Liverpool defeated Exeter City 3-0 in the FA Cup third-round replay, following a qualty performance in Anfield, to setup a fourth round clash against West Ham.
Liverpool started off the game in a bright manner, taking the crucial lead in the 10th minute of the match via Joe Allen's close-range finish. Liverpool, who enjoyed 61% possession, dominated the match from the first whistle, with that dominance also rewarded by goals.
However, Christian Benteke, who was the biggest star in the much-changed Liverpool lineup, with key players rested, once again failed to find the back of the net, despite some chances to score. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp once again went for a team full of youngsters, and the onus was on Benteke to lead from the front, but he disappointed the Anfield faithful.
His finishing, which has been poor in the EPL, was below par once again, especially in the dying minutes of the game, when he could have made it 4-0, off a one-on-one chance against Exeter's goalie Robert Oljenik.
Despite the most expensive player on the pitch not shining, Klopp will be extremely delighted with the performances of the young guns in his team, especially players such as Brad Smith, Joao Teixeira and Sheyi Ojo.
One could see some fluidity in their gameplay when they had the ball on their feet as they looked extremely comfortable, making those elusive runs and playing a well-drilled pressing game. Liverpool played the game at a good pace, which was exciting to see for the home fans.
Allen, who made way for Ojo in the 65th minute, put in a commanding performance on both the offensive and defensive ends of the pitch. Ojo, meanwhile, looked in top-class form and scored the best goal of the match, which saw Exeter's goalie only stand and watch as the ball curled to find the back of the net.
If Exeter City had any hopes of making a stunning comeback, Teixeria squashed it with a cool finish in the 82nd minute to seal the game for the home side.
Liverpool will be back in action on Saturday, as they face Norwich City in the Premier League. It remains to be seen if few of these youngsters like Ojo find a place in the team.
Liverpool vs Exeter City highlights