Liverpool continue to dominate on-all-fronts following their impressive 1-0 victory against Merseyside rivals Everton in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Jurgen Klopp was able to conjure up victory despite making nine changes from the side that increased their Premier League lead to 13 points with victory over Sheffield United on Thursday – including three debutants in Takumi Minamino, Nathaniel Phillips and substitute Yasser Larouci.
The Merseyside derby hero proved to be local lad Curtis Jones who scored his first senior goal for the club following a spectacular curled effort outside the area. The 18-year-old deservedly dominated the plaudits following such a sensational strike that meant Everton are still without an Anfield win since 1999.
However, the 235th Merseyside derby finally presented Liverpool supporters with the opportunity to take a first look at January signing Takumi Minamino. The former RB Salzburg featured for 70 minutes before being withdrawn for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Minamino, 24, joined the Reds from RB Salzburg for a bargain fee of £7.25 million. Asked for his verdict on the Japan international’s maiden performance, Klopp told his post-match press conference: “Super, outstanding. Exactly the player we wanted, exactly the player we wished for.”
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The Liverpool forward was brought into to further boost Klopp’s midfield options with the likes of Fabinho and Naby Keita currently sidelined due to injury. Minamino produced a lively opening audition to his Reds tenure after being selected to lead the line against the Blues and many Liverpool supporters saw this as an encouraging sign of things to come.
This season, Minamino has scored nine goals and laid on 11 assists in his 22 league and cup appearances for Jesse Marsch’s Salzburg – even netting in the Champions League at Anfield following a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool.
The attacking playmaker was seen as a potential creative replacement for Philippe Coutinho who left the club for Barcelona in 2018. Following his inaugural Liverpool appearance, many Reds supporters took to Twitter to deliver their verdict on the club’s new No.18.
Not to bad given the circumstances! Definitely wanted to get stuck I. And wasn't shy. Didn't look to happy when coming off which probably indicates the right attitude! I don't think it'll take him long to get into the swing of things
— Tien Shinhan (@Matt162996) January 5, 2020
What I noticed is that none of his team mates really passed the ball to him though..but I think he has great potential for this team YNWA ..I do hope klopp utilizes him properly
— Elvis_😈 (@elvisagh) January 5, 2020
He was great, but sometimes for some reason he wasn’t getting the hall when he was open for a pass. Considering he was playing in a new role, which in my opinion is one of the hardest to do in our team, he was amazing.
— . (@SKLFC_) January 5, 2020