Liverpool survived in their bid to regain their FA Cup title, finding themselves the chance to immediately avenge their most humiliating defeat in the English Premier League.
The Reds won 1-0 in the playoff third round at Wolverhampton on Tuesday. Thus they agreed to a round of 32 match at home to Brighton, who they lost 3–0 on Saturday.
Liverpool’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, described that defeat as the worst in his 22-year career on the bench.
Harvey Elliott scored a game-changing goal in the 13th minute against Wolves, sprinting from his own half of the pitch, before unloading a 30-metre shot past Portugal keeper José Sa and between the goals.
Klopp wanted his team to “go back to basics” after an embarrassing defeat at Brighton three days ago. They put a more modest lineup on the court, which did without stars such as Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker and Andrew Robertson.
Liverpool didn’t really have any problems at Molineux. Wolves were the ninth Premier League team to be eliminated in this edition of the FA Cup.
Everton, Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, Brentford, Newcastle, Chelsea and Aston Villa succumbed in their first games of the famous tournament.
The FA Cup represents perhaps the only remaining chance for Liverpool to win a trophy this season. Klopp’s team had already been knocked out of the League Cup and dropped to ninth in the Premier League – 19 points behind leaders Arsenal.
“It felt like it’s been a while since we’ve won or felt good,” Klopp said. “We had to fight hard at the end of a game which we controlled for long periods. It’s a good thing, just the reaction we wanted to see.”
Brighton hosted Liverpool in the fourth round on 29 January.
In other results, Second Division West Bromwich crushed Fifth Division Chesterfield 4–0.
Two other Second Division clubs, Luton and Birmingham, also progressed on Tuesday.
Boreham Wood, from the fifth division, were left without playing their tiebreaker against third-placed Accrington Stanley. The match was postponed to 24 January due to freezing of the court.
This Wednesday, Leeds will host Second Division Cardiff, in another third round playoff.