The 231st Merseyside derby provided little cheer for Liverpool supporters, as the Reds played out a dismal 0-0 draw, with fierce rivals Everton enjoying the better of the goalscoring chances.
Yet, amid the lacklustre result, three players named on the bench should give the Liverpool faithful many reasons to be cheerful.
Jurgen Klopp named Curtis Jones, Rafael Camacho, and Conor Masterson as substitutes against Everton, all highly-regarded academy teenagers who represent the future of the club.
Curtis Jones is a local lad who plays in the centre of midfield, turning in a number of eye-catching performances for the U-23’s this season.
Jones has a wonderful passing range, with splayed cross-field passes a constant fixture of his game.
The 17-year-old has invited comparisons to Kop legend Steven Gerrard, and both play with that driving, purposeful, yet skillful style.
Joining Jones on the bench was fellow 17-year-old attacker Rafael Camacho, a Portuguese youth international signed from Manchester City in 2016.
? There's been a late change to our team…
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 7, 2018
Camacho boasts a dizzying array of wonderful solo goals, punctuated by sharp turns that leave defenders helpless and finished with barnstorming smashed strikes.
Dangerous cutting in from the left, running in behind defences, and taking set pieces alike, Camacho has the potential to be a top talent for the Reds.
Even more impressive, the youngster was tipped by Steven Gerrard, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, to become a top wing-back, even though it is not his favoured position.
And, last but not least, 19-year-old centre-half Conor Masterson completed the teenage trio on the bench for the Merseyside derby.
Masterson is a former captain U-18’s and now plays regularly for the U-23’s, while also featuring at youth level for his native Ireland.
He joined the Reds back in 2012 as a 13-year-old and has shone as a defender who is also comfortable with his feet and can start attacks from the back.
Klopp named Masterson to the bench for the massive Champions League tie against Manchester City on Wednesday, a further sign of the German’s confidence in the Irishman.
These three bright talents have the potential to form the backbone of the club’s future, adding to the proud traditions of academy graduates starring for the first team.
As the season progresses, look out for Jones, Camacho, and Masterson to make their full debuts and show their worth for Liverpool.