Jurgen Klopp's kids march on in FA Cup as Lewis Koumas and Jayden Danns fire Liverpool past Southampton

Jurgen Klopp's kids march on in FA Cup as Lewis Koumas and Jayden Danns fire Liverpool past Southampton

After reading the names ‘Koumas’ and ‘Danns’ on the scoresheet, fans of a certain age could be forgiven for believing they had accidentally checked in on a Championship clash between Cardiff and Crystal Palace circa 2010.

However, the Liverpool of 2024 (and beyond) are anything but second-tier as, rather than Jason and Neil, this was a case of Lewis Koumas and Jayden Danns registering their first goals for the club in a memorable 3-0 FA Cup win over Southampton.

Not memorable for the performance, mind, as the Reds relied on their opponents spurning multiple chances before make a slightly fortuitous breakthrough of their own and eventually wrapping up the tie with confidence, but in terms of the overall outcome and the all-important optics, this was just about everything Jurgen Klopp could have hoped for.

With a hefty 13 players ruled out through injury, including Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez once again, an almost-entirely youthful and/or second-string XI was tasked with overcoming a Saints team which had undergone the surgery of eight changes itself amid their Championship promotion push.

Russell Martin’s side started stronger, with a goal disallowed for offside after only 30 seconds before Kamaldeen Sulemana hit the post and Sekou Mara went close mere minutes later.

But a lack of end product failed to punish a sketchy first-half display from Liverpool, which nonetheless yielded the opening goal via Koumas with the break looming. Like his dad, the 18-year-old is a tricky winger with ace technique but a deflection off Jan Bednarek was key to his effort trickling into the bottom corner on his first start for a club he joined aged 11.

Sulemana and Mara came close again after the restart before Shea Charles wasted the best chance Southampton had all night, peeling off unmarked from a corner to the far post and scuffing a shot wide.

The visitors, as so many teams are at Anfield these days, were made to rue their misses when Danns, who very unlike his dad is a devilish attacker with an eye for goal, raced onto a ball in behind to beat the offside trap and chip home for 2-0.

The 18-year-old, signed up by Liverpool aged eight, then showed off his poacher’s instinct with the third on 88 minutes after a shot rebounded his way.

After conquering the Carabao Cup, few would reckon against Klopp’s kids having a fair old crack at the FA Cup. That is, apart from Manchester United, who await at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals.