Curtis Jones is belying his teenage years with mature performances for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp says the midfielder is no longer considered a Kop 'kid'.

The 19-year-old scored a winner against Ajax in the Champions League and has played more of a role in the Premier League than many expected this season.

Injuries have pushed him into the picture, with the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and captain Jordan Henderson missing games.

Jones has seized his chance, and the Liverpool-born youngster has stepped in with a string of impressive displays.

"Some people will tell you Liverpool lets you grow up quickly. I don't mean the club, I mean the city," Klopp said.

"He is 19, until he enters the pitch. If you say he's 19 and he's allowed to make this mistake and this mistake - every player can make mistakes, that's no problem, you have to solve that as a team - but when we speak about the kids we forget Curtis constantly because we don't see him as a kid anymore.

"But he is. It's just good. He just has to keep working hard, keep on the ground. It's all great and the future could be pretty bright."

Of all players to have been involved in 90 minutes or more so far in this season's Premier League, Jones ranks eighth in passing accuracy (92.44 per cent).

Delving deeper into that analysis, the data shows Jones ranks first among those players for passing accuracy into the final third of the pitch (90.32 per cent), removing those who have attempted fewer than five such balls. Jones has played 52 passes into that area, the fifth most by a Liverpool player, with Jordan Henderson (128 passes with a 70.83 per cent accuracy rate) leading the way.

He has yet to score in the Premier League this season but has a 100 per cent accuracy rate, excluding blocks, for the nine shots he has attempted in 499 minutes on the pitch.

Whether he starts a sixth league game of the season remains to be seen, with the reigning champions and current leaders facing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Klopp confirmed Joel Matip should be fit for that game, bolstering Liverpool's defence after he missed the midweek win over Tottenham due to a knock.

Jurgen Klopp reiterated Roberto Firmino's importance to Liverpool and hailed the forward as a "complete footballer" amid recent criticism.

Firmino's place in the side has been called into question by some given his lack of goals and the form of recent signing Diogo Jota, who is the first player to score in his first four top-flight home games for the club.

However, the Brazil international looked back to his best in Sunday's 3-0 win over Leicester City as he scored his second goal of the season in an impressive all-round display.

His 48 passes, 41 successful passes and six shots were the most he has managed in a Premier League game this season.

Klopp has constantly stuck by Firmino and used a musical anology to stress his game is about far more than just putting the ball in the net.

"Scoring is always important but Bobby is a complete footballer," he said at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Atalanta.

"A football team is like an orchestra - you need people for different instruments. Some are loud and some are not that loud but all are important for the rhythm, and Bobby plays like 12 instruments in our orchestra. 

"I'm not concerned about anything for Bobby. The main thing I liked about his goal was the celebration. It was almost emotional because the players read newspapers and there's been some criticism."

Firmino is in contention to start against Atalanta, as is fellow attacker Mohamed Salah after testing negative for coronavirus.

Salah missed Liverpool's win over Leicester after contracting COVID-19 on international duty with Egypt, but he was cleared to return to training on Monday in a big boost for Klopp.

"Mo has trained and looked really good. He gave a negative test like the rest and is available," the German coach said. "We have to see what we can do with that."

Liverpool were without a number of injured key players at the weekend and Klopp is not expecting too many changes to his squad for Wednesday's match.

"All the others, there is no news," he said. "One looks to be a little closer, the others not so. That is the situation we are in. I don't want to talk about that too much."

Curtis Jones is one of those to have profited from the likes of Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara being out injured, featuring in nine of their 15 matches in all competitions this season.

No Liverpool player attempted more passes in the opposition half (37) than Jones against Leicester - tied with Andy Robertson - and he also recovered possession nine times, a joint-high alongside James Milner.

Klopp has been pleased with the way the young midfielder has seamlessly slotted into the side, which has also aided his development off the pitch.

"It is very positive. I'm not too surprised about it," Klopp said. "He is an exceptional talent. Everyone can see what an exceptional player he can be. 

"When you are in an environment like a top-class football team and are one of the top talents, it will add things to him as a person, too. I'm pleased for him."

Liverpool lead the way at the top of Champions League Group D thanks to three wins from three, including a thumping 5-0 victory away to Atalanta in the reverse meeting three weeks ago.

The Reds have not won multiple games against Italian sides in European competition since 2007-08, when seeing off Inter in both legs of the Champions League last 16, and Klopp is anticipating a tougher test at Anfield.

