diving stop to deny Leicester a third but the damage was done by that point. 6.

Jon Flanagan – Barely saw the ball on his return to Liverpool colours such was his side’s desire to exploit the space Robertson was afforded down the left-hand flank. Found himself in a good battle with Gray during the second-half but he allowed Morgan to ghost in-behind him in the build-up to Leicester’s opener. 6.

Joe Gomez – Would have felt in need of some redemption after his late sending-off in the draw with Sevilla last week and he responded well in a central role, even if it was a much quieter evening for the 20-year-old. Defended well and there wasn’t an awful lot he could have done for either goal. 6.

Ragnar Klavan – Has come under fire in recent weeks for his part in a weak Liverpool back-line and he would have done little to convince Klopp to start him on Saturday. Was out-muscled too easily by Slimani in the build-up to Leicester’s second goal and didn’t push out quick enough for their first. 5.

Andrew Robertson – Staked a claim for a regular first-team role with another promising display, looking to get forward down the left and put cross after cross into the area. His delivery was consistently superb during the first-half – deserving more – but he faded as the match went on. 7.

Marko Grujic – The 21-year-old Serbian made his presence known in the midfield on Tuesday evening, hustling the likes of Ndidi and Iborra well and turning over possession on a number of occasions. Became sloppy as the game went on though, losing concentration as Leicester scored twice. 6.

Jordan Henderson – Re-instated to the starting line-up after missing out against Burnley, it was another customary unspectacular yet efficient display from the Liverpool captain. He was solid in his defensive duties as usual but his final ball was lacking again, often over-cooking his forward pass. 6.

Georginio Wijnaldum – Played the majority of the game from deep, allowing Coutinho room to influence further forward, but every now and then he injected pace into Liverpool’s game with a 20-yard burst on the ball. Might have given Klopp something to think about ahead of Saturday’s fixture. 7.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Making his full Liverpool debut following his £40million deadline day switch from Arsenal, he should have scored inside five minutes but for a superb block from Chilwell. Seemed to roam the opposition third looking for space, having some neat touches, but he faded late on. 7.

Philippe Coutinho – Seemed much more like his usual self on Tuesday night, weaving in between Leicester defenders with relative ease. Pulled the strings in the middle and nobody could get near him, whether on the ball or not, and Klopp brought him off at half-time with Saturday in mind. 8.

Dominic Solanke – There was no shortage of opportunities for the youngster at the King Power, such was Liverpool’s dominance, and he was unlucky not to get on the end of one of Robertson’s many teasing crosses early on. Should have scored moments before the break but he clipped a shot over the bar. 6.

Ben Woodburn – The much-talked about 17-year-old was awarded his first Liverpool appearance of the season, coming on as a half-time substitute, and he nearly got his side an equaliser when his curling effort narrowly nestled over the bar. Showed a lot of endeavour but no end product this time. 6

Danny Ings – Came on for the final 20 minutes for his first Liverpool appearance since last October, much to the delight of the visiting support, but he barely got a sniff in front of goal on his return. 5.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

English Premier League

Rhian Brewster deserves shot at Liverpool first-team next season

The Liverpool teenager deserves a shot ahead of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi.

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Liverpool fans were rightly excited about England under-17s World Cup win in India last summer. Firstly, it was great to see the English national team doing well at some level. Secondly, one of their own players, Rhian Brewster, was on fire.

The teenage striker won the Golden Boot prize at the competition after scoring eight goals for his nation, including hat-tricks against both the USA and Brazil.

His performances rightly had Liverpool fans excited for the season ahead, but it came too soon for the youngster. Brewster then suffered an ankle injury in January that needed surgery.

(Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

However, despite his setback, it was reported last month by The Telegraph that Brewster will be promoted to the Liverpool first-team next season after his recovery period is over.

Rightly so. Liverpool should be ready to give the teenager his chance in the first-team at Anfield, as he has all the talent available to him to become a club goalscoring sensation.

In fact, if Liverpool want to be serious about him, they should ensure there are no blockages in his pathway.

The likes of Daniel Sturridge, currently on loan at West Brom, and Divock Origi, also on loan but at German side Wolfsburg, should no longer be considered ahead of Brewster in the pecking order.

