Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton has paid tribute on the Imps’ official website to a “masterclass in finishing” as Premier League champions Liverpool battered their third-tier opponents 7-2 in the EFL Cup third round.
With the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino, Curtis Jones and Divock Origi handed a rare chance to impress on Thursday night, Lincoln felt the full force of a Reds side full of talented benchwarmers desperate to force their way into the first XI on a more regular basis.
And any hopes Appleton had of inspiring a bonafide ‘cupset’ were brought to a brutal end during a half-hour blitz at Sincil Bank.
A trademark Shaqiri free-kick was followed up by stunning finishes from both Minamino and Jones, who curled a pair of pinpoint shots beyond a helpless West Brom loanee Alex Palmer in the Lincoln goal.
“We saw a masterclass in finishing from Liverpool in the first half. If we put a bucket in the top corner, they would have hit it every time with the efforts they had,” says the former Leicester City coach.
“We had a few moments in the first half (and) could have prevented a few of their goals but there were some fantastic finishes.
“You get punished by these types of sides and I will never stop the lads playing the type of football we play.”
Minamino and Jones would later net their second of the night during a thumping seven-goal victory, while Marko Grujic and Divock Origi also scribed their names on a stretched scoreboard.
Rhys Williams and Kostas Tsimikas made their debuts too in an evening full of positives.
Liverpool’s trophies under Jurgen Klopp
UEFA Super Cup
FIFA Club World Cup