"They are a threat even without a point to prove," he said. "We were exceptional [in Italy]. We did everything right. It all came together. 

"We know that game has nothing to do with tomorrow. They're a top team with a special way to play. I expect problems in this game."

Jurgen Klopp has handed a first Champions League start to academy graduate Curtis Jones as Liverpool face Ajax in their opening Group D fixture.

The 19-year-old European debutant joins Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner in an unfamiliar midfield necessitated by injuries and general fitness issues.

Virgil van Dijk's absence through the serious knee injury he sustained against Everton on Saturday has forced Fabinho to drop back into defence, while captain Jordan Henderson starts on the bench in Amsterdam.

With Joel Matip left out as a precaution, Joe Gomez gets a start in the heart of the back four that will look to protect second-choice goalkeeper Adrian in Alisson's continued absence.

Liverpool are at least at full strength in attack, with their familiar trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino lining up at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Liverpool fans can look forward to having fun watching the "exceptional" Curtis Jones, according to Reds manager Jurgen Klopp. 

The 19-year-old was superb in Liverpool's 7-2 EFL Cup third-round win over Lincoln City on Thursday, scoring twice as the Premier League champions set up a fourth-round clash with Arsenal next week. 

It was only Jones' 16th appearance for Liverpool's first team but Klopp suggested the midfielder can expect to feature more regularly if he continues to produce such impressive displays. 

"I think each game is ideal for Curtis to play in because of the quality he has, the skills he has," Klopp told a media conference. 

"First half, really good. Start of the second half, really good. And then there is still space for improvement, obviously. 

"Both goals were difficult. I think the second goal, the first touch was absolutely exceptional. It was slightly deflected, but that's just exceptional. 

"I think everybody knows my opinion about Curtis. He is an exceptional talent and we will have some fun with him, I'm pretty sure, in the future."

Takumi Minamino also impressed for Liverpool, adding to Xherdan Shaqiri's opener with a sublime effort from outside the area and then claiming his second shortly after the interval. 

While Klopp was pleased with his potency in front of goal, he was also quick to praise the Japan international's relentless energy. 

"I loved Taki's game tonight; it was absolutely outstanding and he was involved in so many situations," Klopp added.

"More and more, I think we all realise where his qualities are. Wherever he will play in the end, he will end up in the centre. If he plays on the left wing or the right wing, he will play in the half-spaces or the centre because that's where he has his real strength. 

"The opponent had to kick off seven times [after Liverpool's goals] and the first guy who chased the opponent again when they received the pass was Taki.

"He set the rhythm for all these pressing and counter-pressing situations, so I really, really liked his game tonight."

Liverpool face Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday before hosting them again at Anfield later in the week, although no date has been set yet.

Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino struck braces as a much-changed Liverpool cruised past Lincoln City 7-2 in an entertaining EFL Cup third-round clash on Thursday. 

Jurgen Klopp made 10 changes from the side that beat Chelsea 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday, with only Virgil van Dijk keeping his place, but they still had more than enough firepower to swat aside their League One opponents. 

Xherdan Shaqiri got the visitors on their way inside the opening 10 minutes, whipping a superb free-kick into the top-right corner, before a fine strike from Minamino and a double from Jones made it 4-0 at the break. 

Minamino added a fifth immediately after the restart before Tayo Edun pulled one back for the Imps on the hour mark.

Marko Grujic and Lewis Montsma then exchanged quick-fire goals, while Divock Origi added a seventh late on as Liverpool – who handed Diogo Jota a debut from the substitutes' bench in the second half – set up a fourth-round clash with Arsenal at Anfield next week. 

Liverpool, who included debutants Rhys Williams and Konstantinos Tsimikas in their starting XI, wasted little time asserting their authority as Shaqiri registered his first goal since December 4 with a sublime free-kick from 22 yards in the ninth minute.

The Reds doubled their advantage after 18 minutes when a sloppy pass out from the back by Montsma found its way to Minamino, who sent a strike into Alex Palmer's top-left corner from 20 yards. 

Jones added a third shortly after the half-hour mark, curling home from inside the penalty area after being picked out by Divock Origi's downwards header. 

The 19-year-old claimed his second just four minutes later when his effort from outside the area clipped off Timothy Eyoma and flew past Palmer.

