Liverpool made light work of Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup after goals from Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and a brace from Curtis Jones downed the League One outfit. The Reds will now face Arsenal in a mouthwatering fourth round tie.
Minamino proved his worth to Jurgen Klopp with a brilliant display in the Carabao Cup as Liverpool thrashed Lincoln City.
The German manager will be delighted after a fine display from his back-up players after making 10 changes from his team at the weekend.
Virgil van Dijk was the only player to remain from the 2-0 clash against Chelsea, with the likes of Mohamed Sarah and Sadio Mane given the night off.
The Dutchman starred alongside academy graduate Rhys Williams, who was making his debut for the Reds.
Takumi Minamino starred against Lincoln
Another debutant was Kostas Tsimikas, filling in for Andy Robertson but the star of the show was further up the pitch.
Minamino was an absolute terror for the Reds, relentlessly pressing and causing the opposition to panic in defence.
It did not take him long to score, following on from a sublime free-kick from Shaqiri in the opening exchanges.
With Liverpool high up the pitch, the ball found itself to Minamino’s feet who delivered an unstoppable shot past City stopper Alex Palmer.
Jones then got a quick double with two brilliant finishes of his own, though the second did take a deflection.
The 19-year-old ran the game from midfield, dropping deep and receiving passes throughout the clash – but it his work ethic that will impress Klopp, as he did not stop running.
And just second after the break, Minamino doubled his tally – as the Reds pushed forward right from the whistle.
If anyone pushed for a spot against Arsenal, it would be the Japanese forward – who played in the same role Roberto Firmino, knitting together the frontline.
Shaqiri opened the scoring with a free-kick
Minamino gave Lincoln a host of problems
Diogo Jota made his first outing for the Reds after coming on Harvey Elliott in the second half to provide even more firepower.
Tayo Eden managed to scrape one back after some nifty footwork to bamboozle Fabinho and slot past Adrian on the hour mark.
But Marko Grujic, in the starting XI from the wilderness, restored Liverpool’s five goal lead with another crisp finish from the Reds, only for the Imps to score again from a corner through Tom Hopper.
Divock Origi got in on the act late on after a rapid counter-attack in the dying moments that left Lincoln for dead, making it 7-2.
Liverpool player ratings
Adrian – 6
Rarely tested but made himself big to deny Lincoln on one hairy occasion in the second half.
N. Williams – 6
Full of pace and endeavour. Will feature more this season as back-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
R. Williams – 6
Bit of edginess about his defending for Lincoln’s first goal after jumping in but largely a nice debut for the 19-year-old.
Van Dijk – 7
Usual assured display from the Dutchman, who was not letting any Lincoln player past.
Tsimikas – 6
Another player to make his debut and come through unscathed. Klopp likes to ease in his new signings.
Curtis Jones scored two sublime efforts
Grujic – 7
Forgotten man at Anfield but any potential suitors will be impressed after a brilliant goal.
Shaqiri – 8
Brilliant free-kick for a player who has undoubted quality but not shown enough during his Liverpool career.
Jones – 8
Masterful finishing and fine work in midfield, has been given a larger role this season and looks more than ready to take it.
Minamino – 9
Fantastic display from the Japanese forward, who never stopped running and giving Lincoln problems.
Elliott – 6
An undoubted talent for the Reds but not his best outing, was replaced for Jota before the hour mark.
Origi – 6
Got a late goal after a rapid attack from back to front but had a quiet game up until that point.
SUBS: Fabinho (6), Jota (6), Keita (6)