It was a night to remember for Liverpool’s kids at Anfield.
The club’s Under 23s were tasked with defeating League One outfit Shrewsbury in their FA Cup fourth round replay and they prevailed, an own goal from former Manchester United man Ro-Shaun Williams booking a meeting with Chelsea in the next round.
With an average age of 19 years and 102 days, this was the youngest line-up Liverpool have ever started in a football match in any competition.
And the signs suggest that the future is bright, with Neil Critchley’s side running out worthy winners.
Liverpool had 12 shots to Shrewsbury’s three and had 58% of the possession.
So there was nothing for Jurgen Klopp, currently on a break, hence his absence, to worry about.
Shrewsbury weren’t happy with Liverpool reducing the cost of tickets for the match but it resulted in Critchley’s players playing in front of a packed crowd, with the attendance reaching 52,399 fans.
And many home supporters around at full-time to show their appreciation to the youngsters, with the players lapping up the support from the Kop.
We’re used to seeing these scenes with Klopp and his players. On Tuesday it was the turn of Critchley and the kids.
It must be a surreal experience for many of those boys. Regardless of how their careers pan out, they will all remember it for the rest of their lives.
It was just last month that Pep Guardiola was calling out Manchester City fans for their poor attendance at home to Fulham in the Carabao Cup, with 39,223 turning up to watch.
Compare that situation to Anfield last night, where more than 50,000 were in attendance.
Critchley revealed afterwards that Klopp had been in touch after the win to express his delight.
“The boss was in touch this afternoon with some words of advice and encouragement, which was really nice of him,” the Under 23s coach said, per Liverpool’s website.
“We had a little message – I’ve not checked my phone yet – but we had a message from the staff at the end there and he is absolutely delighted with the performance. He is buzzing.
“We’ve given him a game against Chelsea away to look forward to.”
Some of the youngsters may get the call-up to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in March.