Any thoughts that Klopp's men would take it easy in the second period were extinguished after just 18 seconds when Minamino volleyed into an empty net after Harvey Elliott had been denied by Palmer.

The Imps started to pour forward in search of a consolation and it duly arrived on the hour mark when Edun coolly slotted past Adrian from inside the area.

Grujic plundered his first Liverpool goal from 20 yards in the 65th minute before Montsma took advantage of Adrian's woeful goalkeeping to head home Lincoln's second just a minute later.

Origi then wrapped up the scoring a minute from time when his strike from 15 yards slipped through the grasp of Palmer. 

Jurgen Klopp told his Liverpool youngsters they could have "beautiful" futures if they continue improving.

The likes of Curtis Jones, 19, and Neco Williams, 19, have been given chances in recent matches for the champions, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley on Saturday, while 17-year-old Harvey Elliott has made two Premier League appearances this season.

Liverpool need three wins from their final three games to break Manchester City's record of 100 points in a single Premier League season.

Klopp, whose team are away to Arsenal on Wednesday, said the club's youngsters had plenty of time to grow.

"I'm not sure it's about how high the stakes are, it's about how ready are the boys?" the Liverpool manager told UK media, via the Mirror.

"There are no old and young players, there are only good and not so good players and I hope we have only good players, exceptional players.

"The problem, not just for young players, but all players not now in the first line-up – this team is really good. It is difficult to play 40 games in a row.

"But young players have so much time on their hands that they really can improve and don't have the pressure, especially not from us. If they use the time, then the future is beautiful for them."

After visiting Arsenal, Liverpool will host Chelsea before a trip to Newcastle United.

Jurgen Klopp's dream is to field a team "full of Scousers" after Liverpool-born midfielder Curtis Jones celebrated his new deal by scoring his first goal for the club.

The Reds marked their first game at Anfield as Premier League champions with a 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

Jones, who signed a new contract the day before, got the second goal and Klopp would love to see more academy players make an impact at the club, with Harvey Elliott having also put pen to paper on his first professional deal this week.

"I really like that these boys have committed their future," Klopp said ahead of Wednesday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion. 

"Our academy is producing some great players in the past few years. We try.

"What we want to be is the sport for everybody with a Scouse soul. We want to be of course if you love football and are talented we want you to be here.

"The dream is to have all the boys [from the academy]. The dream is to have a team full of Scousers."

On the challenge of taking on Graham Potter's Brighton, who have earned seven points from four games since the resumption to move nine clear of the relegation zone, Klopp revealed he was not entirely sure what to expect.

"They are a really good football team, what they have done in the last season is incredible," he said.

"Implementing a proper football style. He is doing a really good job there. They changed their approach since lockdown.

"So we don't know exactly what we will face. We need to be ready for that."

Dean Smith took scant consolation from pushing Premier League champions Liverpool close after Aston Villa fell to a 2-0 defeat, insisting he had no love for the "valiant loser" tag.

The Villa boss set his side up to defend at Anfield and the visitors did frustrate the home side until Sadio Mane's 71st-minute opener.

Curtis Jones doubled the Reds' lead late on as Villa's winless run in the league was extended to nine games on Sunday.

Smith noted that his side had more shots than Jurgen Klopp's men, who lost their previous game 4-0 to Manchester City, but still the overwhelming feeling was one of disappointment.

"I don't want to be a valiant loser, we're scrapping for points," Smith told Sky Sports.

"To out-shoot Liverpool at home at Anfield, in terms of efforts on goal, it's excellent – but we need to take our opportunities. We never found the quality in the final third, they did.

"Was it the best time to come to Anfield? Jurgen Klopp teams don't take their foot off the gas, I don't thank him for bringing the three subs on, that strengthened them but we were in the game the whole way through.

"Unfortunately they beat our press with their quality in the end."

Next up for Villa is Thursday's visit of a buoyant Manchester United, who put five past Bournemouth on Saturday.

With his side still occupying the relegation zone, Smith knows the route to safety will be a difficult one.

"It's a tough task but we're still in it that's for sure," he said. "Our performances since the restart haven't got the results they deserved. We have got to make the most of our chances.

"We need to keep the belief in the dressing room, it's some achievement to come here and play as we did but we have to maintain the belief. I thought we more than matched them."

Jurgen Klopp highlighted Liverpool's 2-0 win over Aston Villa as a prime example of why his side are Premier League champions. 

