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Stunner from teenager Jones steers Klopp's kids past full-strength Everton in FA Cup

The 18-year-old curled an unstoppable effort past Jordan Pickford to seal another sensational result for the Reds.

Curtis Jones and Liverpool celebrate their winning goal at Anfield.
Curtis Jones and Liverpool celebrate their winning goal at Anfield.
Image: Peter Byrne

A STUNNING GOAL by local teenager Curtis Jones was enough to guide an almost unrecognisable Liverpool side past Merseyside neighbours Everton at Anfield and into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Jurgen Klopp’s men — or boys, as it seemed on paper — rose to the derby occasion while their nemeses wilted in the second half despite Carlo Ancelotti naming a de facto full-strength lineup.

Everton carved the bulk of the chances in the opening 45 only to be denied on several occasions by Adrian, while Reds debutant Takumi Minamino came close only to fail to connect with his attempted header.

But it was a remarkable goal which sealed this remarkable feat for a Liverpool outfit littered with teenagers, 18-year-old Jones curling and unstoppable shot in off the crossbar past Pickford on 70 minutes.

liverpool-v-everton-fa-cup-third-round-anfield Jones celebrates. Source: Peter Byrne

Everton never really seemed likely to claw back the deficit, failing to find a shot on target in the second half as Liverpool seized complete control.

And it will be the European and world champions who find themselves in the fourth-round draw on Monday night, while Everton will be left to contemplate yet another failure to end an Anfield hoodoo which has now entered its third decade.

Jones is the youngest goalscorer for Liverpool in a Merseyside derby since Robbie Fowler.

The 18-year-old Liverpool-born midfielder was making only his fifth appearance and his memorable match winner was his first senior goal.

Without a win over their rivals in any competition since 2010 and thrashed 5-2 at Anfield in the Premier League earlier this season, Everton will feel the pain from this defeat against their under-strength neighbours for some while.

Hit by injuries that left him with 12 fit senior outfield players, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had made nine changes, selecting Nat Phillips, 22, and teenage trio Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott and Jones.

In contrast, Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti made just two changes, fielding a strong team as the visitors chased a first win at Anfield since 1999.

liverpool-v-everton-fa-cup-third-round-anfield Milner limped off early doors. Source: Peter Byrne

Liverpool’s injury problems mounted within 10 minutes when James Milner limped off to be replaced by another teenager Yasser Larouci.

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Ancelotti’s side threatened early on when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s strike was pushed away from Adrian, who then repelled Mason Holgate’s header and Richarlison’s shot.

Liverpool’s youngsters had been thrashed by Aston Villa while the senior stars were away at the Club World Cup in December but they acquitted themselves much better this time, Japanese attacker Minamino coming close before Divock Origi’s low drive was brilliantly saved by Jordan Pickford.

Jones’ moment of magic arrived when he played a chipped pass to Origi, took the return ball and let fly after a single tee-up touch, bending his effort beyond the outstretched Pickford and into the net via the bar.

liverpool-v-everton-fa-cup-third-round-anfield Pickford is beaten by Jones' strike. Source: Peter Byrne

Anfield erupted and while its occupants digested the goal, it was Liverpool who responded best, winning the majority of 50:50s and aerial challenges for the remainder. Indeed, moments following Jones’ strike, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain — who returned despite departing the Club World Cup on crutches last month — came close to doubling Liverpool’s lead.

Ancelotti introduced Moise Kean alongside Calvert-Lewin but to little avail. The Italian youngster had Everton’s only opportunity of the second half, firing over a difficult volley while off balance as the clock ticked towards the final whistle.

- with reporting from AFP

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