Sturridge has little impact in 4/10 showing as Liverpool knocked out of FA Cup
WOLVERHAMPTON, England -- A much-changed Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage as they were beaten 2-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday at Molineux. Ruben Neves' superb strike in the 55th minute settled the tie as Raul Jimenez's opener was cancelled out by Divock Origi not long after half-time.
The defeat means there is one less competition for Liverpool to think about this season as they seek their first league title in 28 years. With no fourth-round tie on the calendar, Liverpool have a free weekend in between their Crystal Palace and Leicester City matches, allowing the team to rest and recover. There were competitive first-team debuts for teenagers Ki-Jana Hoever, Curtis Jones and Rafael Camacho.
Liverpool could not afford to lose any more centre-halves to injury, and the sight of Dejan Lovren clutching his hamstring will be a huge concern to Klopp. Virgil van Dijk might be Liverpool's only recognised centre-back available for selection at present. Meanwhile, some senior on-the-fringes players did not cover themselves in glory here. This was a game in which they could have given something the manager to think about, but it was an opportunity squandered.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- There were certainly no complaints from Liverpool supporters about the nine changes Klopp made. The performance was understandably disjointed. The FA Cup is not a priority for the Premier League leaders this season. But despite all the benefits being out of the FA Cup might bring, Klopp clearly wanted to stay in the competition as he introduced Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino in the second half.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Simon Mignolet, 6 -- The backup sort of invited Jimenez to find the far corner for the opener. He could not do much for Neves' strike. Should Alisson stay fit, this could very well be his last appearance in a Liverpool shirt.
DF Rafael Camacho, 6 -- To add context to Camacho's performance, it is worth mentioning the Portuguese youth international, 19, is not a right-back by trade, more a wide man. Therefore, it was no surprise that he was caught out of position a fair number of times.
DF Dejan Lovren, N/R -- Lasted just five minutes before signalling to the bench that he could not continue.
DF Fabinho, 7 -- He did OK given the circumstances around him. He might find himself starting in the same position against Brighton & Hove Albion on the weekend.
DF Alberto Moreno, 5 -- A poor showing as the left-back is seemingly coming to the end of his time at Liverpool.
MF James Milner, 5 -- It was his error that led to Jimenez's goal. The 33-year-old tried to protect a makeshift, inexperienced backline, but his task was made even more difficult when he was handed a booking after 18 minutes for a tactical foul.
MF Naby Keita, 6 -- There were a few glimpses of the RB Leipzig version of Keita here, but he is far too inconsistent at the moment.
MF Curtis Jones, 6 -- A bit isolated on the left flank. The 17-year-old local lad will be disappointed he did not have more of a chance to influence the game.
MF Xherdan Shaqiri, 5 -- A very, very quiet night. Clearly struggles when he is not playing with the usual front men. That said, he was extremely unfortunate to not make it 2-2, hitting the post from a long-range free kick.
FW Daniel Sturridge, 4 -- Had very little impact in the game from his No. 10 role.
FW Divock Origi, 6 -- Having actually turned down a move to Wolves in the summer, the striker scored a very good goal out of nothing after a dreadful first-half performance.
DF Ki-Jana Hoever, 7 -- Thrown in at the deep end due to Lovren's injury. He became the third-youngster player to ever play for the club at the age of 16 years and 354 days. Unsurprisingly, there were a few nervy moments, but he can hold his head up high after this display.
FW Mohamed Salah, 6 -- A surprise to see the Egyptian actually feature. Liverpool looked better with him on the pitch.
FW Roberto Firmino, 6 -- A player we also did not expect to see.