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Thursday, June 24, 2021

FA Cup: Spurs draw; Chelsea, Sheffield United, Liverpool kids progress

While Tottenham Hotspur were held by Middlesbrough, Chelsea defeated Nottingham Forest 2-0, and Wayne Rooney helped Derby County to a surprise 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

By: Reuters |
Updated: January 6, 2020 1:32:55 pm
Tottenham Hotspur’s Lucas Moura celebrates scoring their first goal. (Source: Reuters)

Tottenham Hotspur needed a Lucas Moura equaliser to avoid an FA Cup third-round defeat at second-tier Middlesbrough as Jose Mourinho’s stuttering side emerged with a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

The eight-times champions trailed to Ashley Fletcher’s fine finish just after the break but Moura’s header spared a Tottenham side who were without injured striker Harry Kane.

Tottenham dominated following Moura’s equaliser but Boro keeper Tomas Mejias, making his first start of the season, frustrated them with several saves as Boro earned a replay.

A much-changed Chelsea booked their place in round four with a comfortable 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest who they also beat at the same stage of the competition last season.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkley were both on target for eight-times winners Chelsea in the first half.

Former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney helped Championship side Derby County spring a surprise with a 1-0 victory at Premier League Crystal Palace.

Top-flight Sheffield United were made to work hard by minor league outfit AFC Fylde, winning 2-1.

Klopp’s kids knock Everton out of FA Cup

A stunning strike from 18-year-old Curtis Jones gave a youthful Liverpool a 1-0 win over Everton in their FA Cup, third round tie at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made nine changes to his side, giving starts to three teenagers, while his Italian counterpart Carlo Ancelotti opted for a largely full-strength Everton lineup.

The gulf in experience between the two sides was barely evident, however, and will simply add to the pain for Everton, who are without a win at Anfield since September 1999.

For Liverpool it was a performance which illustrated the talent coming through the production line at their Melwood training ground.

For local-born academy product Jones, it was a game he will never forget, delivering his first senior goal in a Merseyside derby.

“I can’t sum up my emotions. For me it’s huge just being around this team every day and learning from this group of players. There are world-class players all over this team but I think I went out and showed what I could do on the pitch,” he said.

Everton should have gone at the break with a lead with Liverpool keeper Adrian foiling goalbound efforts from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Richarlison in the first half.

Ancelotti will be disappointed that on each of those occassions his players aimed straight at the Spanish keeper but having failed to capitalise, worse was to come.

Klopp was visibly appreciating the sight of his youngsters buzzing around the field playing enterprising football with the German raising his arms in applause as teenagers Neco Williams, Harvey Elliott and Jones showed they are well-drilled in the Liverpool method.

Jones delivered the killer blow in the 71st minute when after a swift exchange with Divock Origi he unleashed a superb curling effort into the top corner, leaving Everton without a win against their rivals since October 2010.

“They played brave football. Unbelievable individual performances from the kids and the adults as well,” said Klopp.

“Sensational game and a sensational goal from a Scouser – who could ask for more?”

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