Liverpool cruised into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup as a ruthless display of finishing earned a 7-2 victory over Lincoln on Thursday.
Xherdan Shaqiri set the ball rolling with a pin-point free-kick on nine minutes and Takumi Minamino made it two with a similarly spectacular finish into the top corner.
- Carabao Cup fourth-round draw | Results
- How Lincoln and Liverpool lined up | Match stats
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Curtis Jones' quick-fire double put a youthful Liverpool into a four-goal half-time lead, and there was no respite for League One high-flyers Lincoln as Minamino doubled his tally with Liverpool's fifth 18 seconds after the restart.
Tayo Edun and Lewis Montsma scored either side of Marko Grujic's strike as the goals rained down in a frantic seven-minute spell at Sincil Bank, before Divock Origi added Liverpool's seventh in the final minute to send Jurgen Klopp's team into a fourth-round tie with Arsenal in style.
Lincoln: Palmer (5), Bradley (5), Montsma (6), Eyoma (6), Melbourne (6), Bridcutt (5), Edun (7), Jones (5), Grant (5), Anderson (5), Scully (6).
Subs: McGrandles (6), Archibald (5), Hopper (5).
Liverpool: Adrian (6), N Williams (7), R Williams (6), Van Dijk (6), Tsimikas (7), Grujic (6), Jones (8), Elliott (6), Shaqiri (7), Minamino (8), Origi (7).
Subs: Fabinho (6), Keita (6), Jota (6).
Man of the Match: Curtis Jones
How youthful Liverpool thrashed Lincoln
Liverpool were in front inside 10 minutes, Shaqiri's stunning free-kick cannoning off the woodwork on its way past Alex Palmer in the Lincoln goal.
One became two on 18 minutes as Lincoln were punished for playing out from the back, with Minamino rifling a shot into the top corner after Origi's pressing.
Anything Shaqiri and Minamino could do, Jones proved he could do just as well, with the 19-year-old firing a superb long-range effort past the beleaguered Palmer on 32 minutes.
And Jones doubled his tally four minutes later with a near carbon copy of his first which took a deflected off Timothy Eyoma on its way into the Lincoln net.
Liverpool picked up from where they left off in the second half, with Minamino converting a rebound within 18 seconds of the restart after Shaqiri effort was saved.
- Alex Bradley, Max Melbourne, Tayo Edun and Anthony Scully were drafted into the starting line-up as Lincoln made four changes from the win at MK Dons.
- Kostas Tsimikas and Rhys Williams made their Liverpool debuts as Jurgen Klopp made 10 changes from the win at Chelsea. Virgil van Dijk was the only player to retain his place.
Edun found space in the Liverpool area on the hour and got Lincoln on the board with a crisp finish into the bottom corner, only for Liverpool to hit back five minutes later when Grujic shot from the edge of the area flashed past Palmer.
Adrian came but failed to deal with a corner on 67 minutes, allowing Montsma to head Lincoln's second off the underside of the bar.
But Liverpool had the final word as Minamino threaded Origi through on goal and the Belgian fired Liverpool's seventh to put the seal on a display of clinical finishing from the Reds.
Opta stats: Rampant, relentless Reds
- Only Liverpool (25 between 1980-1984) and Nottingham Forest (17 between 1977-1980) have progressed from more consecutive League Cup ties than Manchester City and their current run of 16.
- Since moving to Stoke in August 2015, over half of Xherdan Shaqiri's 23 goals in English football have come from outside the box (12), with this his first goal directly from a free-kick since May 2018 (Stoke v Crystal Palace).
- Liverpool are the first English top-flight side to score at least four times from outside the box in the same match since Manchester United beat Roma 7-1 back in April 2007 in the Champions League.
- Curtis Jones (19y & 238d) became the youngest player to score 2+ goals in a game for Liverpool since Raheem Sterling against Norwich in the Premier League back in April 2014 (19y & 133d).
- Liverpool's Takumi Minamino became the first Japanese player to score two goals in a League Cup game since Shinj Okazaki did so for Leicester against Chelsea in September 2016.
- 24 goals have been scored between Liverpool (12) and their opponents (12) across their last three League Cup matches.
What the managers said…
Lincoln boss Michael Appleton: "I thought in the first half we had our moments. It was a masterclass of finishing from Liverpool.
"In the second half we created a lot of opportunities. I felt sorry for the boys because the idea at half-time was to try to win the second half - a simple message. We got punished by one or two errors. The difference in the first half was their finishing."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "I was pleased by a lot of things; I saw a lot of good football. Everybody can take something from this game. Lincoln can, they stayed in the game and tried to their stuff, but we were really good in a formation we never play really.
"I liked a lot of things I saw tonight; the goals were really nice, the attitude of the boys, and our three centre halves are still fit!"
Liverpool host Arsenal on Monday Night Football at 8pm - live on Sky Sports Premier League. Lincoln entertain Charlton in Sky Bet League One on Sunday at 3pm.