The Reds, playing their first game at Anfield since ending a 30-year title drought, were made to work hard by their relegation-threatened visitors. 

Late goals from Sadio Mane and Curtis Jones got the job done as Klopp's side continued their 100 per cent home record in the league in the 2019-20 campaign. 

And the German, who was left angered by Thursday's 4-0 loss to Manchester City, felt it showed just why his side have reigned supreme this season. 

"A very difficult game for different reasons," Klopp told Sky Sports. 

"Villa are obviously organised and made it tricky for us. The wind made it tricky for both, but it was really hard to play normal football. 

"We had to stay on track and do the right things and in the second half we had more of the good moments. You could see we needed time to get used to it." 

The result took Liverpool to 89 points, within 11 of City's record tally, but Klopp insists that was not on his mind on Sunday. 

"The only thing I can say is there's no chance to win records if you constantly think about records," he said. 

"We don't want a record we want the three points. We don't think about these things, three points is difficult enough. 

"Aston Villa was fighting with all they had and it makes life uncomfortable. I like it, it was not a brilliant performance but it was a good performance that gets us three points." 

Mane echoed his manager's sentiments after scoring his 50th goal at Anfield for Liverpool. 

"We pushed as a team until the end and created some chances. It wasn't an easy game but at least we deserved these three points," he told Sky Sports. 

"I think sometimes you can't expect always to score four or five against a good opponent. They were really organised and we were playing patiently until the gaps opened and we scored the two goals. 

"For us right now it is most important to win games, then you can think about records. 

"We have important games and we will try to play game by game. It won't be easy but that is the Premier League – it is always difficult." 

Liverpool won their first game at Anfield as Premier League champions as a 2-0 victory piled the misery on relegation-threatened Aston Villa.

Having been angered by the Reds' 4-0 loss to Manchester City on Thursday, Jurgen Klopp saw his side triumph on Sunday even if the performance still left much to be desired.

Sadio Mane's 71st-minute goal broke the visitors' stubborn resolve before Curtis Jones added late gloss as Dean Smith's men, winless in nine in the league, remained in the bottom three.

For Liverpool, this was not the celebratory homecoming they would have envisaged after a first top-flight title in 30 years but their march towards the 100-point barrier continues.

A tepid first half made very clear that Villa's game plan was to sit deep and frustrate Liverpool, who simply could not find a way through.

Indeed, when the first shot on target finally arrived in the 33rd minute it was Alisson who was called into action and not former Reds goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

That Douglas Luiz strike, easily dealt with by Alisson, proved to be the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock before the interval.

With Liverpool having won their previous 23 home league matches, they were always likely to emerge victorious in this one and Klopp's side got the job done in the second half.

The German made a triple change on the hour mark, introducing Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Georginio Wijnaldum.

And finally, the breakthrough came. Mane – who scored a 94th-minute winner in the reverse fixture – stroked home from Naby Keita's assist via the underside of the crossbar to register his 50th Anfield goal for Liverpool.

Jones, who signed a new contract this week, was introduced in the 85th minute and scored his first Premier League goal four minutes later, steering into the bottom-left corner from Mohamed Salah's knockdown. 

What does it mean? Reds still rolling towards history

Liverpool are now 11 points shy of the century mark and that is a tally they will be eager to reach to cap this remarkable campaign in style. Villa, meanwhile, are running out of time to put enough points on the board to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Mane the man for Liverpool

In a poor game of precious few chances, Mane had to step up when the time came, and he did just that. The Senegalese connected well with Keita's low cross and that strike took the wind out of Villa's sails, leaving them vulnerable to another setback, which Jones duly provided.

Robertson off his game

Andrew Robertson's stellar form this season has been one of the many highlights for Liverpool, but he has now turned in a couple of off-colour displays. The full-back was arguably the worst of a bad bunch at City and was only marginally better here, in far less testing circumstances.

What's next?

Brighton and Hove Albion will be the next team to form a guard of honour for the champions when Liverpool head to the south coast on Wednesday, while Villa must defeat in-form Manchester United on Thursday if they are to avoid having their winless run taken into double figures.

Liverpool youngster Curtis Jones has signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League champions. 

The 19-year-old – who became Liverpool's youngest ever captain when he led out a youthful side in an FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town at Anfield in February – has started to break into the Reds' first team this term. 

