Football - Football League Cup - 4th Round - Liverpool FC v AFC BournemouthONE to us and nil to them. Not one to them. One to us and nil to them. Astonishing scenes, these.

The youngish Reds doing the business. The youngish Reds hugely buttressed by Lucas Leiva second half and constantly lit up by Roberto Firmino. Firmino had a ton of purpose and it electrified the game. The youngish Reds with their defence led by Dejan Lovren.

In truth this was a bigger game for a few individuals than the collective. The aforementioned Lovren. Joe Allen. Joao Teixeira. Jordon Ibe. All needed to do a bit. And then the debutants. The actual young Reds. Huge occasions for them. Personal battles all over the park, battles around the personal. Strange when football goes that way, our collective concerns slightly subsumed by their own battle and focus. It shouldn’t be that way but sometimes footballers are those difficult individuals.

No wonder Liverpool weren’t always as cohesive as you would like. These lads had a lot on their mind to go with their pursuit of their new gaffer’s first win. But the shape was again good. The threat was again absent. But the ball had hit the back of the net and so we reach the back heel. How many words should we do on the back heel? Improvisation and impudence, leave it there for the worry of getting carried away? Oh let’s get carried away. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I want to go out with it but it would knock me back. Lovely to see in every way.

The shape was interesting — the first time Jurgen Klopp has played 4231 – and the constant free role of Firmino fascinating. It was the performance of a constantly probing football intellect. Where is the weakness? How is the weakness? What do we try next? He dictated Liverpool’s attacking play like a man liberated from his own insecurities.

And yet.

This is not worth getting carried away over. A tough tie at Southampton awaits and Bournemouth looked strangely disinterested; a side who have their own issues having shipped 10 in their last two, happy to only concede one this time out. No performance touched the sky on either side. No-one, bar the already in contention Firmino, sent out a clarion call for selection on Saturday. No=one put any pressure on the manager. Is that a bad thing though?

Southampton may well go to tell us a lot about this manager’s ambition for the campaign. Does he want to notch a trophy? The game drops during our most intestine and core period of the season. What would you do? Me? I’d trust the lads. The youngish Reds.

Regardless, no-one let themselves down, no-one let their manager down and no-one let Liverpool down.

Sentences may come more inspiring than that this season, and I hope they do, but that will do for now. It was what they all needed. It was what we needed.

Onwards. Upwards. Up the Reds.

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Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo

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