Liverpool needed a penalty shootout to beat League One side Derby at Anfield in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night following a 0-0 draw in 90 minutes.
Jurgen Klopp heavily rotated his usual Reds lineup, bringing youngsters like Stefan Bajcetic, Bobby Clark and Melkamu Frauendorf into the starting XI.
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher was the hero of the night, making three saves in the shootout as the hosts prevailed 3-2 to secure a place in the next round.
Disappointingly for Klopp, Derby were pretty comfortable by half-time, even without the ball for large periods of the opening 45 minutes as Liverpool were unable to carve out openings.
Both sides proceeded to have chances in the second half, with Max Bird close to giving Derby a shock lead soon after the break and Rams goalkeeper Joseph Wildsmith needing to react quickly to prevent a deflected goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Wildsmith also saved from Harvey Elliott late on, while Derby’s Lewis Dobbin also had a chance in the closing stages but lacked the power to beat Kelleher.
With no winner in the regulation 90 minutes, penalties ensued, with Kelleher saving from Conor Hourihane, Craig Forsyth and the aforementioned Dobbin. Bajcetic had seen Liverpool’s first penalty saved by Wildsmith, while Roberto Firmino skied his effort.
But Oxlade-Chamberlain and Darwin Nunez both converted, leaving Elliott to win it.
GK: Caoimhin Kelleher (9), RB: Calvin Ramsay (7), CB: Nat Phillips (8), CB: Joe Gomez (8), LB: Kostas Tsimikas (7), CM: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), CM: Bobby Clark (6), CM: Stefan Bajcetic (7), RW: Melkamu Frauendorf (6), ST: Layton Stewart (6), LW: Fabio Carvalho (6)
Subs: Darwin Nunez (6), Roberto Firmino (6), Harvey Elliott (7), Ben Doak (6)
GK: Joseph Wildsmith (9), RB: Korey Smith (7), CB: Eiran Cashin (8), CB: Craig Forsyth (8), LB: Haydon Roberts (7), RM: Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (7), CM: Max Bird (7), CM: Conor Hourihane (7), LM: Louie Sibley (7), ST: James Collins (6), ST: William Osula (6)
Subs: David McGoldrick (6), Lewis Dobbin (6), Liam Thompson (7), Jason Knight (N/A), Jake Rooney (N/A)