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Liverpool Pay the Price for Squad Rotation

Liverpool
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (C) walks with Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Fabinho (2R) and Liverpool's Belgium striker Divock Origi following the English FA Cup third round football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on January 7, 2019. - Wolverhampton won the match 2-1. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

A wonder strike from Ruben Neves sent Liverpool crashing out of the FA cup at the first hurdle at Molineux.

Jurgen Klopp made nine changes to his starting XI for the game against Wolves including two debutants and this rose to three after Dejan Lovren’s early injury. This injury to Lovren is concerning for Liverpool as a number of their centre backs are out injured. The teenagers who made their debut were Rafael Camacho, Curtis Jones and 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever who is the club’s third youngest debutant.

In a flat first half with few chances for both teams Raul Jimenez broke the deadlock for Wolves shortly before the break after James Milner was dispossessed in midfield and the Mexican scored with a composed finish past Simon Mignolet.

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Divock Origi equalised for the Reds six minutes after the break with the visitors first effort on target which was a venomous strike past John Ruddy. However, Wolves took the lead again less than five minutes later through Ruben Neves with a wonderful dipping strike into the bottom corner. Eight of his nine goals for Wolves have all been from outside the area; the other one being a penalty.

Xherdan Shaqiri came close to equalising for Liverpool but his free kick was spectacularly tipped onto the post by Ruddy; a save the referee did not see as he gave a goal kick. After that Liverpool never really threatened to score and Wolves have now knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup for the second time in three seasons. Nothing can be taken away from Wolves as they were the better team for the 90 minutes.

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Liverpool are without a win in 2019 following the top of table clash with Manchester City which they lost 2-1. Every time you make so many changes for a cup game it is a gamble and this one did not pay off for Klopp, Liverpool lacked organisation in defence and had no fluidity going forward, even with the introduction of Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah at 2-1 down.

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Klopp is still without a trophy at Liverpool and the elimination of both domestic cups could be seen as a blessing in disguise if Liverpool go onto to win the Premier League or Champions League. However if they don’t win either the squad rotation in the cups could be seen as a big mistake.

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