Getting rid of the injury-prone Sturridge and Origi, who has struggled in the Bundesliga, will leave Brewster firmly in the mix for the striking position at Liverpool.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Roberto Firmino obviously remains the first choice. But Liverpool also have England’s under-20 goalscoring sensation from the summer in Dominic Solanke. With the hard-working Danny Ings also present, Brewster fits in nicely to the Liverpool striking fold.

Some might say he is too young. But people said that about Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. The fact is, nobody will know until he is thrown into that position.

Liverpool fans are some of the more supportive and understanding in the country when it comes to young talent, and would have all the patience in the world for the young striker.

It is time to cut the deadwood and make room for the future to blossom.

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Bolton Wanderers

Trent Alexander-Arnold World Cup push is deja-vu for Jon Flanagan and Liverpool

The Liverpool defender has had his problems on and off the pitch but is performing well at Bolton Wanderers.

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Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has emerged as a late challenger for the England World Cup squad this summer. The teenage defender has been in incredible form for Liverpool in 2018.

His performances against Manchester City in both legs of the recent Champions League win earned mass praise and plenty of Liverpool fans are of the belief that Alexander-Arnold should be in the England squad.

It seems a bit like deja-vu from four years ago. Back then, England were again preparing for a World Cup – this time in Brazil. Once again, Liverpool were in fine form toward the end of that season and narrowly missed out on the Premier League title to Manchester City.

One of the main reasons for their excellent season was the form of young full-back Jon Flanagan. The then 21-year-old defender came in and solved Brendan Rodgers’ left-back problem with aplomb.

He featured in 25 games that season and pushed his way, much like Alexander-Arnold, into England contention.

(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

In the summer, he was named on the England standby list for the World cup and made his debut in a warm-up game against Ecuador. This should have been the start of something brilliant for the young man.

But the four years since have been a disappointment for the Liverpool man.

That summer a build-up of fluid on his knee led to investigations which in turn led to corrective surgery. Flanagan went on to spend what should have been his crowning years on the treatment table. After spending 18 months on the sidelines he eventually returned, but to a new Liverpool.

Under Jurgen Klopp, first-team football was hard to find. He headed to Burnley on loan last season but found himself not able to break into the first-team at Turf Moor either.

Since that near World Cup miss, football has continuously kicked Flanagan while he has been down and he has also had well-documented problems off the pitch as well.

But there is now a glimmer of hope. In January the defender headed to Bolton Wanderers on loan, to try and help the Trotters fight off relegation to League One and put his recent problems behind him.

Now established as a first-team regular he is getting back to fine form.

Whilst it may come too late to salvage his Liverpool career, there does appear to be a future for Flanagan in the game.

A lot of bad luck has hit the defender so far, whilst his off-field issues have also not helped matters. But, hopefully, he can turn things around and build a career Liverpool fans thought he might back in 2014.

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Liverpool

Liverpool identify Sevilla defender Clement Lenglet as Virgil Van Dijk’s perfect partner

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Photo: Getty Images.

After signing Virgil Van Dijk in January to begin a rebuilding project in defence, Liverpool could now look to Seville for the next addition and a long-term partner for the Dutchman, with that man being Clement Lenglet.

According to Spanish newspaper SPORT, Liverpool have entered the race to sign the Frenchman alongside Barcelona as interest in the youngster hots up.

The reports indicate that the defender has a release clause set as low as €30 million (£26.1 million) and as such would be a bargain addition in the summer, particularly given the price tag that other players of a similar quality would demand.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

In his first full season in Spain, Lenglet has established a reputation as one of La Liga’s finest defenders, immediately becoming one of the first names on the Sevilla team-sheet under the management of both Eduardo Berizzo and Vincenzo Montella.

At 22-years-old, Lenglet has huge potential and already has four seasons of experience at first team level in France with Nancy and now in the south of Spain.

Good on the ball and strong in the tackle, he is exactly the mould of defender that Jurgen Klopp has looked for previously by signing the likes of Van Dijk and Joel Matip.

Whether a deal is realistic may be another matter given Barcelona’s interest, but it would certainly be one worth pursuing for Liverpool if they do have hopes of mounting a title challenge in the Premier League next season.

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