Daniel Sturridge took full advantage of a slip from Georges-Kevin Nkoudou on his first start in our colours to give the home side an early lead in the EFL Cup fourth round tie.
Despite 10 changes to our line-up, we played some nice football as the game went on and looked in firm control as half-time came and went.
However, Michel Vorm still had to make a series of crucial saves and when Sturridge was played clean through to double Liverpool’s lead shortly after the hour mark, we had it all to do.
Below: Eric Dier, captain at Anfield
To the players’ credit, we showed real resilience and eventually pulled a goal back from the penalty spot through Vincent Janssen - his second spot kick in this competition - and while we weren’t able to fashion an equaliser, duly exiting the competition, Mauricio only had words of encouragement for his charges after the final whistle.
“I’m very pleased with the performance. I’m disappointed with the result of course, but the effort from the team was fantastic,” he said. “We played against Liverpool, they’re a very good team and we fought and we competed until the end of the game and that is very important for us.
“Always the important thing is that we believe that we can come back. We created chances, it was a great experience and we can take positive things. We are in a different process to Liverpool, a different project and we need to feel pleased for all the players - players that don’t play too much and are not regular choices in the Premier League or in the Champions League. The experience today was very important.”
Below: Harry Winks in action
Mauricio on whether any players took their chances
“All the players (took their chance) for different reasons. We have young players that are from England, youngsters that have come from outside of England and it was important today to play. Playing at Anfield is always very difficult but I think it was a great experience to push our level, to improve a lot and learn from the game. It will improve our squad for the future.”
Below: Vincent Janssen buries his spot-kick
On Vincent Janssen
“Today I think he was fantastic. He played very well, he made a big effort and he scored. We are very happy with him. We need to understand that he’s 22, he’s come in from the Netherlands, a different league, and always we need to give time. But one thing is clear, that he is a player who works a lot, who is always involved and the commitment he shows in every game and every training session is fantastic."
On Michel Vorm’s saves
“He made some key saves. Michel is a fantastic keeper, we are lucky to have Hugo and him, and of course youngsters like Pau Lopez and all the younger keepers. We are very safe in goal with Hugo and Michel – he was fantastic today but we’re a little bit disappointed because it was a competition which is a good opportunity for different players to play more.”