Liverpool fail to break down resolute Plymouth

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The youngest Liverpool starting line-up in the club’s history were on Sunday held to a frustrating draw by resolute League Two side Plymouth Argyle in their FA Cup third-round tie.

The hosts, whose side had an average age of 21 years and 296 days, had 80.3 per cent possession in the first half but struggled to break down their gritty opponents.

Sheyi Ojo failed to take their best chance when he missed a header from close range, while Divock Origi also had a goal disallowed for a foul on Gary Miller.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp later brought on first-team regulars Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino in search of a breakthrough.

Sturridge sent a 25-yard shot just wide, looped a header over and fired into the side-netting.

But the Reds could not find the cutting edge to break down an organised and disciplined Plymouth.

Craig Tanner would have been clean through on the Liverpool goal but for a Kevin Stewart challenge as the Pilgrims earned a replay at Home Park.

Liverpool boss Klopp made 10 changes for the game — including defender Joe Gomez returning to first-team action for the first time since Oct. 1, 2015 following a knee ligament injury.

There was also 17-year-old forward Ben Woodburn who was making his first start for the club.

And, in spite of his side enjoying plenty of possession — 87.2 per cent after the first 15 minutes — they could not find the needed creativity.

They needed this to pierce the banked masses of Plymouth players.

Ojo failed to make proper contact with a header from five yards and Woodburn — showing some neat footwork at times — had a shot saved.

But chances were few and far between for the youthful Reds, who managed just four efforts on target from 28 overall.

German Klopp said before the game he could be criticised if his team selection backfired and time will tell if this will still not be.

Even with the introduction of Sturridge, Lallana and Firmino, his much-changed side could not find a winner, and they will now have to face a replay away from Anfield.(NAN)

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