Liverpool are out of the FA Cup after a 2-1 defeat to fellow Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Raul Jimenez gave Wolves the lead 10 minutes before half-time, capitalising on a mistake from James Milner. But it would last until just six minutes after half-time when Divock Origi drew Liverpool level.

But Liverpool weren’t level for long with Ruben Neves restoring Wolves’ lead with a long-range strike moments later.

The home side would hold on for the rest of the match to earn their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

1. Wolves claim another ‘Big Six’ scalp

What a weird season Wolves are having. Last year’s Championship winners have had a rollercoaster of a year back in the top flight of English football, with some incredible highs matched with devastating lows.

Three highs have come within the space of a month as Wolves have claimed a number of big scalps across all competitions. First, they beat Chelsea at home in the Premier League before taking all three points from Tottenham at Wembley.

Then, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men added Liverpool to the list of victims, knocking the Premier League leaders out of the FA Cup. Albeit against a much-rotated side, Wolves still had to work hard for their win and took the lead shortly before half-time after a mistake in midfield.

With James Milner miscontrolling the ball, Wolves pounced with Raul Jimenez grabbing the goal having run from the halfway line. The strike was Jimenez’ seventh in all competitions this season, four of which have come against teams in the top six of the Premier League having previously netted against Chelsea and Tottenham (home and away).

Wolves then had to show their mental strength after Liverpool pulled level, with Neves stepping up with another long-range effort to restore to home side’s deserved lead and earn them the win.

2. FA Cup third round provides more ground for youth

For years the FA Cup third round has been used by clubs to give some of their younger players a taste of senior football and it was no different in 2019. Already over the weekend we have seen the likes of Joe Willock, Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi star for Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea, and Monday was Liverpool’s time.

With the Reds looking to utilise the full extent of their squad with a Premier League title race on, Jurgen Klopp named two teenagers in his starting XI with 18-year-old Rafael Camacho and 17-year-old Curtis Jones given the honours.

But they were quickly overshadowed when Dejan Lovren pulled up injured with just five minutes gone. His replacement was 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever, who became the youngest ever Liverpool player in the FA Cup and third youngest of all time for the Reds. Only Jack Robinson (16 years, eight months and eight days) and Jerome Sinclair (16 years and six days) have featured for Liverpool at a younger age than Hoever, who turns 17 on January 18.

Born in 2002, Hoever was only four the last time Liverpool won the FA Cup and 13 years younger than the man he replaced.

Hoever slotted in beside Fabinho at the heart of the Liverpool defence and did a good enough job though it was not enough to prevent defeat.

3. Paul Merson gets his wish

Former Aston Villa midfielder Paul Merson caused quite a stir when he suggested Liverpool would be better going out of cup competitions early so they could focus on winning the Premier League league

“The quicker they go out of these competitions, the more of an unbelievable chance they have to win the Premier League,” he said.

“Twenty-nine years now without the league, what an opportunity, you don’t want to keep playing game after game after game.

“They’ve not got the biggest squad in the world. These chances do not come along too often, you win it one year, and the next you’re blown away in 10 games. They’ve got to take that chance.”

And when the starting XIs were announced an hour before kick-off, you could have been forgiven for thinking Klopp had taken Merson’s advice on board, with nine changes made from the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City. Only Dejan Lovren and James Milner survived from the defeat with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench.

Before the game, Klopp insisted the changes were forced and he was still taking the FA Cup seriously. saying: “We have to be sensible. I know people want to win every game and see the same players week in and week out, but somebody has to make a decision and in this case I’m that man.

“I take the FA Cup seriously but I cannot change our situation or our schedule. We have the toughest draw of the round. It’s nice to win 7-0, that won’t be possible for us. We need fresh legs and that’s why we’ve made changes.”

But Liverpool were ultimately made to pay for their changes against a full-strength Wolves side, who exposed the mix-matched nature of Klopp’s team, including Fabinho at centre-back. Even bringing on Salah and Firmino with 20 minutes to go was not enough to rescue Liverpool’s FA Cup campaign.

Maybe they can focus on the Premier League now?

4. Ruben Neves’ rocket flies again

When will teams learn not to let Ruben Neves shoot outside the area? The Portuguese added *another* long-range goal to his scrapbook against Liverpool, helping Wolves see off the Reds in the FA Cup.

Throughout the game Neves had been urged by Wolves fans to let fly whenever on the ball outside the box and, after 55 minutes with the scores level, the midfielder obliged.

Thirty yards out with Xherdan Shaqiri bearing down on him, Neves sent a dipping shot from 30 yards into the bottom left corner of the net beating Simon Mignolet at his near post. Immediately there were claims Neves would not have scored were Alisson in goal for Liverpool.

But credit needs to be given to Neves, with the effort being his ninth goal for Wolves since joining in 2017. Of those nine goals, an incredible eight have been scored from outside the area with the other coming from a penalty.

Even more remarkably, 11 of Neves’ 13 club career goals in total have come from outside the area.

5. Liverpool’s defensive strength is about to be tested

After 20 games in the Premier League, Liverpool were unbeaten and looked in firm control of the title race, seven points clear at the top of the table. But last Thursday they were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City, with many ready to pay close attention as to how Liverpool react.

The Reds boast the best defence in the Premier League, conceding just 10 goals in 21 games, but that rock solid back line is set to be tested as the injury problems begin to add up.

Liverpool were already without Joe Gomez and Joel Matip going into the match with Fabinho moving back to join Dejan Lovren in defence. But Lovren lasted just five minutes before having to come off with an injury, causing 16-year-old Hoever to make his debut.

Jurgen Klopp now has a big decision on his hands for Liverpool’s next Premier League game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, whether to push Hoever in from the start or continue with Fabinho alongside Van Dijk – which he may be reluctant to do after the Brazilian’s slight role in Wolves’ opener, diving in too early high up the pitch.

One thing which is for certain, however, is Liverpool’s defensive strength is about to have its toughest test of the season.

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