Having made his Premier League debut as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Bournemouth in December, Jones scored his first senior goal to claim a 1-0 win in over Merseyside rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round in January. 

"For me, as everyone knows, it's massive," Jones told Liverpool's official website. 

'It's my boyhood club and it's the whole of my family's club as well, so for me it's huge. I think the environment and stuff is all positive and keeps me as positive as I can. 

"Of course, we're working with a great manager and around the best team in the world, so for me it was easy and [I'm] extremely proud." 

Jones, who has made eight appearances in total this term, also believes he is learning from the best as he attempts to cement his place in Jurgen Klopp's squad.

"It's a perfect environment. I've got great boys around that help me every day – Hendo (Jordan Henderson), Millie (James Milner), [Adam] Lallana, Fabinho, the whole of the team is perfect for me to watch every day in training," he added.

"But to be involved with them, you pick up so many things and the detail in what they do and they do everything perfect – their professionalism around the place, it's perfect.

"So I'm picking up all that and taking it into my game and to me as a person. It's paying off right."

Goals from Willian and Ross Barkley gave Chelsea a deserved 2-0 win over runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Although those two seasoned campaigners gave Frank Lampard's men the edge in an absorbing contest and Liverpool ended the match with their celebrated front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah on the pitch, there was still a youthful edge to the contest.

Curtis Jones and Neco Williams lined up for the visitors, while Billy Gilmour was selected in the Chelsea engine room.

Here, we look at how those three talented teenagers fared with a place in the quarter-finals at stake.

 

BILLY GILMOUR

The Stamford Bridge masses quickly warmed to Gilmour, whose contributions from the base of Lampard's midfield were instantly easy on the eye.

A busy presence in front of the back four, Gilmour's range of passing and calmness under pressure meant he could be forgiven for allowing Liverpool a few too many runs at the defence he was charged with protecting.

A sprayed 33rd-minute pass out of play drew gasps, such had been the quality of the 18-year-old's metronomic display up until that point, while Mateo Kovacic and Willian's departures through injury – forcing a reshuffle - did not upset his poise.

Gilmour attempted (26) and completed (21) more passes than any other Chelsea player during the first half – numbers that dwindled in efficiency as the hosts increasingly operated on the break after Barkley bolstered their lead.

Nevertheless, the Scotland international was then able to show his combative side, be it gaining possession on nine occasions or grappling with Takumi Minamino when defending a corner. It all amounted to a man-of-the-match display.

CURTIS JONES

Jones' part in Liverpool's 2020 FA Cup campaign will live long in the memory of the Anfield faithful after his stunning goal saw off Everton in round three, while he captained a youthful side to victory in the fourth-round replay at home to Shrewsbury Town.

However, the high-octane opening at Stamford Bridge passed the 19-year-old by at times, with Adrian managing to save a stinging drive from Barkley after Jones gave away possession.

A clever flick in the 18th minute almost got Sadio Mane away down the right flank and Jones' follow-up drew the final instalment of Kepa Arrizabalaga's incredible triple save in the 20th minute.

Jones made way for the contrastingly experienced James Milner with 20 minutes remaining. Having been involved in eight Premier League matchday squads already this season, the youngster could certainly have done more to press his case, although 32 of 35 passes completed showed him to have been tidy enough in possession.

 

NECO WILLIAMS

Williams' path to the Liverpool first-team on a regular basis in complicated by Trent Alexander-Arnold's presence, yet the 18-year-old Welshman often revelled in the thick of the action.

A teasing early cross was followed by a well-judged sliding challenge on Pedro in the seventh minute. Williams remained heavily involved at both ends of the pitch, although a cool last-ditch clearance to prevent Olivier Giroud from scoring was far more assured than a pair of sliced attempts on goal.

As the game got away from Liverpool, an error by the right-back allowed Pedro to streak away on the break – Adrian standing firm to spare his team-mate.

Jason Cummings scored a second-half double off the bench as Shrewsbury Town came from behind to earn a surprise 2-2 draw against Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday.

Within 15 minutes of replacing Callum Lang on the hour mark, Cummings converted from the penalty spot and guided a cool finish past Adrian to earn League One side Shrewsbury a replay against the Premier League leaders at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp made 11 changes to his team and saw them move 2-0 up when Donald Love followed up Curtis Jones' opener with a comical own goal.

