Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool youngsters came of age as they overcame West Bromwich Albion to reach the fourth round of the League Cup at The Hawthorns
The scene of a 3-0 drubbing on the opening day of the Premier League saw Rodgers put faith in nine of the players who helped beat Young Boys in the Europa League last week, fielding a side with an average age of 23.
One of those experienced heads contributed to handing The Baggies the lead, as Brad Jones, whose limited appearances last season featured a string of errors, dropped Liam Ridgewell's free-kick, with Gabriel Tamas capitalising to net his first West Brom goal in over two years.
In stark contrast to the league encounter when Zoltan Gera's thumping effort opened the floodgates, The Reds rallied and Nuri Sahin levelled with the assistance of another goalkeeping blunder, this time from Ben Foster as the Turk's near post shot squirmed beneath the stopper.
Spaniard Daniel Pacheco and German Samed Yesil both eased fears over Liverpool's depth of strikers with impressive performances, while Jerome Sinclair became the youngster-ever Liverpool player after coming on after 81 minutes as Rodgers paraded the fruits of the club's academy.
It was left to Sahin to send the eight-time League Cup winners through after substitute Suso linked up with Ossama Assaidi, who set up the unmarked Real Madrid loanee for a tap-in with eight minutes left.
With a first domestic win of the season secure, and a deluge of valuable experience gained by Liverpool's plethora of young players, Rodgers was delighted with the evening's work.
"I think it was a symbolic night because it shows how fast we are moving as a group," Rodgers said.
"How we have progressed from our first day of the season here, when we were a wee bit disjointed and players did perhaps not quite understand my methods and what I wanted.
"But the performance level has been high for a number of weeks. I think it's always exciting to see young players who have great technique. But what is important as well is that they understand how to fight. It was a wonderful performance against a good team.
"Overall the confidence on the ball and the ability to pass it and the courage to want it was very prominent with the players.
"It's really been the last three or four weeks when our tempo and rhythm and relentless possession has started to come through, so it was good to see and it was good to win."
While his selection policy might be in stark contrast to that of Kenny Dalglish in this competition, who fielded strong teams in the early rounds at the expense of Liverpool's league form, Rodgers has produced more worthwhile results against a credible Albion side, who under Steve Clarke are making a mockery of any pre-season relegation predictions.
The victory sets up a meeting in round four with former club Swansea City, from whom Rodgers departed for Anfield in the summer, and the Northern Irishman admits he loved his time at the Liberty stadium.
"Swansea is a wonderful club," he added. "I was in no rush to leave there; I was only going to leave there to go to another special club.
"It will be a great night. To play Swansea at Anfield in front of two wonderful sets of supporters will be a really good night.
"I said to the players afterwards, 'the Carling Cup is stored at Anfield and I don't want us to give it up too easily'. I want us to fight. You saw tonight that if the young players are fighting and the likes of Jamie Carragher, at 34 years of age, who was fantastic tonight, are performing then we can do well."
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