Lucas ends goal drought as Liverpool survive pesky Plymouth Argyle

A rare goal from Lucas Leiva saw the Reds reach the fourth round of the FA Cup. There were a few chances to ease the pressure with more goals, but in the end, one was enough.


There were some more signs of promise from youngsters and good experience for them too. Ultimately, winning the game is all that matters against lower league opposition when there is little to gain and a lot to lose should things go wrong.


Both strikers (Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge) suffered from poor service but did little to suggest that the manager should use them more often.

Manager rating

8 out of 10 -- He got the job done and gave another youngster his debut. He will worry about how toothless Liverpool seemed at times, but getting through without using first-choice players was the mission, and it was accomplished.

Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Loris Karius, 7 -- He made a nice save when Liverpool had only just gone in front and was generally comfortable with the ball at his feet. He had one or two dicey moments in the air when Plymouth tried to put pressure on, but he was a spectator for the most part.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 8 -- Although rarely troubled on the wing, he made several important clearances in the box as he covered well for Joe Gomez. He was not very effective going forward but did everything that was asked of him at the back, and after his good performance at Old Trafford, he once again looked the part.

DF Joe Gomez, 7 -- Gomez was steady and strong, decent in possession and largely unruffled by his burly opponent Paul Garita. An early booking might have caused him problems, but he kept cool when the home side pressed on rare occasions.

DF Lucas Leiva, 7 -- He led the side well and even scored the goal from a corner, amazingly his first in seven years. He played his part in keeping good possession during a second half in which Liverpool focused on taking the sting out of the game, rather than putting it out of Plymouth's reach.

DF Alberto Moreno, 6 -- There were the usual problems in the first half: not enough quality when going forward and caught out of position at the back. Moreno steadied himself in the second half and won a penalty, which should have calmed Liverpool's nerves near the end.

MF Kevin Stewart, 5 -- He was good at the workmanlike stuff such as interceptions, pressing and one particularly good tackle after a Moreno error. He kept the ball well enough in the second half but made little if any contribution to forward play.

MF Ovie Ejaria, 6 -- Like Stewart, he was quiet and methodical but rarely did anything out of the ordinary to exploit the opposition's staying deep.

MF Philippe Coutinho, 7 -- This was a useful hour for the Brazilian coming back from injury. He was a class above everyone on the pitch, but his timing was off more often than not. Klopp obviously just wanted him to get a run-out because the game certainly wasn't clinched by the time he was substituted.

FW Ben Woodburn, 6 -- Almost invisible on the wing in the first half, he was more central in the second half and used the ball tidily if a little too safely at times. Playing under orders obviously, he got another appearance without ever really showing what he is fully capable of.

FW Divock Origi, 4 -- This was another wretched performance in the cup, capped by an awful penalty that was easily saved. He wandered around without ever really linking well with Daniel Sturridge, but once the Englishman was replaced, he fared no better. One strong run after the penalty ended with a wild shot over the bar, and that summed up his evening.

FW Daniel Sturridge, 5 -- This was a difficult night. With a packed defence and inexperienced teammates around him, he still looked lethargic and occasionally disinterested. Sometimes he even did his team more harm than good. He looked aggrieved at being replaced, though it's a mystery he lasted so long.


MF Harry Wilson, 6 -- This was a debut for the Welsh youngster, and he showed one or two touches a more experienced player would have been proud of, particularly when he almost scored by hustling the goalkeeper.

MF Sheyi Ojo, NR -- He came on too late for a rating, but it would have been high, as he gave the Reds a vital outlet on the left. He gave Plymouth some late worries where they didn't want them and looked the most likely to carve out a second killer goal for the visitors.