Klopp responded to Cummings' brace by calling for Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino from the bench, but Liverpool were unable to salvage a victory despite some huge late chances and now have another fixture to add to their busy schedule.

Adam Lallana has claimed Liverpool always expected to beat Everton in the FA Cup, despite Jurgen Klopp fielding a youthful and inexperienced side.

Curtis Jones' stunner continued Liverpool's dominance of Merseyside derbies on Sunday, as Carlo Ancelotti's team succumbed to a 1-0 defeat at Anfield.

Jones, 18, was one of a number of youth players who started for the Reds, with Klopp resting Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson.

After James Milner went off injured early on, Lallana took over as captain, but the former Southampton midfielder insists Liverpool never lacked belief they would defeat Everton, who have not won at Anfield since 1999.

"It was good but we expected to win. We said before the game that no matter what teamsheet we had, we're at home, we expect to win," Lallana told Liverpool's official website.

"I think it was important that we went out there with that mentality because it’s such a fortress, Anfield, and the young lads are around us experienced players day in, day out in training and it's why the level is so high because in training we give them good games, we keep them on their toes and I think that absolutely showed out there.

"It's the mentality that is instilled throughout Liverpool and that started when the manager came in. He wanted to create his own way of playing, his own mentality and you saw that throughout the whole 90 minutes.

"I thought second half we were outstanding, the way we controlled the game, got the goal and they never really caused us any problems.

"Adrian was magnificent in the first half and had to make two or three big saves, but that's what he's there for. I thought we fully deserved the win and to get into the next round."

Everton passed up several golden chances in the first half, but the visitors did not trouble Liverpool after the interval, with Jones' strike enough to secure progression. 

"He's a confident boy," Lallana said of the teenager, who made his Premier League debut against Bournemouth in December.

"It's important he keeps his feet on the ground now after such a high and that he keeps working hard, keeps listening to the manager and keeps learning from all the experienced players that he's working with day in, day out.

"He's going to want to obviously play more, but with the injuries we've got at the minute it's important that he's around us and he's a big part of the team."

Jurgen Klopp was keen to share the praise among his young Liverpool charges after the FA Cup victory over Everton and tipped match-winner Curtis Jones for a bright future.

Liverpool boss Klopp named a young team for their Merseyside derby in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

But the unheralded group, aided by the likes of Adam Lallana and Divock Origi, thrived at Anfield, claiming a 1-0 victory thanks to Jones' sensational 71st-minute strike.

It was the midfielder's first goal for the club and he later told BBC Sport he had grown frustrated by a lack of opportunities under Klopp.

The Reds manager welcomed the 18-year-old's confidence, although he also wanted Jones' team-mates to get some recognition too.

"I love it," Klopp told a news conference of Jones' performance. "But I want to say one thing: everybody will ask about Curtis Jones, but there were so many extremely good performances tonight.

"The goal was exceptional, and the boy's an outstanding player, but I can't understand why nobody so far has asked me about Pedro Chirivella, about Neco Williams, about Yasser Larouci. You have to score, otherwise we ignore you?

"So, let me speak about Curtis - unbelievable player, Scouser, very confident. He can't wait to play in the first team. Good, rightly so. He's in a very good way.

"I've known him three and a half years. He's made big steps and will be a Liverpool player, if nothing strange happens, 100 per cent.

"That he scored this kind of goal, I'm not surprised. He is for these situations. But there's still a lot to learn and a lot to improve.

"But sometimes we forget as well in training - he's 18. Unbelievable.

"In Germany, because it's a different system, he'd still play one year 100 per cent in the youth team and nowhere else. Here, he is around the first team."

Liverpool lost James Milner to injury early on, but Klopp saw that as the only negative on an evening of positives.

"All the rest of the night was absolutely perfect," Klopp said. "It was a sensationally good performance of a not very experienced team.

"For a lot of the players, it was the first time playing on this kind of stage, in front of this crowd, against this opponent. It was outstanding. I loved it. I loved each second of it."

Everton were humbled despite Carlo Ancelotti picking a strong side, and he told Everton TV: "We are disappointed, of course. We are out of this competition. It was important.

"The regret in the first half was that we had clear opportunities to score and we were not able to score. We were a little bit unlucky and not precise.

"The second half was different. We were not able to create opportunities. We went up from the back but we were too slow and had difficulty creating.

"We had a lack of energy and it was there that we lost the game. If we had kept the intensity of the first half in the second, we could have won."

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